Bedbugs ruin a good night’s sleep. Termites destroy the wood in a perfectly good home. Carpet beetles chew up our furniture. Rats spoil food. We live in a world that is full of pests and it seems like anything we hold dear has an insect or rodent that is dedicated to spoiling it. So what about pavement? Is there something out there that is going to destroy our driveway and wreck our walkways?
Meet the Pavement Ant
Take a walk outside in the summer and you’ll see a swarming, writhing, shifting pool of blackness on the edges of sidewalks and driveways. If you take a closer look you will see that the mass is composed of hundreds if not thousands of little black ants. Pavements ants make their nests under cement slabs, rock and paver stones. Cone shaped piles of dirt in cracks and joints mark hive entrances.
What can they do?
Pavement ants create an elaborate network of tunnels beneath the area where you park your car. That’s thousands of little drones all digging and excavating. Don’t worry though, the tunnels are tiny and the ants excavate with the precision of experienced miners. You won’t have to worry about your pavement suddenly sinking. Although, over-time, they can cause shifting and settling of paver patios, and pavement walk ways, etc. Other than the unsightly mounds of excavated earth, pavement ants don’t typically cause major structural damage to concrete. Your driveway is safe.
Now before you take a deep relaxing breath, they can cause a different type of damage. Pavement ants are also referred to as ‘sugar ants’ because they have a fondness for sweets. They also love cereal, grains, pet food, and pretty much anything that a human can eat. Because of their small size, they can gain access to homes through the smallest cracks, under doors and sometimes through the small spaces in screen doors. If there are any crumbs on the floor they’ll find it. That one little ant will tell his friends, and soon there will be hundreds of little ants gathering leftovers to transport back to the colony.
Pavement Ant Control
If you have pavement ants marching across your kitchen floor, there are ways to reduce the chance of infestation.
Cleanliness is an ant’s worst enemy. Immediately clean up spilled food from floors. Thoroughly sweep and vacuum after meals. It might get tiring, but remember, if their food supply is eliminated they’ll have one less reason to storm your home. Pavement ants have a wider food selection than we do, so make sure to clean up pet food as well.
Pavement ants are small, but that doesn’t mean they can fit through solid objects. Visually inspect the exterior of your home. If you find cracks, a little bit of silicone caulk can readily close off an entry point.
If you’ve tried cleaning and limiting access and you can still see trails of ants marching across your tile, don’t worry. The battle is far from over. There is still a powerful option. It might be time to call in the professionals. A certified pesticide applicator will have the experience and technology necessary to put an end to these home invaders.