Pavement ants are a common sight in all residential neighbourhoods. They are the ants that will swarm a dropped lollipop or blob of ice cream and will look like there are literally millions of them because there are. They make nests with massive numbers and often live under concrete for protection. They are a natural occurrence and are not a threat to anyone. They do not bite and are not interested in humans or other mammals. However, once they get into your home they can become one of the most horrifying and difficult treat pests you could imagine.
What are pavement ants?
Pavement ants are very small, less than a centimetre in length and are usually black but can also be dark brown. They have six legs like most ants and can use the nerve endings on them to taste food and see if it contains sugar. They have mandibles on their face though unlike carpenter ants they cannot break apart wood with them and do not use them to bite. They use them to carry large objects and if you have ever seen one carrying a leaf then you know how strong these ants are.
Pavement ants are strong
They can lift more than ten times their body mass and can dig massive nests in the ground. When they get into a human house their size makes them especially hard to treat as they can fit into tiny cracks and crevices. While they are not dangerous in their ability to physically harm you they are dangerous to your health. Like all insects, they bring bacteria into the home and will dedicate on food. While its not as bad as a cockroach infestation they absolutely can make you sick.
Treatment of pavement ants
Treating them is something you can do yourself but always remember the golden rule of domestic home treatments. If the infestation isn’t gone in a month you need to call a professional. Living with an infestation in your house is unsafe and can harm you and your family. Wasting time on a treatment that is not working is just putting yourself in further danger.
You can do a treatment for pavement ants using the basic three-prong approach that would be used for just about any infestation. Insecticide dust, domestic pesticides and replacing their food source with something that will kill them. When doing domestic treatment the most important thing to do is keep your food away from them while offering them an easily accessible food source that will kill them. With ants, the treatment is easy and cheap. Boric acid, the primary ingredient in most soap, is deadly to them. The tiny crystals enter their bodies and destroy the organic fluid that supports their organelle. It changes the homeopathic state of their bodies so they can no longer survive.
Bait for pavement ants
You can make bait at home using flowers, sugar, water and boric acid. Just put it all together into a dough and roll very tiny balls of it and place it around the house. In combination with insecticide dust and sprays like permethrin this will rapidly take out an infestation that is small in size. If not, call a professional exterminator.