The Pavement AntTetramorium caespitum (lineaeus)

pavement ant blown up

Kind of looks terrifying for such a small creature, doesn’t it? It may not be the cutesy Disney version of an ant, but seeing that this is the most common ant in the United States, we should probably get to know him a bit, don’t you think?

Does this look familiar?

pavement ants in sidewalk crack

Pavement ants are found traditionally under pavement and stones, thus their name.


I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of these in your lifetime:pavement ant hills

Pavement ants actually use the heated small mound of sand or grit you see in that picture above to keep their colony warm during the night. They pull the warm particles back into their colony galleys. Who knew ants could be so intelligent and resourceful!!

So what sets the pavement ant apart from other ants?

Let’s take a close look:

pavement ant illustration
The Pavement Ant:

  • Has two nodes (spikes between the abdomen and thorax) with spines on the thorax.
  • Has faint vertical lines on the front of the face and across the thorax.
  • Possesses a stinger but cannot pierce human skin. If you pick them up roughly they will arch their backs much like a wasp or hornet to sting and will try to bite as a defense tactic.
  • Is not an aggressive species of ant.
  • Is monomorphic, meaning that there is one size for all workers, unlike Carpenter ants, which are polymorphic, and can have many different sizes within one colony.
  • Eats almost anything but loves meats and grease, so proteins are their favorite.
  • Colony size is from 3,000 to 4,000, so medium to small compared to other ant species.
  • Will forage up to 30 feet, which is a long way if you are only 1/16th of an inch long!
  • Reproduction is done via “swarming” in the spring but can happen throughout the year.
  • Colonies contain multiple queens.

Pavement Ants Control and Treatment

These ants respond especially well to protein based baits as well as most traditional pesticides. These professional baits are recommended over liquid repellants and can be obtained at any of our office locations. The ease of control during the warmer months is relatively easy due to the visibility of the colony.

During the winter months control is a little bit tricky if you have them inside your home or in cement cracks in your basement, but finding and baiting foraging trails is usually very effective.

Information courtesy of Rose’s Entomologist, Bery Pannkuk.

Don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself? That’s totally okay! That’s what we’re here for! Contact us today for a free quote!


Want some more great tips?



You've got a pest problem. We've got your pest solution.

Whether you've got wasps, rodents, spiders (or you name it), we can assist with your pest situation. Drop us a line to tell us what's going on and we'll schedule your pest control service!

Get Rid of My Pest!

Safe For Your Family and Business

We're licensed, trained, and certified by the Departments of Public Health and Agriculture, using safe, EPA-regulated materials, always.

Attacking Infestations at the Root

We don't come in spraying. We evaluate the root of your problem, and recommend and enact pre-emptive measures before any chemicals are used. 

Assessments Before Any Contracts

 Our Customer Care Center walks you through every service, every charge, and every solution before you agree to anything. Our commitment is to you.