As their name implies, Pavement ants frequently nest in or under cracks in pavement. Pavement ants first came to the United States on board the ships bringing early European colonists to the Americas. After establishing themselves in the west, Pavement ants spread across the eastern half of the US. Today, they are a very common house pest.
APPEARANCE AND BEHAVIOR
Pavement ant workers measure 1/8″ long. The queens are about 3/8″ long. Their bodies are brown or black with lighter legs and antennae. They have grooved, parallel lines running across their heads and thoraxes. Their thoraxes are unevenly rounded and have a pair of small spines facing backward from the rear. Pavement ants have a stinger but they rarely use it.
Pavement ant colonies are comprised of several hundred to several thousand individuals. The time it takes Pavement ants to develop into adults varies from 36 to 63 days. Winged reproductive ants appear indoors from February into early June and outside in June and July.
Inside, pavement ants occasionally nest in walls, insulation, and under floors. Most often, Pavement ants nest in the ground-level masonry walls of foundations, especially near heat sources. They often follow pipes from the outside of a building until they get inside.
Outside, Pavement ants typically nest under stones, in cracks in pavement, and next to buildings. They enter buildings through cracks in the slab and walls, slab expansion joints, utility and heat duct openings, and in the natural gaps of buildings. They’re not aggressive, but workers can bite and sting. Pavement ants feed on almost anything, including insects, honeydew, seeds, plant sap, and household foods. They’re especially attracted to meats and grease. Worker Pavement ants forage together in single-file trails. These trails can travel up to 30 feet in search of food.
PAVEMENT ANT CONTROL AND PREVENTION
The best way to prevent ant infestations is to diligently clean up food. Keep your kitchen counter, dining areas, and garbage space clean and tidy at all times. Store your food in airtight, hard plastic containers whenever possible. Clean out your pantry and cupboards frequently to prevent crumb build-up. Never leave food or beverages sitting out for any longer than you have to. Take the garbage out to your outdoor dumpster as frequently as possible. Try not to let any food rot or otherwise go bad inside your home. Watch for plumbing leaks around your kitchen, too!
PROFESSIONAL PEST CONTROL
When you call us about a Pavement ant infestation, a Plunkett’s technician will visit your home to assess the situation as soon as possible. First, we’ll trace worker ants to the nest locations. When we find these nests, we’ll apply a variety of residual and non-residual insecticide formulations to the nests directly.
After we’ve treated the nests, we’ll also apply a perimeter treatment to the exterior foundation of your home. This treatment will act as a barrier to help prevent future infestations. In other words, when you call Plunkett’s, we don’t just wipe out your current infestation. We also make sure it can’t happen again.