Pavement Ants — A Serious Summer Problem
As a child, one of summer’s rites of passage probably includes watching a colony of ants go about their daily business, scurrying back and forth to their ant hills with their captured treasures. Unfortunately, though, not all ants are a sign of summer fun. While we’re familiar with the stinging bites of some ants, a more common household pest – the pavement ant – can cause serious damage and set off a virtual war between homeowners and this tiny pest.
How do you know if you have pavement ant infestations? The first most obvious answer is that they will inhabit paved areas. Do a visual check to observe whether these ants sport a spiny back or if they are simply black ants going about their business. These ants will also be brown to black and about 2.5 – 4 mm long. Another big sign would be the sudden discovery of thousands of dead ants all over a paved area. More on that in a minute!
Why are they such a pest? Well, like most ants, their reproduction rates are highest in the spring and summer seasons, turning a small problem into a big threat in a matter of days. June and July are the primary swarming and mating months. Additionally, they are quite aggressive, often attacking other colonies of pavement ants to take over territory – leaving literally thousands of dead ant bodies littering the pavement. Not a pleasant sight, to be sure! They can invade and take over areas that seem to be impenetrable and may even get into the house. And further, they dig out sand in the pavement in order to vent their nests, breaking down the pavement and causing serious damage. Oh, and they also sting and bite.
Once pavement ants are discovered, it’s important to take aggressive steps to treat the problem. Because of their persistent and aggressive nature, calling in an expert is an important first step. Their nests can be very difficult to locate, which is another reason an expert should be on hand. Pest control does not have to only include a chemical solution. We feel that by combining biological, cultural, and physical tools as well as the chemical, pest solutions can be handled in a way that minimizes economic, health and environmental risks – while still solving the basic pest problem.