Pavement ant workers are about 1/8-inch in length, while queens are approximately 3/8-inch long. The body color ranges from brown to black with their legs and antennae paler. Their bodies are covered with stiff hairs.
The pavement ant is one of Utah’s most frequently encountered home-invading ants. This species, which derives its name from its habit of nesting below patios, driveways, and sidewalks, form colonies of up to 5000 members. Indoors, pavement ants will nest under floors, within walls and inside insulation. The preferred nesting area is ground level, near a heat source, such as heaters, pipes, and machinery. Pavement ants also follow pipes, which they use to access upper floors of homes and buildings. Outdoors, pavement ants nest next to buildings, under stones or in pavement cracks. Outside colonies are usually easy to find due to the piles of displaced soil next to and on top of pavement.
Pavement ants eat almost anything. They eat insects, honeydew, plant sap, most household foods, with a preference for meats, grease and sweet foods.
Life Cycle & Reproduction
Ants have a complete life cycle consisting of an egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Queens will produce 10 to 20 eggs per day with complete development taking about 48 days. In the spring (as weather conditions warm up) pavement ants can be seen swarming. The reproductive swarmers appear outside usually in June and July, but can be seen indoors at anytime. Newly mated queens will search for new nesting locations, which can occur inside or outside homes or buildings.
These ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food and should be avoided.