Also known as house ants, they are called pavement ants because they have a habit of nesting under pavement slabs, foundations, lawns, stones, and debris. Pavement ants found in the house are always looking for food and shelter.
To get rid of pavement ants naturally, mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 1 liter of warm water in a bucket and use it as a final rinse after mopping. Keep the house free from any food particles. After that, kill the ants by placing a mixture of baking soda and sugar near their habitats.
The baking soda and sugar mixture should be mixed in equal proportions so that the ants can easily ingest the baking soda in large quantities. The baking soda is toxic to them and they will die after taking it.
Causes: What attracts pavement ants into the house?
The worker ants will leave their nests to go and search for food that is readily available inside houses. These ants are capable of going through the tiniest of cracks to get in.
This could be through cracks, gaps in the foundation, windows, and doors. During winter, the ants will prefer to nest close to sources of heat. They could as well make use of pipes to access the upper floors of buildings.
The pests have a variety of things they can feed on. This includes dead and live insects, pet food, leftovers among others. These ants are very much attracted by sweet things and are at times referred to as sugar ants.
Whenever there is a shortage of food and water supply in the nest, the worker ants go out to replenish their supply for the colony.
To ease the process, the ants leave a scent behind them. This trail helps other insects to discover the source of food and help in gathering.
Most This means that one should keep the house clean, dispose of garbage, clear spillages, and seal cracks.
This way they have no way through and nothing will attract them. In case of an infestation, employ different methods of control to get rid of them and keep the house clean to avoid a re-infestation.
How to repel and keep pavement ants away
The extermination of pavement ants does not come easy. To begin with, one has to learn how to get rid of the pavement ants using various ant repellents. The main aim here would not be to kill but to prevent further infestation.
Advice: To prevent pavement ants from getting into the house, use bay and clove leaves. These plants produce a scent that is unpleasant to the ants. The leaves can be randomly placed around the house to deter ants and to avoid re-infestation after successful extermination.
Grounded coffee also helps in the control of the ants. The ants are susceptible to caffeine and tend to lose their scent trails. This way they have no sense of direction and it leads to the starvation of the colony.
All that is required is for one to dust the coffee along their trails and in their nests as well.
Other natural pavement ant repellents include cinnamon, talcum powder, turmeric, pepper, salt, or lavender oil. These tend to form a defensive barrier which the ants dare not cross.
Other than the natural repellents, it is also important to inspect around and ensure that any gaps and cracks are sealed.
The windows and door frames, as well as the foundation, should be given special attention as they tend to serve as main entry points for the ants.
An indoor invasion of pavement ants may not cause any harm but it can make the house uninhabitable. How then do you get rid of the ants in the house?
To start with, one can make use of natural repellents. These include the leaves of cloves and bay. When placed within the house they tend to repel the ants.
Remember to keep your home free of attractants through thorough cleaning. Ensure that the trash is taken out regularly. Keep the kitchen clean and where possible use bleach to destroy their scent trails.
Any spills should be cleared as soon as they happen. Clean up the working table using vinegar to repel the ants. Garbage cans should be sealed and dishes cleaned immediately after use.
You can also learn how to use peppermint oil to naturally repel pavement ants because this will be a simple but cheap way to solve an infestation problem.
While these measures only provide temporary relive, they are necessary at keeping these insects at bay.
For long-term solutions, one has to employ other long-lasting tactics and where the necessary call for professional help. These will ensure that the nuisance that is these ants are kept away.
How to kill pavement ants
For long-term effects, a pavements ants’ infestation has to be eliminated. This means employing methods that will lead to their extermination.
This can only be done when the queen ants and their young ones are killed. This way, the whole colony will have been eliminated.
1. Boiling water
There are different ways on how to kill pavement ants. To start off, one could try using natural methods. Boiling a gallon of water is one of them.
This is then poured directly into their nests. The procedure is to be repeated once in a day until they are all exterminated.
With this, one makes use of an attractant to trap the ants. There are both homemade and commercial baits.
It is advisable to make use of slow-acting baits as these will see to it that the worker ants get to carry it to the nest for the queens and young ones. This way, the whole population gets poisoned thus effective elimination.
3. Diatomaceous earth
While this is safe for pets and humans, it tends to shred the exoskeleton of the ants. As a result, any that moves through it will end up dead.
To make use of this, locate where their nest is. Spread a thick layer of the diatomaceous earth on it and on the ground near it.
Do the same inside the house, on their trails as well as any other areas of their activity. Continue with the process until the whole colony is eliminated which could take around a week
4. Windex for ants
Windex is another toxic home detergent that is effective when it comes to killing ants. To kill pavement ants, Spray liquid Windex directly on them. To repel them, use Windex to wipe their trails so that the rest cannot use the same route to get into your house.
Best baits that will attract and kill pavement ants
Using baits for pavement ants is the most recommended method of extermination. This is because it not only takes care of the worker ants but of the queen ants that never leave the nests. This makes it easy to eliminate the whole colony. Among some effective baits include:
Borax: Mix equal amounts of sugar and borax and place it on their trails. The insects will get attracted to this. Precautions should be employed when handling borax.
Corn meal: It is hard for the ants to digest this. This eventually leads to their death. This is best wixed with something like sugar such that will attract them.
Raw cream of wheat: When they feed on this, the substance tends to expand in their stomachs. With time they die. To attract pavement ants and kill them, mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 3 tablespoons of raw cream of wheat. Place it in their habitats and wait for them to eat it and die.
The good thing with baiting as a method of eliminating these ants is the fact that the bait will be carried to the nest by the worker ants.
This means that they will all suffer the same fate. Within no time, the whole colony is eliminated. Of importance to note is that residual sprays are highly discouraged for use as a method of killing pavement ants.
This is because it leads to budding a process in which the ants spread to smaller groups making the problem worse than it was. You can also use those baits to get rid of ants in your car and the basements.
Here is a video showing how to get rid of pavement ants naturally at home;
How does a pavement ant look like?
For purposes of identification, it is important to know the of these ants. This will ensure that you do not confuse them with other species and getting rid of them will also be easy.
The pavement ants are black or light brown with appendages that are lighter than the rest of their body. Their antennae have 12 segments and they have a three-segmented club. The worker ants rest at about 2.5 to 3 millimeters long while the queen pavement ants are about 6millimeter long.
The ants’ head and thorax appear ridged and with some parallel lines. The thorax has some tiny spines on it. Its pedicel on the abdomen has two segments with two nodes. These though can only be seen under a microscope. Although they have stingers, the ants are not known to sting.
Winged Pavement Ants
Winged pavement ants can be female or male. These are also known as swarmers and are the reproductive population within a colony.
They tend to fly away from the colony to mate and initiate a new colony. This mostly happens around the months of June and July. These produce swarms of pavement ants which can be such a nuisance if they find their way into a house.
Pavement Ant Queen
The population of pavement ants is not only made up of worker ants. There also are pavement ant queens. These are the ones that breed and populate the colony.
They never leave the nest and the workers have to feed them and their young ones. A colony can have more than one queen depending on the overall population.
- Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Pavement ant identification resources — University of Nebraska
- The University of Maine: Larger yellow ants confused with pavement ants