Pavement ants are a non-native species in Washington State. They were introduced in the 1700’s-1800’s, unknowingly by merchant vessels. These ships were filled with soil from Europe to provide ballast (heavy material placed low in a vessel to improve its stability); and when the soil was removed from those ships, so were the ants. They are now an abundant species in North America, and can be found from coast to coast. Their diet is much like ours, with a few differences of course. Their foods consist of meat, seeds, honeydew, and they will eat many foods that are also consumed by humans.


Pavement ant is between 2.5-4 mm long, and can range in colors from brown to black. They have a stinger in their abdominal segment, but it is rare that they attack humans. The reproductive pavement ants have a slightly different appearance however. They are about twice the size of a normal worker ants, and have wings.


Most colonies are found under side-walks, building slabs, under large rocks, under home foundations, and under large flower pots. It is common to find small piles of sand or soils at cracks in slabs, or foundations where the ants are depositing the debris from excavating their tunnels. The queen initially finds these nesting sites after she has swarmed and been impregnated. The queen will lose her wings after mating, and will proceed to burrow her own tunnel where she lays her eggs and cares for them.


Although pavement ants are found under concrete slabs or sidewalks, it is not uncommon to find them inside your home. If you have a colony of pavement ants taking up residence under your foundation, they will find any/all cracks and make their way inside. Most of the time they will be looking for their next snack, which many times is found in your kitchen. They can enter through foundation cracks, unsealed doors or windows, and construction gaps. It is most common to see swarms of reproductive ants in the spring time looking for a mate; and if these colonies are located under or in your home, you are likely to see flying ants inside.


Pavement ants do not cause structural damage to a home, but can be quite a nuisance. If you have food sources available on your counter (such as fruits, veggies, bread, etc.) they will find it, and consume it. Because these ants are especially equipped to eating just about everything, any little piece of food that is within their grasp, they will eat it. However, if these little buggers are taken care of quickly and properly you will be ant free in no time.

Control and Safety

When it comes to pavement ants, there are a couple different preventative measures that can be taken. You should have any foundation gaps or cracks filled, be sure to store any sweet foods in a sealed container, any fruits or veggies are not stored on the counter, keeping windows and doors sealed is also a good preventative measure. If you have ongoing problems with pavement ants, give us a call. With over 20 years of experience, we can help rid you of those pesky little ants. Our pesticide inspectors will go over all our options with you; these include eco-friendly treatments, and traditional pesticides as well.

If you have a problem with pavement ants, or any other ant for that matter, give us a call today to schedule a free estimate. 206.431.6833


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