Pavement Ants
Pavement ants can contaminate food and prove difficult to eliminate.


Pavement ants are an invasive species frequently spotted throughout the Bristol area.  They are typically seen on sidewalks and driveways in the summer months, and they may enter and nest in manmade structures at any time of year.

A pavement ant infestation is a persistent problem that requires ingenuity to resolve. The process begins with a definitive identification of the species, which ensures that proper treatment methods are utilized. A qualified exterminator makes eradication a quick, simple and effective process.

Getting rid of them requires the destruction of the nest, and is best accomplished with assistance from a professional ant control provider


Pavement ant workers are small. At their largest, they measure between 1/8th and 1/16th of an inch. Queens and other reproductive members of the colony have wings and may be twice this size. Common colorations are black and brown, and the ant's appendages may be slightly lighter.

On their backs, the pavement ant has two projecting spines. Grooves or furrows are apparent on their heads and thoraxes. Their antennae are complex, featuring 12 segments in addition to a three-segment club. The last abdominal segment is equipped with a stinger.


As their name suggests, pavement ants prefer to nest in the ground. They leave telltale mounds of sand and dirt on patios, sidewalks and driveways that demonstrate their excavating activities. Such piles may be found in close proximity to foundations when the species nests in or near a building.

If pavement ants decide to nest indoors, then they typically are found within walls or beneath floors. Each colony has multiple queens, and it is not unusual for one colony to break into multiple nests, each one with queens and a continuous supply of eggs.


Pavement ants rely on sugars and proteins as their staple sources of nutrition. In the wild, this means consuming the honeydew that is excreted by aphids as well as fruits, nectar and seeds. Living and dead insects also form part of the pavement ant's diet.

Indoors, pavement ants find multiple food sources. Grease, meat, sugar, baked goods, cheese, pet food and more all may be consumed. Any crumbs left on counters or floors are liable to be swiftly removed, and the ants may forage among food stored in pantries and on counters.


Pavement ants can make pavers, sidewalks and stone patios unstable when their underground nests become huge. This can become a trip hazard.

Moreover, pavement ants are known to forage through unsanitary conditions on their quest for food. They pick up bacteria and germs as they roam, re-distributing these contaminants as they wander. Some of these materials end up on food preparation surfaces and floors. If not properly cleaned, contact with these surfaces can make people ill, with small children being particularly vulnerable.

The food that pavement ants infest also is contaminated and is no longer safe for human or pet consumption. This can represent a significant economic loss when an infestation is widespread or of long standing.


Researchers state that pavement ants mostly are docile. In fact, they hardly seem to be aware of people as they go about their daily task of gathering food. This docility may change if pavement ants feel that they or their nest are being threatened. The species is equipped with a stinger that they use if provoked. Wounds from the stinger rarely are serious, but it is nonetheless a frightening experience, especially if a small child is the victim.


While pavement ants are not known to directly transmit any diseases to people through a bite or a sting, this does not mean that they do not pose a threat to health. When they come into contact with food, floors, counters or tables, they spread a variety of potentially harmful bacteria and germs. If consumed by humans, these substances can make people ill. Stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea are a few symptoms of food poisoning and related concerns. Medical attention may be required when these unexplained symptoms occur and an infestation is suspected.


Indications of a pavement ant issue include:

• A line of small ants marching along a table, counter or floor
• Lines of ants along foundations, patios, driveways or sidewalks
• Small piles of loose soil or sand around pavement, foundations or floors
• Any perpetually damp areas in and around the buildings


To help prevent problems with pavement ants the following steps should be taken:

• Immediately repair plumbing and irrigation leaks upon detection
• Keep woodpiles and yard debris piles at least 20 feet from buildings
• Cover up or seal any holes and cracks in building exteriors, especially foundations
• Ensure that screens over windows and doors do not have holes
• Use garbage cans with tight lids
• Do not leave food sitting on countertops
• Place dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of the sink
• Store food in metal or glass containers with lids
• Put pet food out only at mealtimes
• Clean up all spills and crumbs as they occur


Effective ant control requires a thorough inspection of the building to locate all existing nests, identify the type of ant involved, locate entry points, and determine the best type of treatment.

SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC has been serving Bristol area home and business owners with successful pest control for over 20 years. Our trusted, licensed exterminators can identify the pest and implement immediate treatment so that everyone in the home or office can regain peace of mind.

SafeGuard Pest Control, LLC.
A Division Of Newtown Termite & Pest Control, Inc.
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