Bug Box

Small but Mighty: The Impressive Pavement Ant

Zach C
Zach C

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Pavement ants are a very common ant species throughout North America. They can quickly become a nuisance outside or inside homes as their nests can grow quite large with their reproductive rates. The queen pavement ant can lay hundreds of eggs in her lifetime and worker ants mature in only a few weeks. Within a few years, colonies can grow into thousands or tens of thousands of ants. It is crucial to use early intervention methods to eliminate the nests before they grow too large and split into new colonies. We recommend using DIY pest control methods to control pavement ants. If you have a pavement ant infestation, it is helpful to know the difference between the queen and worker ants in order to control the infestation and prevent them from returning.

Pavement Ant Queen

In a pavement ant colony, there are a few distinguishing features between the queen and the rest of the pavement ant workers. The queen is typically larger than the rest of the worker ants and the queen may have wings. Here are some more characteristics of the queen pavement ant to help you identify between the queen and the worker ants.

  1. Size: The queen pavement ant typically measures between 1/4 to 3/8 inches long.
  2. Color: Queen pavement ants are usually darker in color, but still have a brown to black body color.
  3. Wings: Each queen has long wings before they establish a nest. Once the queen ant mates, they shed their wings and they can no longer fly.
  4. Behavior: Being the leader of the colony of pavement ants, the queen is usually found near the center of the nest. The queen’s job is to lay eggs and control the worker ants.
Reproductive Pavement Ant Queen with Wings - Bug Box

Pavement Ant Workers

In most cases, you will be able to see worker pavement ants in a colony more often than a queen pavement ant. The pavement ant workers are non-reproductive female ants that are responsible for maintaining the nest and caring for the young. Here are some characteristics of pavement ant workers.

  1. Size: The worker pavement ants are shorter than the queen and are very small in size, usually between 1/8 to 1/4 inch long.
  2. Color: Similar to the queen, worker ants are brown to black in color but they are lighter shades compared to the queen.
  3. Head and Body: The shape of the worker ants head and body includes a narrow waist that separates the thorax and abdomen. Also, their head is wider than the thorax.
  4. Behavior: The worker ants are responsible for several tasks around the nest including caring for the young, gathering food, and moving food throughout the nest. You will typically notice pavement ants in long lines, as they create a scent pathway for other worker ants to find food sources. The worker ants are protective over the nest and if they feel threatened, pavement ants can bite, so it is important to get rid of them right away.
Pavement Ant Workers - Bug Box

Preferred Habitat

As their name suggests, pavement ant nests are usually found under or between cracks in the pavement, sidewalks, or buildings. Their preferred habitat is in areas with concrete or asphalt. Most often you can find pavement ant nests on sidewalks, driveways, and patios in urban and suburban settings. Here are some more characteristics of the preferred habitat of pavement ants.

  • Environment: Pavement ants are very adaptable and they can survive in many different environments. Although it is most common to see pavement ant nests on concrete or asphalt surfaces, they can also build nests in soil or under rocks in gardens and parks.
  • Temperature: When building nests, pavement ants prefer areas with stable and consistent temperatures and low moisture. Most often you will find pavement ant nests in areas with shelter from sun and rain.
  • Food: Pavement ants are highly attracted to areas with a food supply. They will gravitate towards areas with crumbs, food spills, or even pet food.
Pavement Ant Habitat - Bug Box

How to Get Rid of Pavement Ants

There are several different pest control options to get rid of pavement ants. If you have a small to moderate infestation, your best option is to use DIY pest control solution, like Bug Box. This method will not only save you money, but it also is highly effective to control pavement ants. If you have a severe pavement ant infestation, you may consider consulting a professional to take care of the problem. Using store-bought solutions, such as ant bait, is not recommended as these methods take longer to see results and they are usually not very strong to eliminate entire colonies or keep the pavement ants from returning later. Here are some steps to eliminate pavement inside and outside your home and prevent them from returning using Bug Box.

  1. Spray Bug Box pest control solution directly onto any nests that are visible outside or inside your home. Hold the sprayer 2 to 3 feet away from the nest and make sure the solution is applied to the entire nest.
  2. Next, apply the insecticide along the perimeter of your home by spraying 2 feet up and out along the foundation. This will create a bug-free barrier for your home.
  3. Apply insecticide to entry points where pavement ants could easily get inside. This includes small gaps and cracks in walls, the foundation, and doorways.
  4. Seal any entry points with caulk such as around doorways and windows. You may also consider using weather stripping for these entry points.
  5. Lastly, to prevent pavement ants from building nests near your home, eliminate food sources they may be attracted to. Clean up food spills, take your garbage out often, and store food in air-tight containers.

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Zach C

Zach C

Zach is a licensed professional pest control expert with over 8 years of experience. Zach has a passion for DIY pest control and helping others become pest-free. When Zach isn't writing about DIY pest control he is riding his dirt bike, skiing, or enjoying the great outdoors with his wife and kids.

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American cockroach (AKA Palmetto Bug)
American house spider
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Cypress household ants
Daddy long leg spiders
Darkling beetles
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Dermestid beetles
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Hobo Spider
Harvester ant
Hairy fungus beetles
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June beetles
Jumping spiders
Leaf beetles
Leaf-rolling weevils
Lizard beetles
Long-bodied cellar spider
Long-horned beetles
Mud wasp
Metallic wood-boring beetles

Northern paper wasp
Oedemerid beetles
Odorous house ant
Oriental cockroach
Pharaoh’s ant
Pleasing fungus beetles
Plum curculio
Potato beetle
Powderpost beetles
Predaceous diving beetles
Rhinoceros beetles
Rove beetles
Sac Spiders
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Shining leaf chafers
Silken fungus beetles
Skin beetles
Small Flying Moths
Soldier beetles
Spider beetles
Stag beetle
Stink Bugs
Sugar ant
Thief ant
Tiger beetles
Tortoise beetles
True weevils
Tumbling flower beetles
Water scavenger beetles
Whirligig beetles
Wolf Spiders