How to Get Rid of Pavement Ants in Fort Lauderdale
July 05, 2022
Pavement ants, which come with the fancy name Tetramorium caespitum L, aren’t native to Fort Lauderdale, to Florida, or even North America at all to begin with. They came all the way from Europe around the 19th century, after cruising on merchant ships for a while.
So this means they’re invasive, but today, they’re one of the most common ant species in the States. Aside from Florida, you might see them in the Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Northwest areas of the United States.
Quick Facts About Pavement Ants in Fort Lauderdale
- One pavement ant colony can have over 10,000 worker ants
- Each parent colony usually only has one queen, but sometimes they have two or more.
- They have a stinger, but they don’t have a painful sting, unlike fire ants.
- Pavement ants don’t bite (so overall, they’re harmless).
- Young workers have a lighter-colored thorax (middle).
- They love the heat, so in the warmer months they like to hang out outside. During the winter, you’ll find them inside near heat sources like radiators or thermal ducts, especially in northern states.
- Pavement ants form parent colonies because they have workers and an egg-laying queen. They would be a satellite colony if they were made up of workers, mature larvae and pupae.
While pavement ants in Fort Lauderdale, FL have made themselves comfortable in the tropical weather, they’re definitely not native to your home either - not only because of their origins, but because of where the name “pavement ant” ties into things.
That’s right, they feel perfectly at home lounging in the concrete, especially when the sun warms those surfaces up, so they tend to build their nests outside in sidewalks, walkways and patios. But while they’re happy in these cement wonderlands, there are some things in your house they love enough to move in.
Pavement ants, like carpenter ants, pharaoh ants, and sugar ants, and really, most types of ants, are surprisingly intelligent. Not only do they have a keen sense of smell that detects pheromones, they also have directional awareness.
Yup, they can actually walk in a straight line. *And* they know how far they’re traveling.
They’re extremely stubborn. Stubborn enough that they’ll survive in extreme environments like construction sites and hot sidewalks.
They’ll even fight other colonies over territories - as in, they’ll literally go to war with them. That’s how much they love their sweet, sweet concrete slabs.
Pavement Ants vs. Other Ants in Fort Lauderdale
It’s hard to tell the difference between pavement ants and other common ants in Fort Lauderdale like sugar ants, carpenter ants, and pharaoh ants in Fort Lauderdale because they all just look soooo…well…ant-like.
Like any other ant, they’re so tiny you would have to use a magnifying glass or maybe even a microscope to really analyze their features.
Pavement ants are typically 2-3 centimeters long and dark brown or black, so they aren’t very unique looking. But if you see ants hanging out on the sidewalk, ding ding ding! You’ve likely found yourself a pavement ant.
Identifying a pavement ant inside your house is a bit trickier than outside, since you might mistake them for common, household sugar ants. Like pavement ants, sugar ants are dark colored, and yes, they both love alllll the sugar.
Sugar ants are teeny-tiny at about a centimeter long and they have big black heads with hints of orange and brown on their bodies. They also don’t crush as easily as pavement ants.
Carpenter ants are even tinier at 0.5-1 centimeter long with a black abdomen and a rust-colored thorax. While they too like to get their sugar-fix, unlike pavement ants, carpenter ants are more after the wood in your house and can cause structural damage.
A colony of pharaoh ants enjoy the heat as much as pavement ants. However, they’re usually light brown, red or yellow unlike the dark color of pavement ants.
Why Are Pavement Ants In My House?
Why are pavement ants in my house is the winning question you most likely had before you even clicked to read this blog post. And now you will finally get the answer.
If you’re suspecting a pavement ant infestation in your house, it’s because of something you might have in your house and something they have.
“What could they possibly have?” You’re probably wondering. “They’re just ants!”
Well, you have food and water, worker ants have good communication skills (so do humans, but ants are small insects, so it’s kinda crazy to think they can communicate as well as they do).
I’ll paint a picture in your mind. Let’s say, last week you decided to bake chocolate chip cookies. These cookies turned out amazing, but then….well I’ll be darned!
You forgot to put the lid on the cookie jar! Now your cookies are up for grabs for any sugar ants, carpenter ants, ghost ants, acrobat ants, pharaoh ants, argentine ants and of course, pavement ants.
Here’s the scoop: Pavement ants (and most ants) have a really good sense of smell. So the moment you started making these cookies, at least one pavement ant on the patio found out quickly.
All it takes is one pavement ant to sense the cookies, and the tiniest pavement ant-sized crevice so they can get inside. At the start of their journey, they leave a trail of pheromones, which is their other communication superpower.
And this is how they start their own little ant recruitment. One ant leaves pheromones to give the rest of the colony the green light, and then they all play a game of “follow the leader.”
Once they’re in your house, it turns into their office. They clock in and the Queen assigns them their laborious tasks.
