What Every Maryland Resident Should Know About Acrobat Ant Control
It’s another beautiful summer season in Maryland. With all the beauty and greenery that comes with Maryland summers, there are also plenty of pests that rear their ugly heads to take advantage. Maryland pest control is on its guard for all the different types of pests that can become summertime infestations. And one such culprit is a six-legged nuisance known as the acrobat ant.
Where Do Acrobat Ants Get Their Name?
Acrobat ants are different from other ants because of the way they behave when they sense danger. When they feel threatened or become irritated, these ants lift the last section of their body high above their head. This movement resembles an acrobat doing a balancing act.
Luckily, acrobat ants are not able to jump. But they are able to climb, and they do a significant amount of adventuring to find places to nest. They are one of the few ant species in the area that choose to make nests in wood structures, which might mean your home.
How To Tell If Acrobat Ants Are On Your Property
Since acrobat ants enjoy chewing tunnels into wood, a colony could start on a log or dead tree on the property. From there, it could spread into the house if ants find their way to it. Signs of an acrobat ant infestation are:
- Ant trails on wires, pipes, or utility lines leading into walls
- Flying swarmer ants with wings
- Shed wings from swarmer ants
- Piles of excavated sawdust
- Removed wood scraps from burrowed tunnels
Trails of ants forage within about a 100-foot radius of their colony. This means seeing trails outside or on your foundation could indicate they’ve breached the inside. As these ants mine their tunnels into wood structures, you’ll find sawdust that has floated down into conical piles. You might also find debris they’ve carried out to clear the way.
Swarmer ants are winged reproductive members of the colony. They fly out to mate, losing their wings after they copulate. It’s easiest to catch them at dusk, and they are most active in the late summer months. If you’re seeing a lot of these swarmers, the problem might require professional ant control for homeowners rather than DIY measures.
What Attracts Acrobat Ants
Because ants don’t mind foraging over long distances, they aren’t just attracted to nearby food. Acrobat ants are also attracted to moist wood, which is easiest to nibble into. Things that attract acrobat ants are:
- Moist wood
- Rotten wood
- Sweet foods
- Food with a lot of protein like meats
To deter ants from getting comfortable in your home, keep all food sealed in airtight containers. Their foraging might bring them to the wood, as well. Ant control solutions start with securing your outside yard.
How To Keep Acrobat Ants Away From Your Yard
At Capitol Pest, we know you’d prefer to avoid an infestation to begin with so you don’t have to call any ant pest control at all. It starts with ant control in your yard. The main incentives to enter a house are damp, easily chewed wood and the promise of food.
Here are some ways you can avoid acrobat ant colonies in your yard:
- Get rid of standing water sources.
- Have efficient gutters and downspouts.
- Remove fallen branches, logs, and other dead wood.
- Keep shrubbery and tree branches trimmed so they don’t lead to the house’s exterior.
- Store your firewood on a raised platform, or even in a container.
- Keep firewood 20 feet away from the house.
The key to outdoor ant control is to not let ants feel invited by stumbling on food, moisture, or wood. If you eliminate standing water and excess wood from the property, you stand a much better chance of avoiding these pests.
At Capitol Pest, we have served Maryland's commercial businesses and residences for more than 80 years. With a zoologist, entomologist, and biochemist on staff, our expertise makes us the best ant control near you. We're so confident in our ability to solve your pest problem that we offer free inspections and estimates. If you feel overwhelmed by acrobat ants or any pest infestation, reach out to us immediately.