The summer reminds Western New Yorkers that pavement ants have a very fitting name. That’s the time of year when mounds of debris appear in the cracks in sidewalks, signaling the presence of a nest below the surface of the Earth. The pavement ant, believed to have been brought to America in merchant ships from Europe in the 18th or 19th century, is one of the most common pests nationwide.
Pavement ants are quite small, usually somewhere between 2 ½ and 4 mm long, and one of the most familiar types of ant. Their color falls somewhere between dark brown and black, however, their appendages will be of a lighter shade. When examined closely, pavement ants are characterized by parallel lines present on their head and thorax.
When it comes to infestation, the trouble starts in the spring, when winged pavement ants swarm to mate. In indoor heated spaces, they are known to show up during colder times of year. After mating, the queens form their nest and begin producing worker ants, which develop and emerge over the next few months.
As previously noted, nests are most commonly found outside, under sidewalks, building slabs, or stones, or along curbs. Inside, a nest might be found in the walls or floors of a structure. Sometimes, sand or soil deposits can be found outside the nesting areas, having been expelled by the workers. The last sign of a pavement ant nest, and an indicator that you’re in the full throes of an infestation, is the march of pavement ants that goes right through your home.
The reason pavement ants forage is for food, and they make no secret of it, often appearing in kitchens in droves. What makes pavement ants so difficult to prevent, is that they will eat almost anything. They especially enjoy sweets, but if there’s any sort of crumb on the ground, you can bet they’ll be coming for it.
Pavement ant infestations are typically eliminated with baiting or liquid insecticide treatments. In either cases, you must know the true source of the infestation, along with nest locations, to be sure you’ve dealt with it completely and effectively. If you have a pavement ant problem in the Western New York or Northwest Pennsylvania area, visit Comfort Pest Control for more information.