The pavement ant ranges in size from 1/10 to 1/8 inch.
This is a shiny black, double-node ant that has a small pair of spines at the back of the thorax.
Pavement ants have a habit of creating nests under asphalt or concrete slabs. As they build their shallow nests, they push small mounds of soil out through cracks and expansion joints. The nests may also be found under debris or objects on the ground, as well as within structures near heat sources in the winter. Activity is generally begun at dusk or later, and the slow moving workers commonly forage for food within structures. They are attracted to lights and may find their way indoors at night. The pavement ant is capable of stinging.
Indoors these ants feed on greases, pet foods and any sweet materials. Outdoors they feed on fruits and the sweet honeydew produced by aphids and mealy bugs.
Queens lay eggs and tend to the young who eventually develop into worker ants. Existing workers take over the egg-tending responsibility and shift the brood from place to place as moisture and temperature fluctuate in the nest. Workers often go inside structures to forage for food for the queen and her young.
Pavement ants move in slow deliberate motion and are not easily disturbed. They may move through plumbing pipes and electrical wires. In spring, adjacent colonies fight, producing spectacular sidewalk ant battles.
Along with cleanup of potential food sources both inside and outside the structure, it is important to find the source of the ant infestation and treat it directly.