Acrobat Ant

Actual Size: 2.5 to 4 mm

Characteristics: Light brown to black; heart-shaped abdomen when viewed from above.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Swarmers or reproductives have wings.

Habitat: Prefers rotting and decaying wood and will inhabit old carpenter ant or termite galleries. In homes and structures, will nest in wall voids around doors, window frames, and insulation.


  • Will not nest in sound wood, but instead prefers to nest in damp or rotting wood.
  • Due to their ability to strip the insulation off of wires, they can cause short circuits, creating a fire hazard.
  • When excited or disturbed, acrobat ant workers will run around with their abdomens held high above their heads.

Acrobat Ants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque NM

Acrobat ants commonly infest homes and businesses across the Sante Fe and Albuquerque areas. They get their name from their ability to acrobatically raise their abdomen over their head, especially when disturbed.  Acrobat ants practice mutualism—the practice of tending aphids and feeding on the honeydew that the aphids produce. They can become an issue for homeowners when they nest in trees and decayed wood around the home, in places like porches and eaves.

Acrobat Ant Habitat

When outside, acrobat ants prefer to nest in trees. Indoors, it is not uncommon for them to move into old or abandoned carpenter ant and termite galleries in wood, wall voids, and insulation. Omnivores, acrobat ants feed on both plant and animal matter, preferring sweets, proteins, and dead insects. They may nest in trees on the homeowner’s property or in decayed wood around the home in places like decks, porches, and eaves. Inside homes, these ants infest damp or rotting wood, often around windows and drain spouts. Their presence generally indicates a moisture issue within the structure.

Acrobat Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Aggressive pests, worker acrobat ants have been known to bite and release a dreadful odor when aggravated. Most people experience a mild reaction that may last from a few hours to a few days. Acrobat ants can be a real danger to homeowners as they can create fire hazards as they forage. They construct nests in woodwork and insulation, stripping the insulation off of wires, and causing short circuits, creating a fire hazard. If an acrobat ant infestation is suspected, it is recommended to contact a professional ant exterminator.

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