Acrobatic Ants

Acrobatic ants

“Ameisen-2005-06-28” by Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The acrobat ant gets its common name from raising its abdomen over its thorax and head when disturbed. These ants, which are actually several species, will bite on occasion and will give off a repulsive odor when disturbed.


  • Color: Vary from light brown to dark brown
  • Size:  1/16 to 1/8 inch long
  • Characteristics: Heart-shaped abdomen

Carpenter Ants


By Donald Hobern (originally posted to Flickr as Camponotus sp.) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Carpenter ants are one of the largest and most common ants in Michigan. Unlike termites, they only nest in wood and do not eat it. Outdoors, they commonly nest in hollow trees and stumps.


  • Color: Black, sometimes with reddish or yellowish decoration
  • Size:  3.4 to 13 mm long
  • Characteristics: Large mandibles

Little Black Ants


Little black ants are a native species found throughout the United States.


  • Color: Black or jet black
  • Size:  1.5 – 4mm
  • Characteristics: The ant waist is two-segmented, have no spines, thorax is unevenly rounded

Pavement Ants


Pavement ants invade buildings while foraging for food. Nests are outdoors under stones, along curbs or in cracks of pavement. They can nest indoors in walls and under floors.


  • Color: Light brown to black, appendages lighter than rest of body
  • Size:  2.5 to 3 mm long
  • Characteristics: Parallel lines on head and thorax

Pharaoh Ants


Pharaoh ants can take advantage of artificial heating in buildings to survive the winter. Infestations commonly occur in food service areas. They will nest in well-protected and hidden areas throughout a structure, but they can also nest outdoors in lawns or gardens in warm climates.


  • Color: Light yellow bodies with red and black markings on abdomen
  • Size:  2mm long
  • Characteristics: Small and yellow

Odorous House Ants

Tapinoma sessile - Ordorous House Ant

Tapinoma sessile casent0005329 dorsal 1” by This file is lacking author information. – Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Odorous ant nests are found in a great variety of situations. Inside buildings, they are often found nesting in the walls or beneath the floor. They are most likely to invade buildings during rainy weather. Odorous ants travel in trails, foraging day and night.


  • Color: dark brown or black with a node on their petiole (which is hidden by their abdomens)
  • Size:  2.4 – 3.3mm long
  • Characteristics: When their bodies are crushed, the smell of rotten coconut is emitted