Pavement Ants

Native to Europe, Pavement ants are one of the most common ant species in the U.S. You can probable guess how they earned there name. It is because they love to make their homes under pavement, building slabs, and driveways. The Pavement Ant can be identified by two nodes on the petiole, grooves on the head, thorax, and one pair of spines on the back.

During the spring and summer seasons, pavement ants colonies often attack nearby enemy colonies. This results in a severe battle, most times leaving thousands of ants dead. Because of their aggressive nature, they often invade seemingly impenetrable areas outside their native colonies. In summer, the ants dig out the sand between the pavements to vent their nests.

 

Size and Characteristics of Pavement Ants

The pavement ant is about 2.5-4 mm long. They range in color from dark brown to blackish with antennae and paler legs. Like other ants, there are a queen, workers, and swarmers. The new queens have wings and are at least twice as big as the workers. Workers do have a small stinger, which can cause discomfort in humans but is essentially harmless. 

 

Despite their differences, however, these are the distinguishing characteristics of the pavement ants:

 

  • A pair of spines on the back
  • Stinger in the last abdominal segment
  • Queens have wings and are twice as large as the workers
  • Grooves on the head and thorax
  • Two nodes on the petiole
  • 12-segmented antennae with a three-segmented club.

Pavement Ants Nesting Areas

The Pavement ants are found throughout the West Coast, Atlantic coastal region, and in the mid-western United States. As their name implies, nests are found outside under pavements, next to buildings, and under stones. Periodically they may be found under floors, in walls, and insulation. On the off chance that your home is a slab-on-grade construction, these ants raiders enter through cracks in slabs. 

 

Habits 

Although pavement ants possess the ability to sting, they don’t bite. Pavement ants are docile and aggressive when fighting for colonies, preferring to avoid battle rather than stinging to defend themselves.

Pavement ants feed on a wide variety of foods, including sweets, grease, meats, seeds, dead insects, honeydew from aphids, and many more. They can eat many foods consumed by humans. The workers forage for food for their colonies and set up trails to food sources from their nests. Also, they enter houses in search of foods and can become a nuisance when large number infests a kitchen. Here are other habits of pavement ants:

 

  • They move slowly
  • Look at plumbing pipes and electrical wires for their trails
  • Their trails are most easily spotted at night
  • During the spring, are highly aggressive against and invade other Ants colonies.

Why Are Pavement Ants Difficult To Control?

Pavement ants are a huge nuisance when they invade any home or property. Once they’re living on your house, over time, they will find their way inside your home, causing nuisance while foraging for food. Since your home can offer food and shelter to them they will most likely decide to stay until they are forced out.

The combination of having multiple nesting areas, nesting in very hard to reach areas, and entering homes in huge numbers, make pavement ants a challenging pest to eliminate without the help of a professional. 

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