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Pavement ants are generally overlooked whenever they infest the home because they are so common, but these ants can cause some serious troubles, such as spreading salmonella throughout the home.

What are pavement ants?

Pavement ants are perhaps the most common pest insect in the US. They will often be mistaken for house ants or sugar ants, because of how similar these species look. Pavement ants are usually 1/10-1/8 inch long, and black, red-brown or brown in coloration. When it comes to their behavior, these ants like to create their colonies under heavy pieces of masonry, such as large slabs of rock, under concrete, and under driveways. They also have the ability to sting, but stinging is a rare occurrence. In terms of castes, pavement ants have workers and reproductives. In the reproductive caste, you have swarmers, which are the winged ants that fly out to create new nests, and the queen.

Where do they come from?

Pavement ants are not native to the US. They reached the North American continent sometime in the 18th to 19th century from Europe. The ants would get on the ships because European vessels had to be weighed down with dirt for overseas voyages. Once the ships would reach their destination in America, the dirt would be disposed of, and in some of these dirt packages, you had pavement ants.

A pavement ant colony is usually started between the months of May to July, which is when you have the breeding season for this species. A swarmer, or winged reproductive ant, will start the colony under a solid, strong material, such as concrete or a giant stone or driveways. If the initial stage of the colony is successful, the colony will grow larger and larger, and develop satellites, becoming increasingly difficult to remove.

How are they controlled?

Because pavement ants build their colonies under solid slabs of rock, concrete or pavement, the colonies can be hard to remove using direct application insecticides. Instead, a pest control professional will use baits. Baits will draw the ants out of the colony, and the workers will pick up the bait, take it back to the colony and share it around. Before long, the bait will reach the queen, poisoning and killing it, completely destroying the capacity of the colony to reproduce. Contact us today if you suspect that you have a pavement ant infestation and we will help you remove it.