Some are on the food-delivery team in your kitchen, where they look for any scrumptious crumb to take back to the colony. Others might be slackers gossiping in the walls\voids.
If there’s other ants in your house besides pavement ants, they may be fighting The Enemy for their territory.
The key point here is they could really be anywhere, even if you can’t see them. So that’s why just stomping on them might not do a ton (but we’re proud of you for trying!!)
How to Get Rid of Pavement Ants in Fort Lauderdale
If you think you’re dealing with pavement ants, there’s no need to worry. There are things you can do so that pavement ants will leave your home
The first step to pavement ant prevention is called exclusion. Exclusion is sealing the house so the ants can’t infest through finding any cracks or crevices.
Easy ways to keep pavement ants out:
- Use caulk to seal any openings.
- Caulk is a *waterproof* filler and sealant that you can buy at places like Target, Walmart, Lowes, or any general retail spot. All of our technicians carry caulk!
- Check for gaps where your plumbing, electrical wires and cable wires enter your house.
- Trim tree branches or vines that are touching your house so ants can’t use it as a bridge to bypass preventative pest control barriers on the foundation and climb into your home.
The second step is sanitation. This deprives ants of food and water. Pavement ants aren’t picky eaters, but some of their favorite foods are tiny insects, honey, seeds, meat, nuts, and cheese.
How to prevent pavement ants:
- Seal food in airtight containers and avoid leaving food out on the counter.
- Wipe up spills and sweep crumbs away as soon as you see them.
- Keep the sink clean and use the trash disposal as necessary.
- Keep your trash cans covered and take out the trash often.
- Repair any leaky faucets and pipes.
- Limit any uninvited moisture, such as in potted plants.
But remember, just doing these things once won’t solve your pavement ant problems forever. It’s important to form good habits and monitor your house often to make sure you’re not accidentally making it a haven for pavement ants.
“Do Repellant Sprays Work On Pavement Ants?”
Repellant sprays will kill ants on contact, but wait! Before you order anything from Amazon, just hear me out:
Ant repellant sprays are only a temporary solution that could make your problem even worse. When you spray an ant colony, some ants may die, but the rest will just split up and create new parent colonies.
Yep, this means that killing the ants will make even more ants. These new colonies will multiply with new pavement ant queens and workers until you’ve started an ant war in your home.
Kinda ironic, right?
Ant bait stations are another over-the-counter option to control pavement ants. The bait itself, which usually contains borax, attracts the worker ants, who bring it to the queen.
Once the queen and her workers eat the bait, they’ll hopefully die. But here’s the catch: The baiting stations you’ll find OTC have a weaker active ingredient, so they aren’t strong enough to eliminate an entire colony.
“I Have Some Lemons, Do Those Hurt Pavement Ants?”
Some natural pavement ant deterrents are lemon juice, coffee groups and essential oils. The problem with these is they’re more of a repellant, so it’s the same sitch as with the sprays.
Professional Ant Control in Fort Lauderdale
While we may be called Native Pest Management, we don’t exclude pavement ant control just because they aren’t native to the area. In fact, calling a professional pest control service is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of pavement ants in Fort Lauderdale.
The repellants and bait kits you can buy at the store only provide a temporary solution to get rid of ants, but we’ve got you covered long-term.
Our professional ant bait stations, which include granular baits and gel baits, have an ingredient strong enough to wipe out colonies, and we also have a non-repellant spray that does wonders. Instead of contact killing, our spray gives the pavement ants time to spread the poison to the whole colony until it’s lights out for all of them.
Our products are also pet friendly and eco-friendly, so there’s no need to worry about leaving your home or taking other precautions during the service.
If you want to get the pavement ants out of your home, one and done, we can provide a one-time service. This will give you the reassurance that you no longer need to worry about the pavement ants that used to hide in the kitchen and bathroom of your home.
If you want to ensure that pavement ants will never return to your home again, we can also provide a recurring service. This way, you can keep the crazy ants out of your house both now and in the future.
The moral of the story is if you think you’re having pavement ant issues in Fort Lauderdale, it might be time to let the professionals help you out.
Servicing from Vero Beach, to Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and down to Miami, Native Pest Management is a full service pest control company with over 2000 five star reviews on Google, Yelp, NextDoor, Facebook and the Better Business Bureau.
As winners of the Better Business Bureau’s 2021 Torch Award for Ethics, it’s our mission to exceed your expectations and always do what’s right for our clients!
Get in contact with us today or request your free quote below so all of your pavement ants can disappear for good.
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Mike M. was amazing! He was very diligent and he explained everything! I have had another gentleman come here and offer the same service. This company is great and their employees are very informative, friendly, and I am thankful for the customer service they provide! Thanks for everything, Mike!