There are several acrobat ant species in Dallas, Texas. They get their name from their ability to bring their abdomens up over their bodies. If you see tiny ants crawling around on your Dallas property, and they have this characteristic, you're probably looking at acrobat ants. If you need more for identification, they're also light brown to black in coloration and range in size from about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in length. These are arboreal ants that nest in rotting wood, stumps, logs, and trees. Fortunately, they do a limited amount of damage to wood. You won't have to be as concerned about acrobat ants as you would be about carpenter ants. The chief issue they create is that they can get into your home and get into your stored foods. It is also possible to get stung by these ants if you disturb their nesting sites. While not as fiery or as irritating as fire ant stings, it can be unpleasant. Let's discuss how you can prevent these problems. It begins with the removal of attractants around the structures on your property.
If the exterior of your Dallas home is ideal for acrobat ant habitation, you're going to have more of these ants. If you have a lot of acrobat ants, there is a greater chance that they're going to find a way into your home. Makes sense, right? Use these tips to alter the habitat that attracts acrobat ants.
Moisture — This is a key factor for acrobat ant habitation. They want to be in a yard, and a perimeter around a home, that has moisture issues. What do we mean? If you're not aware, your exterior should be dry on the surface. While your plants need moisture to be healthy, too much moisture can lead to poor plant health. It can also lead to wood decay, which attracts acrobat ants. One of the most important things you can do to prevent moisture problems is to prevent oversaturation of the soil. And, one of the best ways to do this is to keep your gutters cleaned and in good repair.
Debris — A yard with lots of leaves and sticks will be very attractive to these ants. If you have leaf litter in your landscaping or piles of leaves under your deck, it is a good idea to use a blower to get those leaves out.
Dead Wood — Logs, stumps, stick piles, and any other wood debris in your yard will lure these ants to your property. Yard work, especially in the spring, is essential.
Wood Decay — Your home and the structures on your property can also become an attractant for acrobat ants. As structures get older and the wood begins to rot, acrobat ants start to take notice. Repair wood and apply paint or stain to keep wood protected.
When acrobat ants get into your yard, they'll start exploring the perimeter around your home. As they do this, they'll scrutinize your exterior and explore every crack and crevice. It is a good idea for you to scrutinize the perimeter first. Here are some potential entry points to consider:
Some exterior doors have issues with improperly installed door sweeps, particularly on double doors, and even more particularly on basement doors. If you can see light coming in at the base of your exterior doors, you need to address the sweeps.
Over time, the weatherstripping around your exterior doors can begin to wear out. When it wears out, gaps can begin to form. New weatherstripping needs to be applied to seal those gaps.
When plumbing is installed, the gap around pipes is sometimes not adequately sealed. Inspect your water main and other plumbing pipes to make sure there are no gaps.
Foundations can develop cracks. These are perfect entry points for acrobat ants and many other pests. Use a foundation repair kit to seal the cracks.
Windows can offer many entry points for acrobat ants. This is particularly true of windows that are in basement walls. Check to make sure any gaps around your window frames are sealed and that there are no holes or openings in your frames.
Targeted Ant Control
If you have high ant pressures, it may be necessary to use control products to eliminate colonies. For the best results, have a licensed pest professional select and administer these products. A professional will be able to properly identify the pest ants you're dealing with, track down nesting areas, and administer products in a way that they will not be countered by weather and other phenomena.
If you live in Dallas, Texas, remember that the service team here at All-Safe Pest & Termite is always available to help. We have experience with Dallas pests and we specialize in wood-destroying organisms which are attracted to the same conditions that attracted acrobat ants. Reach out to us for immediate assistance.