Pavement ants’ name is derived from the common location in which they live, in cracks and crevices of pavement and concrete. The tell tail sign of pavement ant colonies are the characteristic small mounds of soil which surround the entrances to their nests. These ants are common invaders of structures and will eat a variety of items including other insects, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts, cheeses and seeds. Feeding habits change with the seasons. High protein materials are commonly sought out when young are being raised and sugar based foods at other times of the year. Although they are not typically aggressive, they are capable of biting and stinging. Pavement Ants pose little public health risk in themselves; however, they are capable of contaminating food and therefore should be avoided. Small in size, pavement ants measure 1/10th to 1/16th of an inch in length and are dark-brown in color.
To obtain control of pavement ants in and around structures, residents must first eliminate food and water sources whenever possible. Ants typically only invade structures in search of food and water. A deep cleaning of areas where food products are stored and prepared will assist in eliminating the ant infestation. Even tiny crumbs of food are considered to be a meal to ants. Another reason for a thorough cleaning within the home during an ant infestation is to help eliminate scent trails that ants utilize in marking and establishing sources of food and water. Removal of trash from the home daily may also assist in decreasing ant activity. Repairing water leaks and removal of standing water will also assist in eradicating ant infestations. Most ants within homes are nesting on the exterior of the structure. Eliminate leaf litter, debris and heavy mulch or rocks around the foundation of the home to decrease ground cover that they provide to ant colonies.
Several products are available for treatment and control of pavement ant colonies. Pest control professionals have access to numerous products and the knowledge to know which product will work best in each individual situation. Baits (both gel and granular), sprays and dust applications are some of the more common products utilized in treating for ants. Knowing where to apply these products in relation to the ants is an important aspect of treatment as different ants have different habits. For this reason, positive identification of the species of ant may also assist in eradication of the colony.