How to Get Rid of Pavement Ants

Pavement ants are the common household ants and are quite harmless. However, when the ants invade in your home in large numbers, it could become a nuisance.

They are also capable of transmitting diseases. Pavement ants can live under the cracks, sidewalks, stone and concrete slabs and among other places. To prevent the ant infestation, you should have clear information on how to get rid of the pavement ants naturally.

What are pavement ants?

Scientifically referred to as Tetramorium caespitum, pavement ants are one of the most commonly found ants and some people keep on calling sugar ants owing to their fondness for sweet foods. They are believed to have originated from Europe but can also be found in different regions of the world including the United States.

Why the name pavement ants? The name is given to them from how they find shelter. Areas such as underneath pavements, landscaping, in driveways, walls, water heaters, on the trash, under concrete slabs, etc.

What do pavement ants look like?

To have a clear understanding on how to get rid of pavement ants, you must first understand how these insects look like. In terms of color, pavement ants appear or can range from reddish – brown to black. Their abdomen is usually shinny with a light-colored limbs. The workers ant are tiny in length, approximately an eighth of an inch long. Their winged ants are about twice that size.

The ants are quite similar to other species. To positively identify them, the nesting sites are the best way to look out for. Their name is gotten from how they seek shelter; underneath pavements. It is common to find pavement ants mounds under floors, concrete slabs and brick, landscaping, in walls, near heaters, on the trash and in insulations…etc. see pictures below

How to get rid of Pavement Ants – Image

How long do pavement ants live

First, understand this, pavement ants have a caste system that comprises of workers, the reproductive males and the winged females (queens). The workers take care of the colony and are the one that find food and feed the nest. Each colony has one or more than one queen.

These ants mate during spring and summer. The queen lays eggs while the males die. The mated females in the process shed their wings and move to a different place to start a new colony. In about 40 – 60 days the eggs develop into adults (workers) and can live up to 5 years.

What do pavement ants eat?

This is a crucial question? Pavements ants eat leftovers, dead matters, honeydew, sugary and greasy foods, meat, pet food, seeds, insects, meat, etc. They can eat almost many foods the humans eat. While in search of these food, they have the ability to travel back to their nest efficiently.

They move in discipline in taking the food back to the nest. When moving back to their nest, the release a scent though a stinger which helps the worker ants to find food and later take it back to the nest.

How to tell if you have a pavement ant problem –Signs of infestation

Having to deal with an infestation of pavement ants can be a problem. The pavement ants can be nuisance especially if they invade your home in large numbers. How do you tell you have a pavement problem or an infestation?

Outside your home, the ants tend to dig nest underneath rocks, logs and sidewalks. While in the house, the pavement ant colonies can be much harder to find because these insects scavenge at night and tend to live under floors and inside walls.

Here are a few signs to tell you have a pavement infestation:

1. Dirt Mounds – the ants tend to live circular piles of soil on the surface as they dig into the ground. The mounds of dirt are often seen next to foundations, between bricks or near cracks in parking spaces and driveways.

Sign of Infestation of Pavement Ants

2. Trails

You will tell pavement ants infestation from the trails they leave behind. The worker ants tend to move in long lines across floors and under carpets travelling in search of food. The trails can be seen on countertops and kitchen surfaces.

3. Swarms

The reproductive male and female ants tend to fly away from the colony usually in groups or swarms so that they can mated. When these ants live indoors, you are likely to see the swarm near your house such as the windows.

How to pavement ants get inside home?

If you see pavement ants in your house, definitely there must be an entry point. They can come inside your house through those tiny openings in foundations or gaps in door and window frames. Once they are inside, they tend to seek for food and moisture.

In your business premise, these ants are likely to be seen in dining tables, bars and restaurants which are the main source for steady meals. They can use foundation cracks, wiring pipes to enter the building and spread out.

Are pavement ants dangerous?

The pavement ants are not dangerous to humans. Naturally, they are docile and are more preoccupied in searching of food for their colonies. However, if they feel their peace is disturbed thy can sting. But their venom on human only cause mild pain and itching. It some rather severe cases, it can cause even allergic reactions.

How to prevent pavement ant infestation – Instructions

Before going direct on methods to get rid of pavement ants at home, it is important to understand how to prevent infestation of ants at home. This will stop pavement ants from ever invading your home.

Here are the steps:

  • Seal all the possible entry points of pavement ants such as holes, cracks and crevices. Remember, pavement ants come to places that are wet, warm and dirty places where they can find food.
  • Good hygiene goes in handy when it comes to getting rid of ants in general. Keep your home clean to prevent infestation. Cleanliness and good sanitation especially in your kitchen counters after every meal.
  • Remove all constructive materials, bricks or concrete slabs that are piled up around your house- these are all places where the pavement ants try to seek shelter.
  • Cut all the grasses, bushes and creeper plants in your lawn – they act as channel or bridge for the pavement ants.

