There are many ant species that come into our Reno yards. Pavement ants are one of the most common. These ants establish themselves underneath hard objects such as stone and concrete. If you start seeing pavement ants near the entrance to your home or garage, you may wonder if you have a problem on your hands. One reason for this is that they can be black, and you may know that carpenter ants are black. But a pavement ant is only ⅛ of an inch long. Carpenter ants tend to be much larger than this. Depending on the species, carpenter ant workers are usually between ½ and ⅝ of an inch in length. So, you should be able to tell a pavement ant from a carpenter ant. If you need more for proper identification, you can capture an ant and examine it closely. Pavement ants have two nodes between the thorax and abdomen. Carpenter ants have one node. Once you've determined that you do, indeed, have pavement ants, here are a few ways they can be a problem, and why.
Pavement Ants Nest Under Foundation Slabs
They're frequent invaders - When pavement ants create nests underneath foundations, walkways, sidewalks, and driveways, it brings them into close proximity to your home. This will make it more common for these ants to get into your home. If they establish a nest under your foundation slab (which they are likely to do) they will work their way up through any crack they find and find their way into your home. This is one of the reasons they are common home-infesting ants.
Pavement Ants Can Make Interior Nests
They can be a big nuisance - There are many ant species that will get into your home but they don't create nests indoors. Pavement ants aren't one of them. These ants carry soil in and build nests inside wall, floor, and ceiling voids. If they do this in your Reno home, you're going to see them more often, and you're going to have more trouble with them.
Pavement Ants Can Get Into Your Foods
They can contaminant your foods - The biggest way pavement ants present a problem is that they get into food. They do this in large numbers, even if the nest isn't inside your home. When one worker ant finds food, it lays down a pheromone scent so other ants in the colony can find the food source. Within a short period of time, one ant can turn into thousands of ants crawling all over, and inside, your stored foods.
The Good News
Pavement ants are a low threat for the spread of illness. The only concern is when they go from trash bins to your food cabinets. If they do this, they can transport harmful microorganisms that cause stomach sickness. But you're probably not going to eat food that has ants crawling around in it, so the risk is low.
If you want to have fewer troubles with pavement ants, you need to take measures to counter the points listed above.
Seal openings in your exterior. Apply a sealant to foundation cracks. Use a caulking gun to seal around plumbing, wire conduits, window and door frames, and other exterior penetrations. Repair wood holes. Replace weatherstripping, door sweeps, and damaged screens. Make sure your screens fit snugly on your window and door frames.
Seal interior cracks and gaps. If you see a crack with dirt granules piled near it, that is definitely a location that should be sealed. Pavement ants don't damage your home. They use tiny cracks and gaps that are already present. Also, apply a seal around pipes that come in under your kitchen or bathroom sink. Every interior gap you seal with caulking will help to resist pavement ants.
Store your foods in sealed containers. This will keep the smell of food from attracting ants. It will also keep ants from getting into your food.
Professional Ant Control
If pavement ants continue to cause you problems, it may be necessary to lay down baits to target the ants and eliminate the colonies. This can be tricky. It is best to have a licensed pest professional administer ant control products. If a bait works too quickly, a colony can defend itself by avoiding the bait. You can throw bait after bait down and have no success.
Reno Ant Control
Do you live in Reno? If so, contact Natura Pest Control for effective ant control. We use strategies developed by industry experts. The steps we take ensure complete control of ants. If you have questions or you'd like to request service, reach out to us today. We're here to assist you with all of your pest control needs.