The acrobat ant is known as such, because when disturbed, a worker raises the tip of its abdomen up over its head and walks on its forelegs, thus appearing to do a traveling handstand.
Acrobat ants are small, shiny, have a brown to black color, as well as a very distinctive heartshaped abdomen. You may see them trailing in your house or yard, or sometimes, if you have had a previous carpenter ant infestation, they will secondarily take over affected wood galleries or nest sites.
Acrobat ants may nest in rotting or water damaged wood. The presence of these ants in structures is often indicative of a moisture problem related to a leak. Acrobat ants never attack sound wood and structural damage associated with them is minimal.
Some homeowners become alerted to an infestation when they see grayish bits of material (fine sawdust-like excrement and ant parts) being pushed out from under a floor joint or from behind a wall void. This is often mistaken for mouse damage and nesting. Call a pest professional if you suspect a problem — they will be able to establish the difference between mouse and acrobat ant damage. Treating for ants and treating for mice are two very different things!