How To Tell If Your Pittsburgh Home Has A Pavement Ant Problem

When pavement ants get into Pittsburgh homes, it can be hard for some homeowners to identify them. This isn't surprising. There are over 12,000 species of ants on the planet and nearly 1,000 species of ants in the United States. Today, we're focusing on the identification of pavement ants so that you can properly diagnose your ant problem and determine the level of threat to your property and to your health.

Visual Identification

If you're able to capture an ant (or ten) with some clear packaging tape, take a close look for the following:

  • Pavement ants are black to dark brown in coloration.

  • The workers are 1/8 of an inch long.

  • Their antennae look like reversed handlebars.

  • At the waist, you'll find two nodes. These are tiny bead-looking parts.

Behavioral Identification

The "pavement ant" name gives an indication of what you can expect from these ants. You'll find pavement ants in the cracks of pavement, concrete, and stone walkways. These ants build mounds above ground. If you see mounds near hard materials, you can assume you're dealing with a pavement ant problem. They'll also create nests underneath mulch, boards, concrete blocks, bricks, and other hard objects lying on the ground. When they get close to a home, they'll take advantage of cracks in foundation walls, chipped mortar, and other entry points through hard materials. If you don't see mounds, it may be difficult to properly identify these ants by their behavior because other ants can crawl through cracks in hard materials to get into your home.

How Bad Are Pavement Ants?

If you determine that pavement ants are your problem, you may be able to relax a little bit. Pavement ants are mostly a nuisance threat.

  • They aren't going to present a risk to your property like carpenter ants will. Pavement ants tunnel in soil, not wood.

  • They are a low threat to the spread of harmful bacteria. You don't have to worry as much about pavement ants as you do an ant-like the Pharaoh ant. Pharaoh ants are known to feed on the open wounds of livestock, dogs, and cats. But it is still unpleasant when you find pavement ants crawling around in your pantry foods.

Quick Pavement Ant Prevention Tips

  • When these ants become a problem, it is usually because there are entry points available. Since they don't chew their way into your home, they have to find another way in. It is important to seal up entry points to keep them out. Some common entry points these ants exploit are cracks in foundation walls, gaps around pipes, broken seals around window and door frames, damaged screens, and holes created by wood-damaging pests.

  • Moisture can attract pavement ants to your foundation perimeter. While they aren't necessarily a moisture pest, they like areas that are high in humidity, and access to standing water will give them a drink. Make sure your gutters are in good working order and that you don't have any plumbing leaks.

  • Pavement ants are drawn to a home that has an abundance of food. One of the foods they prefer is the honeydew from aphids. If you have lots of aphids in your landscaping, you'll invite pavement ants to feed on them. You can get control of plant-damaging aphids along with household-invading pests with professional pest control service.

Residential Pest Control

At Witt Pest Management, we help Pittsburgh homeowners protect their properties and their health from the impact of pest infestations. While pavement ants are mostly a nuisance, there are many pests that aren't. They can damage your home, destroy your belongings, bite, and sting, and spread harmful diseases to you. When you invest in residential pest control, keeping pavement ants out of your home is just icing on the cake.

If you have questions about how residential pest control service works or you'd like to learn about how our convenient and competitively priced service plans work, we'd love to talk with you. With over a hundred years of experience, you can count on the team at Witt to give you the greatest level of pest control and the most professional service available. Reach out to us today.