As their name suggests, pavement ants commonly build nests under and around sidewalks, patios, cracks in driveways and other areas of paved ground. Sometimes, they also nest in landscaping materials such as wood piles, mulch, bricks, patio stones and large rocks. These ants have also been known to nest in house foundations. If they move indoors, they’ll build nests inside walls and under floors.
Pavement ant colonies are easier to find than those of other ants because of the dirt mounds that usually signal the entrances to their nests. If you see tiny piles of dirt near the walls of your home, it’s likely that pavement ants have gotten inside. The nest, though, will still be difficult to access without the help of an Aptive professional.
Other areas to look for pavement ants indoors include sinks and plumbing, toilets, attics and the edges of carpets. One common way pavement ants enter a house is under sliding doors.
A colony of pavement ants usually contains between 3,000 and 5,000 ants but can sometimes exceed 30,000. They can have more than one queen ant per colony. You might see lots of winged ants during the swarming season in the spring and early summer. Pavement ants are very aggressive toward other ants during this time.
Pavement ants can move along electrical wires and plumbing throughout a house looking for food. You’re most likely to see their trails on floors and counters at night. The lifespan of a worker ant is 5 years, making them a relatively long-lived species. Queens can live even longer, laying thousands of eggs by burying them deep in the nest.
The diet of pavement ants includes everything humans eat and more. This makes kitchens, carpets with crumbs and unsealed pantry items easy targets for these pests. Meat products and grease are the most attractive food items for the ants but they’ll also eat sugary foods, pet food and other insects.
Pavement ants do not travel as far from the nest as some other ant species. They use pheromone signals to communicate, leaving trails to food sources and warning of danger.
The surest sign of an infestation is seeing the ants’ trail. However, finding their telltale piles of dirt on the floor is another good reason to call an Aptive pest expert right away.
Because the diet of pavement ants is expansive, many food items within a home attract them, including unwashed dishes, crumbs, grease or syrup stains, fruit, cooking leftovers and unsealed containers. They’re also attracted by the shelter a building provides, preferring to construct their nests in cracks, voids and even insulation.
Moisture also attracts pavement ants, especially in regions with hot, dry climates. Leaky faucets or pipes give them easy access to water and, once they’re inside, they’ll stay for the food.
Pavement ants are tricky to control without professional help because their nests are difficult to access. Outside, small mounds of dirt clearly signal a nest. Inside a building, however, the nest might be in a wall or beneath the floor where it’s well out of reach. You might catch the ant trail leading to your dog’s food bowl but it’s much harder to get to their hideout.
Spraying only the ants you see is ineffective because it will only kill the worker ants. As long as the queen (or queens) survives, the colony will survive. The best way to control pavement ants is to call a certified pest expert from Aptive to treat your home or business.
You can help prevent a pavement ant infestation by following these tips:
Carefully seal cracks in window frames and screens, walls, floorboards and the building’s foundation.
Clean regularly to remove crumbs and make sure that all foods are tightly sealed.
Keep loose wood, bricks, rocks and patio stones away from your house.
Fix any leaking pipes or faucets.
Call the pest experts at Aptive to begin a custom ant control plan.
A pavement ant infestation is best treated by an Aptive professional. If you can’t access the nest, it’s unlikely that home solutions will be successful. Don’t worry about storing and using chemicals in your home; count on Aptive to solve your pavement ant problem.