Pavement Ant

Official Name

Tetramorium caespitum

Size

2.5 to 4 mm

Color

Dark brown to Almost Black

Geographical Location

Northern U.S. from New England to the Midwest; Southern U.S. through the Mid-Atlantic; parts of Washington and California

Common Household Location

Outdoors, primarly along pavement and sidewalks

Identifying Characteristics

  • Reproductive ants are twice the size of workers, with furrows on the head and back.
  • Parallel lines run down the head and thorax.

Official Name

Tetramorium caespitum

Size

2.5 to 4 mm

Color

Dark brown to Almost Black

Geographical Location

Northern U.S. from New England to the Midwest; Southern U.S. through the Mid-Atlantic; parts of Washington and California

Common Household Location

Outdoors, primarly along pavement and sidewalks

Identifying Characteristics

  • Reproductive ants are twice the size of workers, with furrows on the head and back.
  • Parallel lines run down the head and thorax.

Notes

Pavement ants can nest in a variety of places. They may build a nest outdoors along curbs, in sidewalk cracks, under driveways, and beneath stones. Pavement ants may also head indoors and nest underneath flooring or in the walls. Aside from the ants themselves, the most common signs of a pavement ant infestation are small piles of excavated materials from their nest-building activities. A small dirt mound on top of pavement is a telltale sign that these ants have taken up residence.

A colony of pavement ants can grow to as many as 10,000 workers. Most colonies have a single queen, though some will occasionally have two or more queens. Each summer, winged reproductive ants swarm during their mating season. Reproductive females then leave to establish their own colonies.

In an existing colony, eggs take 42 to 63 days to develop. The eggs for a new colony will develop faster. Worker ants from another colony will help tend to the developing eggs during this period. The broods are transferred to different locations several times throughout their development to keep them safe from dangerous changes in temperature or humidity.

Pavement ants have a varied diet that allows them to create a home nearly anywhere. These ants can subsist on live or dead insects, seeds, aphid honeydew, and many human foods. They prefer greasy, meaty items and will eat almost anything that falls on the floor. [2] Outdoor pavement ants are typically inactive in the winter. However, a nest in or near a heated structure may remain active year-round. Ants in these heated areas may even swarm out of season.

The most difficult part of dealing with pavement ants is often locating the nest. Pavement ants will seek food up to 30 feet from the colony. Though some sprays and baits might work for these ants, it’s often preferable to work with a pest control professional. This will give you the best chance of correctly identifying the nest and taking proper treatment and preventive measures.

The best way to prevent pavement ants is to block all entry points to the home. Caulk cracks, holes, or other openings around windows, doors, and the foundation of the home. Repair cracks in the pavement and sidewalk that offer an inviting home to these ants. Keep all food items securely stored. Though pavement ants prefer greasy items, they will seek out a wide variety of food options.