Pavement ants are one of the most common ant species in the United States. We would be surprised if you have not seen these ants at some point in your life. A pavement ant is about ⅛ of an inch long and may be dark-colored or entirely black. It will be uniform in color, meaning it will not have an abdomen that is darker than its thorax and head. If you're able to examine a pavement ant, you will see that it has two nodes at its waist. These are difficult to see without some form of magnification due to the size of these ants. If you're seeing pavement ants around your Richmond home, here is a quick guide to help you understand what you're up against.

pavement ants crawling on cake
pavement ants crawling on a driveway

Pavement Ant Threats

Should you be concerned about pavement ants? These ants are widely considered aesthetic pests. They're not significant in the spread of human diseases, and they don't damage property. They do, however, present an interesting issue for landscape vegetation. Pavement ants are known to defend aphids and create protective structures made from soil to guard scale insects. This prevents flies from being able to get at these plant-damaging insects and reduce their numbers. It also leads to an increase in honeydew created on your vegetation, which is a desirable food source for many ant species and other pests.

Should You Get Rid Of All Pavement Ants?

While you certainly don't need these ants in your landscaping, they can be a benefit in your yard. Pavement ants are known to impede the advancement of red imported fire ants. That is definitely a benefit. It is important to allow pavement ants to provide this natural defense against fire ants without allowing them to become a problem in your vegetation.

Why Pavement Ants Get Inside

These ants don't know that your home has food in it. They send out workers to scout for food. Workers can go quite a distance and exploit entry points in your exterior. If a worker finds a food source, it will take a piece and return to the nest. On its way back, it will lay down a chemical trail. Other workers follow this trail and do the same. As the scent of the trail becomes stronger, more and more ants get inside. This is why you walk into your kitchen and find hundreds of ants on the food in your pet's dish. It is unlikely that those ants came from a nest inside the walls of your home. They probably came from a nest just on the outside of your home. This is important to understand because sealing potential entry points can go a long way toward arresting what you might perceive as an infestation inside your Richmond home.

Another reason pavement ants get inside is that they are first attracted to the outside of your home. These ants establish themselves under rocks, concrete, asphalt, and other hard objects. If you have places where these ants desire to live, you're going to have more trouble with them. Altering habitat preferences around your home and sealing cracks in your exterior can help to keep these ants from getting into your home in large numbers.

Pavement Ant Prevention Tips

  • Reduce moisture around your home.

  • Remove leaves and other organic debris.

  • Move woodpiles and wooden objects away from your exterior.

  • Seal cracks and gaps.

  • Trim vegetation and remove weeds.

  • Create open landscaping to allow the air to dry your plants and topsoil.

  • Clean your gutters and make repairs where needed.

  • Repair any leaking pipes, spigots, hoses, or sprinklers.

  • Give your plants only the water they need.

  • Water your plants in the early morning.

  • Keep the interior of your home clean.

  • Put dirty dishes in soapy water.

  • Put pet food down only during meals.

  • Put pantry foods in sealed plastic or glass containers.

  • Keep your trash receptacles clean and free of odors.

  • Keep your trash covered.

  • Consider eating only in the kitchen or dining room.

Pavement Ant Control

There are many ways a licensed professional can help you reduce pavement ants, keep them out of your home, and control where they are allowed to be in your yard. Reach out to us today for assistance. The team here at Go-Forth Pest Control supports property owners in Richmond by offering industry-leading pest control solutions. We can help.

 

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