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How to get rid of pavement ants

Have ever looked at the sidewalk and seen what looks like thousands upon thousands of ants engaged in some epic battle? It is a good chance that you were seeing pavement ants. Pavement ants are not native to North America, but have been transplanted here, finding that they can adapt well to the North American climate and have spread across the country. Pavement ants have become one of the most common ants in the country and in Northwestern states like Oregon and Washington.

Although pavement ants generally live outdoors, they can end up inside if they find a reliable food source within a property. If you think that your home has a pavement ant problem, contact Western Exterminator and discuss ant control solutions that will remove the infestation and then prevent a return.


What do pavement ants look like?

Pavement ants are usually brown or black in color and may have both brown and black markings on their body and legs. They are generally small, growing to about 2.5-4mm in length.

This species of ant is distinguished from others by a pair of spines located on its back. You can also identify pavement ants by the tiny grooves on the head and across the length of the thorax. Pavement ants are also covered in tiny, fine, hairs.

Pavement ant life cycle

Pavement ants, like most species of ant, have specialized duties within their very large colonies. There is a queen who lays the eggs, drones whose sole purpose is to mate with the young queens, workers who take care of the queens and eggs and scavenger ants whose purpose is to go out and find food for the colony.

Pavement ants breed the most in spring and summer, which is when you are most likely to find them in huge numbers on sidewalks, patios and other paved areas around your property. This is also the time of year when pavement ants are most likely to end up in your house looking for food.

Flying pavement ants

Some pavement ants, known as alates, have wings and will fly away from a crowded colony to form a new one in a different location. These types of pavement ants are known as pavement ant swarmers. Pavement ants do not like a lot of vegetation, but still need some soil to burrow into and create chambers and tunnels for the colony. This unique preference makes them ideal for urban situations and why they have become quite common in cities and towns.

Pavement ants do have a stinger at the end of their abdomens. However, over time, it has evolved into a flat extension that is not really good for stinging and some believe it has been adapted for spreading a scent to find food.

What do pavement ants eat?

Pavement ants are very opportunistic when it comes to finding food for their colony. Like most species of ant, they like the sugary and sweet things like honeydew and sugary foods left out by people in their homes. That means anything from actual sugar, pastries, cakes, cookies, ice cream, honey and other sweets. They also have shown a penchant for food like cheese and bread.

Pavement ants will eat just about anything they can easily bring back to the colony. This includes seeds and smaller insects.

Do pavement ants bite?

Pavement ants are not known to bite or sting humans. When it comes to humans, pavement ants tend to be quite docile, interested only in finding food for their colony and not interested in hunting people. Mostly they are considered nuisance pests rather than physically dangerous threats to humans, children or pets.

How to get rid of pavement ants

Remember, pavement ants do not really want to invade your home or come into contact with you. They are just looking for food and they prefer to stay outside. However, as their name indicates, they tend to end up in areas where there are people and pavement and this brings them into close contact with homes, backyards, families and pets and sometimes they come indoors.

The best way to get rid of pavement ants in the house is to contact a professional who can find out where they are getting in, where their main nest is and the bests ways to treat them.

However, you can also get rid of pavement ants by preventing pavements ants in the first place:

  • Seal up cracks and spaces around your house so pavement ants cannot get in
  • Repair screens and ensure doors go all the way to the ground with door sweeps
  • Be clean and this means cleaning up food on the kitchen floor or keeping food kept outside sealed up tight so pavement ants cannot get inside.
  • Get rid of anything stacked or piled up against the house because pavement ants and other pests can actually use that to gain access to your home.
  • Trim back grass, bushes and vegetation near the house so ants and other creepy-crawlies don't come into contact with the house.
  • Keep pipes and other water-producing things dry and clean.

Pavement ant wars

If there is one thing that pavement ants are known for is their tendency to go to war with other colonies of pavement ants. This is what you see when you stumble across hundreds or even thousands of ants scrambling around and seemingly fighting each other in a sidewalk. These can get very large and involve huge numbers, often leaving behind the dead bodies of thousands of soldiers.

This happens because pavement ants are aggressive when they want to expand. They often invade other pavement ant colonies and those colonies, in turn, aggressively defend their colonies, resulting in all-out war.

Pavement ants in outer space

In 2014, pavement ants were taken into space and studied on the International Space Station to see how well ants could thrive in zero gravity. The scientists discovered that pavement ants adapted well to zero G and soon began working together like they do back on earth to create a colony and provide for each other.

Get rid of pavement ants with Western Exterminator

Western Exterminator ant control specialists understand how pavement ants behave. One of our dedicated pest experts can help you discover where the ant colony is located and how they are getting inside your home. A pavement ant infestation is unsightly to have inside or outside your home. No wants to sit on their patio among thousands of squirming, crawling ants fighting with each other.

Contact Western Exterminator and tell us about the ant problem and where you are seeing them. We’ll work with you to create a treatment program that will get rid of the current ants and prevent a return invasion.

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