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After the carpenter ants swarm season in late May to early June, we move right into the next reproductive swarmers on the list, the pavement ant.  Arthropods being cold-blooded they take full advantage of any available heat and use it to their own ends. Pavement ants swarm in June and July and while they are primarily outside preferring to nest in the soil based medium, they do sometimes intrude into a home when either disturbed or foraging for food.  

How do Pavement Ants Differ from Carpenter Ants?

There are several key differences between these and their much larger counterparts the carpenter ant. First and foremost they are not a wood-destroying organism. Rather than put the effort into destroying wood structure pieces to tunnel out their home, they like to use existing stabilizer components and tunnel around or under them.  This is why you will see them pushing up dirt from cracks in concrete and expansion joints. They are more likely to go the easy route of following pipes, electrical and false ceilings rather than to be emerging from holes they chewed in frames like carpenter ants do.

From a defensive standpoint, the pavement ant is far less aggressive than the carpenter ant but much better equipped.  The carpenter ant can and will bite and is able to spray formic acid into the bit wound to further the pain inflicted. The pavement ant, while rarely aggressive, has the ability to both bite and actually sting the target. Unlike carpenter ants, pavement ants have multiple queens within a colony. Each colony consists of an average of 3000 – 4000 members and a maturing development time range from 36 – 63 days. 

What to do about Pavement Ants

If you discover pavement ants in your yard or house, give Independent Pest Solutions a call 253-284-4581.