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Ants (Pavement)

Characteristics:

  • Larvae: Rarely seen as they are tended to inside the ant colony.
  • Adult:  Ants come in a variety of colours, from light to dark brown or black. Often there are parallel lines found on its head and thorax. Pavement ants are usually 2.5 mm in length.

Identifying ant infestations:

  • Ant Hills: Ants live in colonies with thousands of other ants underground. Ants create mounds in soil and under stones and pavement as after they have dug ant tunnels through the soil and built nests for the colony.
  • Ant Trails: Ant scouts travel extensively to search for food. Upon finding a food source (sap/honeydew from plants, sugary substances, crumbs, oils or greasy food residues), the scout will leave a scented trail for other ants to follow back to the food source.

IPM Toolkit:

Since ants like to eat other insects like fleas, bedbugs, young silverfish and clothes moths, ants are often considered beneficial. However, if you wish to control ant populations around your home, use some of these tools from the IPM Toolkit:

  • Preventive tools:
    • Pavement ants are fond of burrowing, nesting and living in the soft sand found under the bricks of your house and driveway. You may try to control ant populations by changing the soil condition.
  • Physical tools:
    • Ants prefer dry conditions; by repeatedly flooding an ants' nest, you can encourage them to move from the area.
    • Temporarily reduce ant populations by pouring boiling water and detergent into the nest.
  • Biological tool: Not applicable
  • Chemical tools:
    • Apply dust such as diatomaceous earth and silica aerogel around the nest. These dusts scratch the outer ‘skin' of ants, causing the ants to dehydrate and die.
    • Spray insecticidal soap in the area where the nest is located.
    • Apply a combination of silica aerogel/pyrethrum, also known under their brand names "Revenge" and "Pursue".
    • Mix and apply boric acid baits around ant hills and ant trails.
    • Apply a boron liquid bait along ant runs and in cracks or crevices where ants are found. This bait is safe to use around food stores, pantries, etc.
    • Place ant traps along ant runs and near nests.