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Black Pavement Ants: What You Need to Know


What Are Pavement Ants?

Pavement ants are so named because you’ll often see their nests made in between cracks on the pavement. When you see ants on sidewalks, there’s a good chance that what you’re seeing is black pavement ants. They build their nests into these cracks, taking advantage of the natural hollows that ice and rain have created and the strong protection that cement, concrete, and brick surroundings provide.

What Does a Pavement Ant Look Like?

Pavement ants can be identified by their size and color. They are typically 1/8 inch long, appear reddish-brown to black, and have heads that may strike you as slightly oversize. They are sometimes called black pavement ants due to their coloring. Their colonies usually house multiple queens, meaning they can establish a foothold in an area very quickly.

Are Black Pavement Ants an Issue?

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. 

Where Are Pavement Ants Found?

They eat a range of foods also consumed by humans and if they identify your home as a good place for foraging, they can aggressively move in. They eat almost anything they can find, but they have a craving for the sweet, fatty foods in your kitchen. They will forage for food up to thirty feet, and they can climb virtually any surface.

What makes pavement ants most difficult to deal with is their capability to hide their nests very effectively. Outside, they’re readily identifiable by the mounds of excavated dirt they make above cracks in the pavement. Inside, however, there are more nooks and crannies for them to hide inside. They enjoy building nests under the floorboards, or inside walls. They also enjoy making nests in insulation.

Pavement ants will use the pipes and wiring of your house to access other floors, and prefer to nest near heat sources. They can create electrical problems as they build and travel.

Do Pavement Ants Bite?

They probably won’t bite, but they will sting if provoked. This can hurt, although they are slow-moving and aren’t as keen to swarm as a species like fire ants. They’re more shy. They’d rather run and hide, surviving to eat your food another day.

How to Prevent Black Pavement Ants

The most common question pest control experts get when dealing with pavement ants is how to keep them out. Here are some of the ways to do so:

  • One of the best things you can do is to keep all of your food sealed. Even if you have the cleanest house in the world, the chances are good that those ants can penetrate that cereal box or the sugar bowl, so seal everything in a solid container or a Ziploc bag for best results.
  • Additionally, you will want to go ahead and keep your kitchen as clean as you possibly can. Don’t leave dishes out on the counter overnight, and make certain you wipe down your counter and your table after eating.
  • You’ll also want to sweep as often as you can to keep food crumbs off of your floor and distract pavement ants.
  • Check your bathroom as well, for products like toothpaste and cough drops can prove attractive to these pests.

If you have a problem with pavement ants, the single best thing you can do is give us a call at 508-756-5197. We’ll not only help you solve the problem, but also give you the tips and tricks you need to keep them out of your home year after year.

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