While pavement ants are small and non-aggressive, eliminating an infestation can be a pain in the neck. To begin with, these little troopers are adaptable to both indoor and outdoor environments. Because worker ants can live for up to several years, their colony numbers can soar as high as 10,000 in a single nest. That’s why if you want to eliminate a pavement ant infestation, you have to start by building a complete pavement ant control strategy.
Pavement ants are highly organized and generally create their nests outdoors in soil ranging from sand to loam which contain minimal vegetation. . In more urban settings, they build their nests under slabs of sidewalk pavement, hence the name. Normally pavement ant colonies have a single queen, but larger colonies may have multiple queens, which can swell the ant population exponentially.
Pavement ants have voracious appetites and will eat just about anything. While their favorite foods are grease and meat, they’ll subsist on plant juices, living and dead insects in the soil, seeds, and anything sweet or with high levels of protein. They mostly forage at night, but pavement ants can be easily detected by the presence of little mounds that pop up in the soil, or form between the cracks in the sidewalk.
Your pavement ant control strategy should begin by locating their nest. Start from areas of high activity and follow ants back to the nest. Returning ants take a more direct route than ants searching for food and their abdomens are often expanded with liquid food. Look for small piles of soil kicked out of their nest entrance. This is often near door jams and in areas of foundation cracks.
Once the nest has been located, the next step is to eliminate the ants inside. Place Combat® baits or gel along ant trails leading to the nest. You’ll want to periodically check on those baits to be sure ants are consuming the bait. To pavement ants, Combat® appears to be a sweet, carbohydrate-rich source of food. But instead, Combat® is an insecticide that targets the whole colony. Combat’s dominolike effect kills the ants at the source.
Prevent pavement ant infestations from recurring. Deny ants locations to nest by clearing away piles of wood, stones and vegetation from the house. Check gutters for accumulated leaves and debris. Use Combat® Ant Killing Gel to fill in small openings, such as thin cracks in the sidewalk, walls and foundation, as well as around openings where pipes come through the wall. Be sure to regularly replenish consumed baits to discourage any further ant infestations.
For more and information, visit our prevention tips page or view our “5 Ways to Outsmart Ants” video to keep ants from bugging you.