Pavement Ants, which usually make their homes in pavements, are small (1/8–1/16-inch long). They are black-brown ants, with paler legs and antennae. The abdomen is all black. They are distinguished by two spines on the back, two nodes on the petiole, and grooves on the head and thorax. The colonies can be moderately large. Swarmers usually appear in June or July; however, they have been reported at other times of the year.
The Pavement Ant diet consists of honeydew, insects, sweets, fruit, and greasy foods. They will also eat pet foods.
The Pavement Ant is found throughout the Atlantic coastal region, in the mid-western United States, and the West Coast. Sometimes they can also be found in the southern United States. As their name indicates, nests are found outside under cracks of pavement, under stones, and next to buildings. Occasionally they may be found in walls, under floors, and in insulation. If your home is a slab-on-grade construction, Pavement Ant foragers enter through cracks in slabs or other openings. They often enter buildings through expansion joints in slabs.
- They move in small motions
- Their trails are most easily spotted at night
- Look at plumbing pipes and electrical wires for their trails
- During the spring, are highly aggressive against other Ants
Pavement Ant Inspection to Locate Trails or Colonies
In order to properly bait with the recommended Ant baits, it is necessary to put the bait out near their colonies or trails. If you use the liquid insecticide method it is also necessary to know where to spray and/or drench.
Although you may observe these Ants trailing during the day, most observation will occur at night.
Pavement Ants will displace soil around concrete objects such as sidewalks, patios, driveways, curbs, etc. This displaced loose soil may be seen along the cracks or joints in the sidewalks or driveways.
Look for colonies around the foundations of your home. Also inspect around logs or large rocks.
Inside, look around baseboards, plumbing, sinks, toilets, and along the edges of carpets.
Unless you use a non-repellent spray, baiting is the preferred treatment over typical residual spraying. Baiting is the most reliable way to eliminate the entire colony. When choosing Ant baits, it is best to choose from both the sugar-based baits and protein/grease-based baits. If using a spray, choose a non-repellent type unless you are treating the nest itself.
Why Bait for Ant Control?
The use of residual sprays or dusts stress Ant colonies, causing them to split into sub-colonies and scatter. This scattering, also called budding, multiplies the number of Ant colonies, and thereby multiplies your Ant problem.
When you bait, use a slow-acting bait. Quick-kill insecticides and baits will only kill the foraging Ants, not allowing those worker Ants to take the bait back home to feed the queen, nest workers, and brood.
If the Ant bait that you are currently using is not effective (if the Ants are not visiting the bait) you will need to change the baits. Slow-acting baits provide a variety of the foods the Ants find in nature. Examples are: other insects (proteins/grease-based baits), nectar, aphid honeydew, and plant products (sugar and carbohydrates found in sweet-based baits).
Choosing a bait requires an understanding of the nutritional needs of the colony. To be sure that you have all the baiting needs met, you may want to be ready with a sugar/carbohydrate-based bait, a grease/fat-based bait, and a protein-based bait.
IMPORTANT NOTE: REMOVE ALL OTHER FOOD COMPETITION WHEN BAITING AND LEAVE THE BAIT ALONE ONCE THE ANTS START FEEDING ON IT.
Recommended Pavement Ant Baits
(Sweet and Protein/Grease Feeding Cycles)
When in doubt of which one to choose, choose one from each category.
- Top recommendation from the protein/grease category is Advance 375A , followed by Invict Xpress
- To recommendation from the sweet feeding category is Advion Ant Bait Gel, followed by Optigard Ant Bait Gel.
Protein /Grease feeding cycles
Sweet Feeding Cycles
Non-Repellents For Outside and Inside Pavement Ant Control
Spraying for Pavement Ants with Non-Repellents
You would spray on the outside with Taurus around the perimeter. Usually spraying the perimeter is enough treatment for Pavement Ants, as they will go outside. If you need any insecticide inside, use Phantom Aerosol in cracks and crevices.
Non-Repellent insecticides are best for ants and termites, because these insects can not detect it and will not try to escape the insecticide. Non-repellent insecticides can't be smelled, tasted, or even felt by Pavement Ants.
Another advantage for using a non repellent insecticide such as Taurus or Phantom for Pavement Ant Control, is that you can use ant baits near it. Repellent insecticides do not combine well with insect baits, because they contaminate the lures inside the baits; that is not the case with non-repellents.