Out of the hundreds of different species of ants, the most common ant in Utah is the pavement ant. Known for quickly invading several Utah homes, driveways, and sidewalks, they can become a nuisance in your home and yard almost overnight. Learn about their appearance, habits, and how to get rid of pavement ants so that you are prepared before they ANTagonize you.
There are three different pavement ants that makeup one colony: workers, queens, and male reproductive ants. They all have four stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Once fully developed, their sizes range from 1/8-1/4 of an inch. Their colors also vary from dark brown to black. All pavement ants have grooves on the head and the thorax as well as light brown legs and antennae. There are two segments that attach the thorax and abdomen. They also have two spines and a stinger. The queens and male reproductive ants have wings giving them the ability to fly and are about twice the size of the worker ants.
Pavement ants are very social insects and rely on one another to maintain their current and future colonies; this is why different pavement ants have different responsibilities. The workers find and provide the food for the entire colony while the reproductive males and queens are responsible for, well, reproduction as well as finding new nesting locations. Pavement ants usually start appearing in the early spring when the winged reproductive males and queens leave the colony to mate and look for new nesting locations.
The nests of pavement ants are typically found under concrete, logs, rocks, floors, patios, soil, as well as inside walls and insulation. They will eat any food as well as dead insects. Since thousands of pavement ants make up one colony, an infestation can occur very fast and create a large problem if they make their way into your home.
How to Get Rid of Pavement Ants
Follow these steps to eliminate a pavement ant infestation:
- Block off the entry point: Look for openings, cracks, or crevices to find out how they are getting into your home. Once you figure out the way they are getting in, block off the entrance points with chalk, Vaseline, or lemon juice for a quick fix.
- Locate the nest: Follow ant trails to the nest. If you try to eliminate your ant problem without finding the source, the infestation will most likely come back. This is especially true because the queen ant that stays inside the nest keeps the colony going. If the queen dies, the whole colony will die as well.
- Choose your method: There are various baits, sprays, and dust treatments that can be used to eliminate the pavement ants.
- Bait: The bait is an option for those who cannot reach the nest. Keep in mind that this will most likely not eliminate the entire colony.
- Dust treatment: A dust pesticide is the best option for pavement ant colonies that are nested indoors
- Spray treatment: A spray insecticide should be used for nests that are outside as well as inside as long as you follow the instructions very carefully and understand the precautions.
- Spray, dust or bait the nest and area: Not only do you want to spray or dust the nest, but you also want to pay attention to their paths, entry points, and any other high trafficked areas to eliminate future infestations. This is because they leave behind a scent to inform their colony when they find entrances, food sources, or potential nesting locations
- Prevent future pavement ant infestations
- Keep your home clean especially of food and crumbs
- Seal all windows, doors, and cracks throughout your home to eradicate the possibility of entry
- Apply vinegar, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, or any other scents that deter ants throughout the home
- Repair leaky pipes
- Trim trees, shrubs and other plants that could be potential entry points
- Move your logs away from your home
Since pavement ant nests are typically under concrete, floors, patios, walls, or insulation, it can be quite difficult to get rid of ants on your own. If this is the case for you, call a pest control professional to fully eliminate your pavement ants or carpenter ants. For more information on ant pest control, go here. Give Beeline Pest Control a call today at (801) 544-9200.