The pavement ant (Tetramorium caespitum) is a common nuisance for homeowners and businesses alike. These small, hardy insects thrive in urban and suburban areas, often building their nests under sidewalks, driveways, and foundations. This guide will help you identify pavement ants, understand their behavior, and manage their colonies effectively.
Pavement ants are small, measuring about 2.5 to 3 mm in length. Their bodies are dark brown to blackish, and they have parallel lines on their head and thorax. One distinct feature is the pair of small spines on their back, which is not found in similar ants.
They have two nodes on their petiole (the slender waist between the thorax and abdomen), which is a characteristic shared with other species. The stingers are present but usually not used unless the ant is threatened.
Behavior and Lifestyle
Pavement ants earn their name due to their preference for nesting in and under hard surfaces such as pavement, concrete, and bricks. These ants are omnivorous and will feed on a wide variety of foods, including insects, seeds, honeydew, fruits, and discarded human food.
Their colonies can contain up to 10,000 workers and several queens. The ants are most active during warm weather, often seen traveling in trails to and from food sources.
Managing pavement ants can be a challenge due to their hard nature and the inaccessibility of their nests. Here are a few techniques you can employ:
- Baiting: This is a highly effective method for controlling pavement ants. Ant baits containing slow-acting insecticides allow the ants to carry the bait back to the colony, eventually killing the queens and other members.
- Insecticide Treatments: Non-repellent insecticides can be used around the perimeter of a structure to prevent ants from entering. These treatments also slowly kill ants that come into contact with them, allowing ants to carry the insecticide back to the nest.
- Professional Pest Control Services: Consider hiring a professional ant exterminator in severe infestations or cases where DIY methods are not working. They have access to more potent solutions and have the expertise to deal with entrenched colonies.
While pavement ants can bite, they are not generally dangerous. Their primary threat is as a nuisance pest in and around homes and businesses.
Look out for their distinctive trails along pavements and the small piles of excavated earth at the entrance of their nests. You might also spot them indoors, particularly in search of food.
Prevention methods include sealing cracks and crevices in building exteriors, maintaining cleanliness, particularly in kitchen areas, and controlling moisture levels around your property.
Struggling with a persistent pavement ant problem? Don’t let these pests take over. Call our professional extermination services now for a quick and effective solution. We provide comprehensive and environmentally friendly pest control options that ensure your property remains ant-free. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation!