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.
Are pavement ants hazardous to humans?
Yes. Since ants are attracted to foods, they can carry diseases from one area to another.
What do pavement ants eat, and where do they live?
Pavement ants nest in soil, between walls, and under sidewalks and driveways. They feed on practically every kind of food, with a preference for grease, oils, and sweets.
When are ants most common?
During warm weather, swarms of ants are outdoors during June and July but can happen anytime indoors, including winter. If you see ants inside your home during the winter months, a pest control expert should be contacted.
What can I do to prevent an infestation of ants?
Good housekeeping practices like keeping foods in sealed containers and areas free of spillage and crumbs will prevent ants. Sealing openings where ants may enter will also prevent an infestation.
Pavement ants are attracted to moisture. To discourage pavement ants, eliminate standing water around the home. Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house. Sometimes pavement ants use these branches to get into your home. Ensure firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home because pavement ants like to build nests beneath stacks of wood.
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