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How To Control Pavement Ants

If you live in an urban area, one of the most common ants you will encounter is the pavement ant. As their name suggests, these ants live and nest around pavements. Large colonies can be found in the cracks and crevices of pavement. However, these pests don’t reserve themselves to just staying there as they are known to invade buildings and nest indoors as well where they can be a troublesome insect for people.

Pavement ants can often be confused with little black ants due to having a similar appearance and color, however, they could also be light brown. The way to differentiate between the two is their size as pavement ants are slightly bigger. Pavement ants range between 2.5 to 3 mm long, with parallel lines on head and thorax. Like the little black ant, they also have 12-segmented antennae with a three-segmented club.

The diet of a pavement ant consists of grease, oil, small insects and sweet tasting foods which people enjoy. The workers also feed honeydew and secretions from aphids. When foraging for food, they can easily invade homes by slipping through cracks and crevices from the outside. It is usually hard to control these types of ants because their nests are hard to find since they are usually in cracks and crevices in sidewalks and driveways and are difficult to reach.

If your property has become invaded by pavement ants, Solutions Pest and Lawn can equip you with the professional-grade products and knowledge to eliminate the infestation yourself. Read on below for recommended products and the best strategy to tackle these troublesome insects.

Browse our recommended products for treating Pavement Ants below. If you have any questions or concerns, we’re available to talk to via email, phone or online live chat.

How to Get Rid of Pavement Ants: Solutions 4 Step Guide

As mentioned above, pavement ants can be hard to control without the proper strategy put in place to tackle them. These ants are very sneaky and can get through the tightest of spaces in their relentless search for food. Solutions Pest and Lawn we suggest a 4 step process which includes a thorough inspection, chemical applications, baiting and preventative measures to keep ants away. Look below for details:


Step 1: Identify areas of heavy ant activity. This will require a very detailed inspection of your home and yard. Do your best to locate the ant nesting site, starting outdoors and moving in. Outdoor locations to focus in on are underneath the pavement in curbs, driveways, sidewalks, underneath brick patios, landscaping, rocks, and mulch beds, etc. Indoors, you should check around wall voids, beneath toilets or water heaters and wherever there is moisture and any other areas conducive to ant activity. One of the best ways to find the general area of a colony is by carefully observing a wandering ant, leaving them undisturbed while they are foraging for food and seeing where they lead you.


Step 2: Once you have found the high activity areas, you can then proceed to treating the colony via chemical means. We recommend using Reclaim IT Insecticide and spraying using a hose-end sprayer. 


Step 3:  Baiting indoors is another excellent method of clearing out an indoor pavement ant infestation. Indoors use a sweet bait on pavement ants since they love sweet foods. Some sugar-based baits includeAnt-Trax Ant Bait Gel.We recommend being patient when applying baits and allowing up to 2 weeks for the bait to be laid out. It takes time for ants to take the bait and share with other ants and achieve the desired domino effect which will kill off the entire population.  Indoors where ants can be found in wall voids, it would be best to use dust treatment instead using D-fense Dust


Step 4: After the ant population has been depleted from your baiting and spray treatments you will want to keep them out. Using a preferred residual insecticide like Reclaim IT Insecticide, you’ll want to spray a barrier around your home to keep ants away.  Spray periodically every 60 days and you won’t have to worry about ants trespassing again.


Learn More About The Pavement Antpavement ant by Flickr

In some cases, animals and humans can share the same living space. Humans produce leftovers which offers food to raccoons, birds, even Rats and other vermin. Humans alter the natural landscape by building homes and cities which displace some wildlife but makes for a perfect living arrangement for others. One such insect which benefits greatly and takes full advantage of the circumstances are pavement ants.


Pavement ants are a tiny creature which has adapted very well to human life. They are an insect many of us see around sidewalks, driveways and streets which is why they have been dubbed pavement ants. Scientifically, they are known as tetramorium.


For most people, pavement ants are known as those little brown ants that we sometimes see in huge masses above ground. However, they are also explosive little packages of ferocity and colony loyalty that engage in epic ant wars. What’s interesting is that the pavement ant is also popular in being kept as pets.


Pavement Ant Biology

In North America, there are few species of pavement ants, the most common one being the North American and European pavement ants (from which they are native). Pavement ants happen to be invasive ants which means they have been imported from another place, likely by human activities such as transport of plants, soil, etc.


It has been reported that tetramorium originated in Asia and then spread to Europe and North America. They are naturalized invaders which means they have managed to adapt well to human settlement and have integrated themselves and found their balance in our urban ecosystem.


Unlike fire ants which simply kill and displace lots of native ant species and are a cause of ecological harm in many areas of the world, pavement ants are not under most people's radars. Scientists aren’t really sure that the pavement ants in North America are the same species as the European pavement ant.


Pavement Ant Appearance

Pavement ants can range between ⅛ to 1/16th of an inch in length. They are often either black or brown in color with light colored legs and antennae. They stand out from other ant species vis the pair of spines found on their back and two nodes on the petiole.

Pavement ants also have grooves on their head and thorax and have a 12 segmented antenna and a three-segmented club. Pavement ants have a stinger in the lower part of their abdomen. Reproductive pavement ants like the queen have wings and are usually twice as big as the worker ants.



Being highly adaptive of the varying niches of human environments means pavement ants tolerate a wide variety of conditions. Pavement ants like nesting outdoors under slabs, along curbs and in cracks in the pavement. Indoors they have been often found nesting in wall voids and under floors.


Pavement pants make their presence felt in the summer months where they are often seen trailing along on sidewalks, driveways, patios, and cracks in the foundation walls. It’s not uncommon to see them carrying food they have foraged or debris from one place to another.


Pavement ant colonies often have multiple queens and hundreds upon thousands of worker ants which can be a particularly large problem when they infest a kitchen or an outdoor patio.


Life Cycle

It takes about one month for the pavement ant to go from egg to worker and the queens lay so many eggs at a time, constantly laying and producing impressive amounts of offspring.



Pavement ants have voracious appetites and feed with gusto on insects. They have little stingers which they use to immobilize their prey and subdue them by swarming. They are known to eat mealworms, crickets, worms and roaches.


Pavement ants also enjoy sugar foods like honey, sugar water, hummingbird nectar and fruit and will readily head into households to forage for such sweet food items like ice cream, breads and cheese. They also love grains, nuts and seeds so it isn’t uncommon to find them swarming a pantry where these foods are stored.


Pavement Ant Management Options

To address a pavement ant infestation, we have found that ant baits and dusts are the best methods of control. However, before carrying out any type of chemical controls, it is important to do a thorough pavement ant inspection to find out where the pavement ant colony is headquartered.


You can start by looking for nests either around the foundation or your home or in cracks found along slab. You should also check any large rocks and Look for pavement ant colonies around the foundations of your home. Indoors, we recommend looking around baseboards, the edges of the carpet and under sinks. Once the hot spots have been noted, you can then bait accordingly.


For long-term control, choose a slow acting bait product such as Ant-Trax Ant Gel Bait. As the pavement ants are out foraging for food and water, they will not be able to resist the attractive bait and will be lured right over to it. It is a slow acting bait so it allows the ants to try the bait and take it to their colonies to share it amongst the rest of the population. As time goes by, the bait gradually begins to deliver a toxic reaction to the ants’ digestive system which ultimately kills them.


An insecticide dusts such as D-Fense dust can also do wonders in eliminating a pavement ant problem. D-Fense dusts should be applied around cracks and crevices as well as directly to pavement ant mounds. D-fense dust will remain effective up to eight months as long as it remains dry and will keep on killing during all that time.

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