Most recently reviewed by: Pat Porter (2018)
Common Name(s): Pavement Ant
The workers are one size, about 3/16 inch. Pavement ants are brown to black with paler legs and antennae. The waist (pedicel) has two nodes. The antennae are 12-segmented with a three-segmented club. There are distinctive parallel ridges or grooves on the head and thorax. The thorax has a pair of small spines on the upper back part.
Origin and Distribution
Pavement ants can be found throughout the western, central, and southern regions of Texas. They are sometimes considered a nuisance species because of their habit of nesting between cracks in pavement and sidewalks, or when worker ants forage indoors.
Habitat & Hosts
Pavement ants form foraging trails. colonies may contain ten thousand individuals. In urban settings, they often nest in cracks in or near sidewalks and pavement next to landscape elements or at the base of trees; otherwise they usually build nests with small craters in exposed areas, rarely building nests under objects. Although they can sting, they are not aggressive. They are omnivorous and scavenge, and will be attracted to grease, meat and honey. They can become problematic after heavy rains when their nests are forced up and out of the ground.
Egg, larva, pupa and adult.
ManagementIf you live in the State of Texas, contact your local county agent or entomologist for management information. If you live outside of Texas, contact your local extension for management options.
Indoors, nests are found in walls and insulation and under floors. During the winter, they may nest near heat sources. Outdoors, nests are along sidewalks and foundations of buildings, near wood, stones, brick, mulch, etc. They often enter buildings from outside via plumbing penetrations. Pavement ants will feed on most anything but have a preference for oily foods and meats. They also tend honeydew-producing insects. If you can eliminate those honeydew producing insects you can also reduce this ant.