The Pavement Ant

how to identify pavement ants

How to identify pavement ants. By Joseph Berger – This image is Image Number 5393389 at Forestry Images, a source for forest health, natural resources and silviculture images operated by The Bugwood Network at the University of Georgia and the USDA Forest Service., CC BY 3.0, 

These urban dwellers may sound cute and chic, but infestations are anything but. If you notice infestations of pavement ants in your home around a structure, it’s important you treat to eliminate the colony as soon as possible.

HOW TO IDENTIFY PAVEMENT ANTS

Worker pavement ants are small, usually less than ⅛ of an inch. They are light to dark brown, with head and thoraxes that are separated by parallel lines. These ants have spins along the thorax and a larger stinger on the tip of their abdomens.


Appearance and Behavior

Pavement ants eat sweet foods, like fruit and honeydew, as well as insects and greasy foods. They may also be attracted to any food you have left out, like pet food.

These ants live in large colonies and produce swarms in June or July. They are usually found throughout the Atlantic coastal region as well as in the southern and western United States. Most often, their nests are found under cracks of pavement, though they can also be found under floors, in insulation, and between walls.

HOW DO YOU GET PAVEMENT ANTS


Pavement ants nest under, as the name implies, pavement. You might find them under your sidewalk or driveway, or even beneath your home’s foundation. Signs of infestation include a large pile of displaced soil near pavement. Pavement ants tend to head inside homes for the winter months, entering homes through cracks in slabs or through expansion joints.

These ants are most active at night, and you might find them trailing along pipes or electrical wires. While they originally enter your home through small gaps, the crumbs, trash, and pet food that your home offers serve as permanent attractants.


HOW TO GET RID OF PAVEMENT ANTS


how to get rid of pavement ants

How to get rid of pavement ants. By This image is created by user Dick Belgers at waarneming.nl, a source of nature observations in the Netherlands. – This image is uploaded as image number 7548420 at waarneming.nl, a source of nature observations in the Netherlands. This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons: Licensing for more information., CC BY 3.0, 

If you develop a pavement ant infestation, you must treat and eliminate the colony as soon as possible. Many people utilize commercial ant baits, although residual non-repellent sprays can also be effective. Residual repellent insecticides only kill a few at a time and will cause the colony to scatter and multiply.

If you choose to bait your pavement ants, use a slow-acting bait so that you can kill both the foraging ants and the worker ants. If the first ant bait you try is not effective, you may need to try a different one. These are based on different food sources that the ant finds in nature, so changing up the bait may get you closer to what the ant colony eats in real life.

If that still doesn’t work, you may need to contact a certified pest control professional. These professionals will be able to pinpoint the cause and source of your infestation, and then will work with you to develop a tailored solution to remove the annoyance altogether. This may save you time and money in the long run, as you won’t waste time experimenting with alternative methods of extermination.


Pavement Ant Facts


In order to properly eliminate a pavement ant infestation, you must put bait near their colonies or trails. Most of the time, you won’t notice them during the day but instead at night. They tend to displace soil around concrete objects, which is a telltale sign of infestation. You might also see them around logs or large rocks. In your home, searching for them around water sources like sinks or toilets, or along carpets or walls, can be an easy way to spot them.

Pavement ants can sting if provoked, so it’s important that you get rid of an infestation as soon as possible. These pests can be a major nuisance and because they live deep under the soil in yards before moving indoors, total elimination of their populations can be a major challenge.