Pavement ants make their homes in pavement and will attack properties throughout the year. They are light brown to black with appendages that are lighter than the rest of their body and are 1/16 of an inch to 1/8 of an inch long. They will feed on a wide variety of foods meats, grease, live and dead insects, seeds, pet food and honeydew from aphids along with many foods that are consumed by humans.
Are Pavement Ants Aggressive?
Pavement ants will set up trails to food sources from their nests and become a pest when large groups of them infest a kitchen or garden patio. Pavement ants do not bite but they possess the ability to sting. They are mostly docile and non-aggressive and will avoid confrontation when defending themselves instead of stinging. There are multiple queens within a colony and numerous workers and the worker ants will tend to the queen’s young until they become adults. Small piles of excavated materials are a sign you might have pavement ants along with spotting worker pavement ants or even swarmers, which are winged ants that will leave the colony to mate and start their own colonies.
Where Do Pavement Ants Nest?
You might find pavement ants under mulch or open areas of soil that are close to the foundation of buildings. They will also live underneath logs, stones, bricks, patio blocks and boards. They will nest in the cracks of driveways and under sidewalks, resulting in a mound of dirt on top of the pavement. When you find them inside, they will be nesting under floors, inside insulation or walls, baseboards, around plumbing, toilets, sinks, and along the edges of the carpet. They move in small motions and trails are easier to see at night. You can look around plumbing pipes and electrical wires for their trails.
How to Get Rid of Pavement Ant Infestations
Baiting is the preferred treatment of pavement ants and will need to be placed near the colonies or trails. Choose baits that are sugar-based and protein/grease-based. Use a slow-acting bait as quick-kill baits will only kill the foraging ants, and will not allow the worker ants to take the bait back home to feed the queen, nest workers and young. Slow-acting baits come in a variety of foods that ants will find in nature. The biggest thing to remember is to remove all other competition for food when baiting and once they start feeding on it, do not disturb them. If you have baits set up and the ants aren’t visiting it, you will need to try a different bait. Another option is the use a residual, non-repellent spray. However, these may only kill a few ants and cause the colony to scatter as it can stress them out. This may double your problem as it multiplies the ants. If you decide to use a spray, limit the treatment to soaking the mounds.