Spring Season: Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants

Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants - Black Carpenter Ant

Carpenter Ants and Acrobat Ants are common during this time of year, when weather tends to be moist. However, many people have a difficult time determining the difference between Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants. Therefore, we have put together some information, so you will be able to identify which ant may be invading your home or business.

Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants

Acrobat Ants

Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants - Acrobat Ants

Acrobat ants get their name from the funny habit of holding their abdomen above their thorax (or head) when disturbed. This habit makes them look like an acrobat who walks on their hands.

The main characteristic features of Acrobat Ants include the following:

  • heart-shaped abdomen when viewing from above
  • colors can vary from a light brown to a dark brown/black
  • typically, next in decaying wood or wood already destroyed by termites or Carpenter ants

Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants - Acrobat Ant labeled

Habits of Acrobat Ants

Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants - Acrobat Ant

When outdoors, acrobat ants will nest near moisture such as under stones, in stumps, in rotting logs and under woodpiles. Conversely, when invading your home or business, acrobat ants often nest in damp areas. This can include foam sheathing behind siding. This insect can even nest in roofing near a leaking skylight.

Acrobat ants frequently nest in wood that has been damaged by termites or carpenter ants. In addition, this insect can clean out the galleries that other insects have made in the wood. They push the dirt or wood scraps out of the galleries. Sometimes, as a homeowner or business owner, you might find this debris and think there is an active termite infestation.

These ants enter homes and businesses in several ways. Sometimes they will make a trail across the ground. Door thresholds and construction gaps are common entryways. Acrobat ants can also follow tree limbs or shrubs that touch your house or building. They can even make their trails on utility lines. In addition, the ants can enter your home or business through the same opening that pipes or wires go through. if acrobat ants come into your home or business, they generally prefer sweets and meat.

Carpenter Ants

Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants - Carpenter Ants

In Texas, there are 12 different species of Carpenter Ant. Therefore, these ants can be difficult to identify, as they vary in color and size. The color of carpenter ants can range from solid black, black head/red thorax/black abdomen, solid red and red head/red thorax/black abdomen. Often times, people confuse the male and female winged carpenter ants with termite swarmers.

Carpenter Ants are typically large, red and black. Also, they travel alone. While you may find a trail, only a few ants will be present. These ants are mostly nocturnal in the hot summer months in and around your home or business structure. The main characteristic features of Carpenter Ants include the following:

  • heart-shaped head
  • tiny hairs at the end of the abdomen
  • only one segment between their thorax and abdomen

Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants - Carpenter Ant Worker labeled

Both Are Wood Destroying Ants

Both Acrobat Ants and Carpenter Ants can cause damage to wood in and around structures. However, neither of these pests eat the wood as a termite does. These ant species rip and tear the wood to create nests. Carpenter Ants and Acrobat Ants can build nests in the following:

  • outside wood structures
  • wood piles
  • fences
  • old trees
  • walls
  • around windows
  • doors
  • decks
  • attics
  • landscaping lumber

Carpenter Ant and Acrobat Ant Swarming Season in Bryan/College Station

  • Carpenter Ants and Acrobat Ants produce reproductive swarmers once a year.
  • Swarms are triggered by high humidity/rain and warmer temperatures.
  • Swarmers are reproductive males and females. They fly and swarm together to mate and then the mated females go off and form their new colony.
  • Carpenter Ants infest any wood and will tunnel in the wood to increase the size of the nest. They will pitch out the wood shavings (aka “frass”), whereas Acrobat Ants typically infest areas that have rotted wood or damage from a previous nest.
  • Foraging Carpenter Ants are active during the day, but the heaviest activity is at night. To find the colony, you often have to follow the worker ants back to their colony at night.
Acrobat Ants vs. Carpenter Ants - Swarming Season
Carpenter Ant Male (left), Carpenter Ant Female (right)

How to Prevent an Ant Infestation in Your Bryan/College Station Home or Business

Often times, it is necessary to correct a moisture problem before it is possible to eliminate acrobat ants.

Signs of an acrobat ant infestation and acrobat ant nests can be difficult to locate. Therefore, our professionals here at City Pest Control, Inc. can treat an acrobat ant infestation in your home or business. Contact us with the link below for more information!

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