Pavement ants are rarely aggressive, but they can bite and sting when disturbed. Their sting can cause mild discomfort in humans, but pavement ants are essentially harmless.
Pavement ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.
As their name suggests, pavement ants are typically found outside nesting under pavement sidewalks and driveways, beneath slabs, and between walls. But they can get into homes and buildings through tiny cracks, around doors and windows, and beneath sliding doors. Though generally harmless, pavement ants can bite and sting when disturbed.
The pavement ant is dark brown to blackish and 2.5 mm to 4 mm (1/10 – 1/8 inch) long. Its head and thorax exhibit fine parallel grooves. Pavement ant workers are one size within the colony and have two nodes in the pedicel.
During the warmer months, pavement ants are typically found outside nesting under pavement sidewalks and driveways, beneath slabs, and between walls. But they can get into homes and buildings through tiny cracks, around doors and windows, and beneath sliding doors.
Pavement ants will eat almost anything, including live & dead insects, seeds, honey, bread, meats, nuts, pet food, and cheese. They forage in trails for distances of up to 30 feet and are known to climb masonry walls to enter occupied areas.
Pavement ants forage predominately at night but during early spring and summer, they will also forage during the day. Pavement ants lay a chemical trail from the food source back to the nest, and it is common to see a trail of ants inside a home.
When a pavement ant queen finds a suitable nesting location, she will dig a founding chamber where she can lay her eggs.
As the eggs hatch and the ants develop, they will spend their first two to three months tending to the queen of their colony.
How do I get rid of carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants require a moist or humid environment to survive. To prevent carpenter ants in the home, eliminate sources of moisture or standing water. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house as they can use these branches to get into your home. Make sure that there are no cracks or openings around the bottom of doors or windows. Seal cracks with a silicone-based caulk. Also, keep firewood and building materials away from your home. Carpenter ants like to build nests in stacks of wood.
Where am I most likely to find carpenter ants?
Carpenter ants prefer damp areas and may construct their nests anywhere on properties including, walls, ceilings, attics, doors, window sills, shingles, and insulation.
Are carpenter ants hazardous to humans?
No. Although Carpenter ants do not sting, they can inflict pain with their bites.
What are the signs of a carpenter ant infestation?
Signs of a carpenter ant infestation include the appearance of small openings on the surface of the wood. Carpenter ants expel debris, sawdust-like shavings, and seeing this is a good indication of an active infestation.
Do weather conditions affect the size of a carpenter ant infestation?
Yes. Warm, damp conditions are ideal for carpenter ant colonies to establish themselves.
Carpenter ants prefer to attack wood softened by fungus and are often associated with moisture problems, so homeowners should look out for excess moisture and soft, rotting wood around the home.
How can I tell if I have a carpenter ant infestation on my property?
The presence of big black or dark-colored worker ants in your home is one of the first indications of a possible carpenter ant infestation. If chewed wood, like sawdust, is seen, chances are you have an active nest. Check all areas where you suspect excess moisture exists.
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