Pest Library | Acrobat Ants

Crematogaster species

Acrobat Ant - Crematogaster
Color: Yellowish Brown to Dark brown, Black
Legs: 6
Shape: Segmented; Heart-shaped abdomen; sting
Size: approx 1/8″
Antennae: Yes
Region: Throughout the US
Named the Acrobat Ant because the worker ants carry their abdomens above the rest of their body as if they are performing a balancing act when they are disturbed.


Acrobat Ants eat a wide variety of foods including sweets, meats (protein) and other insects – living or dead. The workers are known to bite aggressively and give off a repulsive odor when alarmed. Winged forms (or reproductives – known as swarmers) usually appear in the fall of the year. Swarmers are harmless, but they may be the first indication of an Acrobat Ant infestation if they are found in the home. They may enter the home by crawling along electrical or phone lines and will gain entry to a building through holes or cracks.


Outdoors, Acrobat Ants nest in dead and decaying wood – logs, tree stumps, dead tree limbs, firewood and hollow tree cavities; in damp soil beneath leaf litter or rocks; in damaged wood in porches or eaves; and can be found in shrubs or ornamentals.

Indoors, Acrobat Ants nest in wall voids, rotted wood in windows and door frames, foam insulating board or sheathing. Look for sawdust or other materials around suspected nests.


When disturbed Acrobat Ants can sting and bite.


To prevent entry into a structure, seal all internal and external cracks, crevices and around utility lines. Repair any damaged wood in windows, door frames, porches, and eaves. Store woodpiles away from the house or garage. Trim shrubs/trees away from the home. Eliminate any moisture problems.

* Information courtesy of the Iowa State UniversityUniversity of Minnesota ExtensionUniversity of Florida – Department of Entomology and Nematology, * Image courtesy of

For more information on South Jersey Acrobat Ants, check out the articles in AB-Con’s Bug Blog: