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


  • Rose bushes, fruit trees and any shrub that attracts aphids may contribute to an infestation.
  • 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 El Paso TX

Acrobat ants get their name from the workers’ habit of raising their abdomen above their heads, looking like tiny gymnasts.  They commonly invade homes and businesses across the El Paso TX and Anthony NM areas. These ant pests prefer to build nests in moist, decaying, or rotting wood. Acrobat ants love honeydew and practice mutualism, which means they tend aphids and feed on the honeydew produced by aphids. They come in conflict with homeowners when they nest in trees and decayed wood around the home, in places like porches and eaves.

Acrobat Ant Habitat

When nesting outside acrobat ants prefer to live in trees.  Inside, acrobat ants will take up residence in old or abandoned carpenter ant and termite galleries in wood, house voids, and insulation and walls. Sugary substances, proteins, and dead insects make up their favorite foods. Inside homes, these ants infest damp or rotting wood, often around windows and drain spouts. Accessing homes through small cracks and crevices, electrical lines, and tree limbs, acrobat ants can frustrate homeowners. When searching for food, these ant pests prefer kitchen cabinets and pantries. Their presence, whether indoors or outdoors, indicates decaying wood.

Acrobat Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Worker acrobat ants have been known to release an offensive odor and bite aggressively when disturbed. Reactions to bites are typically mild and may last from a few hours to a few days. However, the very real danger posed by acrobat ants is their ability to create a fire hazard. They construct nests in woodwork and insulation, stripping the insulation off of wires, creating a potential fire hazard. If an acrobat ant infestation is suspected, it is recommended to contact a professional ant exterminator.