The Pavement Ant. Tetramorium caespitum (lineaeus)
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 are found traditionally under pavement and stones, thus their name.
I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of these in your lifetime:
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:
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.
- IS THE MOST COMMONLY CONFUSED FLYING ANT VS SWARMING TERMITES.
- 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.
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