How to Get Rid of Acrobat Ants in West Palm Beach

Acrobat ants on plant with aphids in Palm Beach County

Acrobat ants are small to medium sized ants that consist of 10 species in Florida, 25 total in the United States and about 4,000 species worldwide. Common across the Southeast portion of the U.S, they’re often found in North Florida coastal plain pine forests. However, they’re also a common pest in West Palm Beach.

In residential areas surrounding West Palm Beach, such as Jupiter, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Boynton Beach, they’re most common outdoors. This includes in trees or around damp or decaying wood. For example, acrobat ants may be drawn to your porch if the wood is damp or decaying.  

What Do Acrobat Ants Look Like? 

Acrobat ants are 2.6-3.3mm long. They have shiny bodies that can be light red, brown, or black. You can easily identify an acrobat ant by disturbing it, as it will raise its abdomen above the rest of its body (that’s where the name comes from). 

Another distinguishing characteristic of acrobat ants that can differentiate them from other common ants in West Palm Beach is that their abdomen is a heart shape. 

Where Can I Find Acrobat Ants? 

Acrobat ants are arboreal ants, which means they nest in trees and wood. They’re highly territorial, so only one colony per tree (sharing is not caring!). But sometimes colonies are so big that they take up to 3 trees! 

They’re common in the Southeast portion of the United States, and are native to Florida. They’re found in most counties, including West Palm Beach, Broward County, Miami-Dade County, St. Lucie County, Martin County, Indian River County and Leon County.  

In your yard, you can find acrobat ants on dead tree stumps, in trees, under logs, or around firewood. And if you do find acrobat ants around these things, it may be the wakeup call you need to maintain your yard; not just to prevent acrobat ants but also to prevent termites and carpenter ants. 

If the wood around your home is exposed to acrobat ants, that means it’s exposed to other insects attracted to wood. Termites cost up to $5 billion in the U.S each year, so it’s important to practice termite prevention, such as keeping your firewood elevated and cleaning up dead branches, tree stumps, or any other wood in your yard that needs to be discarded and is vulnerable to insect activity. 

Are Acrobat Ants Dangerous? 

There are no real dangers behind acrobat ants. The most concerning conclusion behind finding acrobat ants inside or outside your home is the likely presence of wet, decaying wood that is attracting them to your home. 

Acrobat ants can bite and sting; however, the pain is very mild and short-lived. 

The wood damage directly from acrobat ants is minor, but they can release frass, which can be a nuisance to homeowners–overall, most would describe them as more of a nuisance than a threat. 

The Difference Between Acrobat Ants vs Carpenter Ants 

It can be difficult to tell the difference between acrobat ants and carpenter ants because they’re considered to be lookalikes and both are attracted to damp, decaying wood. 

Compared to carpenter ants, acrobat ants are often reddish-brown or black; however, they’re typically smaller and have a heart-shaped abdomen. Carpenter ants are one of the largest ant species from ¼ inch to ⅝ inch for workers and up to ¾ inch for carpenter ants with wings. Acrobat ants are usually ⅛ inch to ⅜ inch. 

Acrobat ants also don’t usually cause as much wood damage as carpenter ants. However, neither of these ants cause as much damage as termites, luckily, since the ants only nest in wood and don’t eat it. 

How Do I Get Rid of Acrobat Ants? 

Getting rid of acrobat ants in West Palm Beach is a similar process to getting rid of sugar ants, pavement ants, and other types of ants. The first big step is to seal off entry points to your home. 

Entry Points of Acrobat Ants: 

  • Utility lines, pipes and electrical wiring.
  • Cracks and holes on your foundation.
  • Damp or decayed wood such as tree stumps, firewood, tree cavities. 

Another way to get rid of acrobat ants is to inspect the plumbing in your home. Since acrobat ants are attracted to damp, decaying wood, plumbing issues may be causing wood damage attracting acrobat ants. 

You can also try using ant bait. Place the bait where acrobat ants are found, and make sure you purchase a more advanced, slow-working bait so that the ants have time to spread the bait to the queen, which will eliminate the entire colony. 

When using sprays, avoid repellent sprays. While they might seem to be exactly what you need to kill acrobat ants, it won’t have the result you’d hope for. 

Repellent sprays kill acrobat ants on contact; however, it also triggers a process called budding where the ants sense danger and split off into new colonies, with new queens. Then, they may start reproducing even faster. 

Instead, use nonrepellent sprays. This kind of spray will have a slower effect, reaching the entire colony before the ants begin to die. 

To reduce acrobat ants outside, trim trees and branches close to your home. Since they nest in wood, they will be drawn away from your home. And as mentioned above, frequently clean up debris around your yard, including branches and tree stumps. It’s good to inspect your yard after a storm, as a single ant that finds a fallen branch 24 hours after a windy storm can turn into a colony in no time. 

What Do Acrobat Ants Eat? 

Acrobat ants are outdoor pests, so they look for their food outside on lawns and wooded areas rather than in homes. 

And the best food source for acrobat ants is honeydew, a sugary substance created by aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies and scale insects. 

They love honeydew for a few reasons: How much sugar is in it and how much is available outside. So, the more lawn pests infesting your trees and shrubs, the more acrobat ants you’ll see. By getting rid of the lawn pests, you’ll see a huge difference in the number of acrobat ants infesting your yard. 

Professional Ant Control in West Palm Beach

While you can try using sprays, baits and other means of getting rid of acrobat ants yourself, the best method is using professional ant control. Calling a pest control company in West Palm Beach like Native Pest Management can get rid of acrobat ants in a pet friendly, eco-friendly way. 

Native Pest Management can quickly identify acrobat ants and use slow acting, advanced baiting kits to get rid them off of your lawn and out of your home. With our lawn pest services, we can also eliminate honeydew-producing insects including aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies and scale insects. 

Our Other Pest Control Services in West Palm Beach: 

  • Home pest control 
  • Commercial pest control 
  • Cockroach control
  • Rodent control 
  • Termite control (tent fumigation, no tent, termite bait stations, trenching) 
  • Whitefly control 
  • Lawn care
  • Palm tree care 

Native Pest Management is the premium pest control company to help you with all matters relating to acrobat ants, ghost ants, sugar ants, big headed ants and other pests like cockroaches and spiders. If you’re ready to discuss your options for acrobat ant control in West Palm Beach, just give us a call today! 

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