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pavement ant Tetramorium caespitum, is one of the most common ants found around houses. Most people recognize their anthills, often located between sidewalk cracks. Pavement ants usually do not cause any concern until they decide to come into the house for a snack.
Pavement ant workers are small, l/8-inch to 3/16-inch long, and blackish brown with light-colored legs and two spines at the end of the thorax. A distinguishing character,visible with a hand lens or microscope, is the series of fine parallel groves on the head and thorax.
Pavement ants get their name because they often nest under sidewalks, driveways and building foundations. A mound of displaced soil along a paved area is probably a sign of pavement ant activity. During the winter, pavement ants may nest inside structures near a heat source.
Pavement ant colonies can contain from 10,000 to 30,000 ants. They nest outdoors in sidewalk cracks or under driveways,concrete slabs, stones, or mulch. Pavement ants can be troublesome pests in buildings constructed directly on concrete slabs.
At times, large numbers of pavement ants will enter homes in search of food. prefer fatty or greasy foods, but they will feed on sweets and the honeydew from aphids.
Life Cycle : May through July. When the nest is under a heated slab foundation, swarms can also occur indoors during winter. New ant colonies are started by a single queen that lays the eggs and tends the brood that develops into worker ants. The Queen produces five to 20 eggs per day; brood develops in about 40 days; young go through three larval stages.
Control : 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. A insecticide labeled for outdoor use against ants can be used outside to control individual ant hills near the house or to create a protective barrier to stop foragers from wandering into the house. Colonies living under sidewalks and slabs can be treated by sweeping granules into the cracks or by flooding the crack with insecticide solution.
Damage : 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.
Pavement Ant Damage
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