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Pavement Ant Pest Profile

pavement_ant_01Common Name:
Pavement Ant

Scientific Name:
Tetramorium caespitum

Order and Family:
Formicidae, Ants

Description:
(2.5 – 4mm) long and vary in color from dark brown to black, with parallel furrows or lines on the head and thorax. The pedicel, which connects the thorax and abdomen, has two segments. The posterior/dorsal thorax has two spines that project upward to the rear, and they carry a stinger in the last abdominal segment.

Food:
Sweets, including sugar, nectar, fruits, and syrups are readily taken. Grease, dead insects, and small seeds also are collected and stored in the nest. Nearly any morsel of food that falls to the floor will be consumed.

Life Cycle:
Winged reproductive ants typically swarm in the spring but have been known to emerge any time of the year in heated structures. It is not uncommon to see swarming in late fall and into February even in colder climates. After emergence, the ants mate and the queens burrow into the soil to begin laying eggs. Worker ants develop over a two-to-three-month period.

Habitat:
These ants live in or under pavement cracks.

Range:
New England to the Midwest, and south through the Mid-Atlantic States to Tennessee. It is also found from California to Washington.

Discussion:
Most colonies are located under sidewalks, building slabs, and large rocks. Ants enter buildings through cracks in foundation walls and interior slabs. It is common to see sand piles and small soil particles in structures near cracks in concrete slabs or at the top of foundation walls where the ants deposit debris from excavated nests. Similar piles are seen in the warmer months at the cracks in sidewalks.

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