( Tetramorium caespitum )
SIZE: About one-eighth of an inch long.
BEHAVIOR:Less is known about pavement ant behavior than many other ants. Pavement ants feed on a wide variety of food. Sweets, including sugar, nectar, fruits and syrups are readily taken. Grease, dead insects and small seeds also are collected and stored in the nest.
This ant's name is derived from its preference for nesting in soil next to and beneath slabs, sidewalks, patios and driveways. Colonies are usually easy to find due to the piles of displaced soil next to and on top of pavement. Indoors, pavement ants nest under the foundation and within hollow block foundation walls. Occasionally, a colony may carry soil up into a wall to form a nest. When piles of soil appear from under baseboards or on top of a basement or garage floor, it is a good sign that pavement ants may be present.
Tips for Control
Individual pavement colonies can often be controlled using ant baits, but perimeter inspection and treatment are commonly necessary for long-term relief. Pavement ant colonies are controlled by direct treatment of nests in the soil. Where colonies are located under slabs, ant baits may be successful in controlling an infestation. If baits are unsuccessful, the slab may need to be drilled and treated underneath. These tips will help prevent a pavement ant infestation:
Seal cracks and holes in the exterior of the home to prevent ants and other pests from entering.
Keep vegetation cut away from the foundation of the home.
Avoid using items such as stones and landscape timbers next to the home's foundation. Pavement ants nesting under these items are likely to infest the home.
Keep layers of mulch in landscape beds less than two inches thick and at least 12 inches away from the foundation.