There they are again… those small black ants.


ABOVE: A pavement ant showing the characteristic two node petiole, pair of spines on thorax, and groves on head and thorax (Actual size approx. 3 mm.)

Pavement ants are small ants about 1/8th inch long and dark brown to black in color. The name for this ant comes from its habit of nesting under sidewalks and driveways and piling dirt removed from the nest in a mound on top of the pavement.

In addition to nesting under sidewalks, pavement ants colonies can be found under other items lying on top of the ground, including stones, logs, boards, bricks and patio blocks. They may nest in open soil close to building foundations or under mulch in landscaped beds. Only rarely do the ants nest indoors in walls, under floors or in insulation.

Pavement ants will feed on a wide variety of different foods, though greasy and sweet materials are preferred. Worker ants may forage for food up to 30 feet from the colony and readily set up trails to and from food sources.

Control of pavement ants should begin with an attempt to locate the nest site. Ants entering buildings from outdoors can be discouraged by sealing as many cracks and gaps in exterior walls as possible. Also, correct poor foundation drainage and repair water leaks. Working with a pest management professional that is trained in identifying and treating pavement ant infestations is always the safest, most eco-friendly solution.

Source: Iowa State University, Department of Entomology