With over 12,000 species traversing the grounds, ants are everywhere in the world, excluding Antarctica. One of the oldest insects to have lived through the millennia, ants are very adaptable and since most species are social insects, they have their colony operating smoothly and efficiently. With their typically habits, ants are known for infiltrating homes, pilfering the crumbs and delivering painful stings in defense of their queen and colony. In Texas, there are a handful of more commonly seen species of ants and among them include in pavement ants. With that in mind, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to further discuss the basics of pavement ants.
Where Do Pavement Ants Come From?
Frequently constructing their homes under pavement structures, pavement ants are so rightfully named. In the outdoor environment, pavement ants are typically constructing their nests under stones cracks of pavement, as well as next to buildings; just beneath the slab. Under the slab-on-grade construction, the foragers enter through cracks in slabs or other openings as well as through expansion joints in slabs. When they do infiltrate homes, they can be found under floors, in the walls, and insulation.
What Do Pavement Ants Look & Act Like?
These ants are one of the smaller species only measuring between 1/16” and 1/8” length. Their abdomens are typically all black, where the rest of them are a blackish-brown apart from their 6 legs and antennae which are paler. Pavement ants have grooves across the head and thorax and feature 2 distinct spines on the back with 2 nodes on the petiole. Though pavement ants are active all year long, they seem more active through June and July because the swarmers (reproducers) are leaving the colony to begin a new one. The pavement ant’s diet includes sweets, fruit, honeydew, pet food, greasy foods, and insects.
Are Pavement Ants Harmful?
During the spring pavement ants tend to be more aggressive towards other ants. Typically, they move in small motions and their trails are easily spotted at night along plumping pipes and electrical wires. Though they are more active in the evening hours, they are still noted during the day. Outside they are busy removing the soil around concrete objects like driveways, sidewalks, patios, curbs, and so on. When they displace the loose soil, they can also potentially be seen along the cracks or joints in the sidewalks or driveways. Pavement ants can bite and do have a stinger on their last abdominal segment; however, fortunately they rarely bite or sting humans.
How Do I Know if I Have Pavement Ants?
Their colonies and trails need to be adequately treated in order to effectively neutralize pavement ants. If when they are first noticed, be sure to check around logs or large rocks for colonies as well as around the foundations of your home and underneath brick patios. Inside be sure to inspect behind baseboards, plumbing lines, sinks, toilets, and along the edges of carpets as well as in the insulation of attics and wall voids as best you can. More often than not, when pavement ants do infiltrate your home, they will have waves of workers ants marching in line to the kitchen to scavenge their favorite sweets, or any other crumbs they can take. Their bites do sting and they will do so when they feel threatened but pavement ants are more docile and avoid confrontation. Though the sting is uncomfortable, their bites are not a serious health risk. Pavement ants have multiple queens, making their colonies especially large. As they can be a challenge to exterminate without proper training and knowledge, it is well worth the investment to seek professional assistance.