How to Get Rid of Pavement Ants

There are several methods to get rid of pavements ants both natural and commercial ones. Here are the recommended ways to deal with pavement ants’ infestation:

1. Ant Baiting

This is one of the best way to get rid of any ant infestation at home including pavement ants. Use of bait to attract the ants and eventually killing them seems to be one of the workable method. You may use a slow acting bait to ensure the entire colony is killed. It is slow thus you may need to be a little patient. There are different types of ant baits readily available in the markets including sugar –baits, fat based or protein –based ant baits.

Insecticide and dust treatment will only scatter and probably kill the worker ants fast but may not get to the queen. Which means if the queen survives, the colony will eventually grow again.

 An ant bait successfully lure the ants to eat the food and take the rest to the colony, in the end the entire colony will be wiped out. Note, you can change the bait as often as you want or if you find the current one not showing the desired results.

Here are some of the recommended ant bait tot use to get rid of pavement ants:

TERRO T300B Liquid Ant Bait Ant Killer

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Syngenta – Optigard Ant Bait Gel Box

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2. Insecticide Spray

If you intend to control the infestation of ant in your home, then different insecticide spray can be used for that purpose. The sprays usually come with guides and labels. Just follow the instructions for effective results. Spray the insecticides on all the cracks, holes, crevices and their mounds. When using insecticides, keep children and pets away for about 2 – 4 hours.

Here are some of the insecticide spray to use to get rid of pavement ants:

TERRO Outdoor Ant Killer Spray

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Raid Ant and Roach Killer Fragrance-FreeBuy on Amazon

Buy on Amazon

3. Dust Treatment

Sprinkle dust on the trail and nest of these pavement ants. Dusting can be helpful in elimination ant colonies. Just apply the dust at the entry points, cracks and holes in your house. You can follow the instruction manual provided for effective results.

How to Get Rid of Pavement Ants Fast Naturally

If you do not want to use commercial methods to kill pavement ants, then here are some of the natural methods to eliminate pavement ants fast.

4. Diatomaceous Earth

This can applied at home with fear of getting harmed. Diatomaceous earth powder is an eco- friendly, organic and harmless. It can be use indoor and outside the house. All you need to do is to sprinkle the dust at different entry points and cracks inside the house to get rid of pavement ants.

Diatomaceous Earth

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5. Boiling Water

This is a natural method use for over decades. It works if properly executed. It is a common natural method when getting rid of ants not just the pavement ants. Boil enough water and pour it to the nests of these ants. The hot boiling water will kill the ants and eventually destroy their nest and it stop them from rebuilding other colonies.

6. Whole Cloves and Bay Leaves

This is another trick that works best to get rid of pavement ants naturally. The idea is to place the whole cloves and bay leaves to prevent the pavements ants from invading your home. The strong smell from whole cloves and bay leaves not only keep these ants away but also other insects as well.

7. Coffee Grounds

The coffee grounds smell is very strong to repel and get rid of the tiny pavement ants away. You can sprinkle the coffee grounds on their entry points to keep the ants away. Sprinkle the coffee grounds on lawn too to get rid of ants’ infestation at home.

8. White Vinegar and Water

Pavement ants move leaving trails behind in search of food. A mixture of white vinegar and water is enough to get rid of pavement ants. Mix equal proportion of water and white vinegar. Put the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray the vinegar and water spray at the entry points and shelter of pavement ants.

9. Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are natural ant repellent that can be used to get rid of pavement ants at home. Place the herbs and spices at the entry points of pavement ants to prevent the movement and colonization of these ants. The ant repellents herbs and spices include whole cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, citrus, essential oils, etc.  The smell of these herbs and spices is enough to get rid of the ants.

10. Lemon Juice

Pavement ants and ants in general cannot stand the smell of citrus in lemon. Use lemon or orange juice to make an ant spray. Spray the juice at the entry points of pavement ants to remove them fast and naturally.

11.  Soapy Water

Dish soap water is enough to kill and get rid of pavement ants fast and naturally at home. Make a soap and water solution for an efficient homemade insecticide spray.

  • Add 1 cup of water and ½ cup of dishwashing soap in it.
  • Mix thoroughly.  
  • Pour the mixture into a spray bottle
  • Spray the mixture directly on the ants and in their nest to get rid of them
  • Do this several times to get efficient results.

How to get rid of Pavement ants in Walls

To get rid of pavement ants in walls, start by sealing all the cracks in wall. This helps in preventing of the colonization of pavement ants in those places. You can also use natural or commercial sprays to eradicate pavement ant infestation in the walls.


We’ve mentioned earlier that pavement ants are harmless in nature, but once they are large in number they can be a nuisance. They can eat sugary food, leftovers, dead matter and live in warm and wet places under the pavements. They are not aggressive but can sting when they feel threatened or their peace disturbed.

To get rid of pavement ants, different chemical and natural methods can be used. Ant bait is the most effective one if you tend to remove the entire colony of pavement ants. I really hope our guide to get rid of pavement ants was helpful.

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