There are few things more annoying than ants. There is never just one, and once you have an ant problem, there are very hard to get rid of.
Pavement ants donâ€™t sound like an indoor problem but make no mistake, they can be. With just a few cracks in either your foundation or outside walls, these pests can easily find their way into your home.
Read on to learn more about pavement ants and what to do about them.
Exactly What Are Pavement Ants?
Also known as cement ants, these little creatures live deep underground but like to build their colonies around pavements, cement areas, and large rocks. If you have ever noticed small mounds of dirt over cracks in your driveway then pavement ants are the culprit.
These ants are small, only about 1/8â€ long. They are brownish in color, but their legs and antennae are a lighter shade. They are all black underneath and have a distinct feature of two spines. Their colonies are typically fairly large.
Are Concrete Ants Dangerous?
There is no significant threat from pavement ants. They are not aggressive, just irritating. They can be territorial with other ants, but generally do not bother humans. They have been known to sting, however, if provoked.
The biggest problem is when they find their way into your home. They feed on fruit, sugars and even greasy food. Pet food is also a big draw for them. It takes just a small crack in the wall, foundation, windows, or doors for them to get inside. They will be attracted to crumbs, open containers of food, pet bowls, and trash.
During the winter months, they will often try to get inside for warmth. Concrete ants are known to be drawn to water heaters and can enter into the home at those sites.
Ants are not the only inspect problem. Read on for information on termites in your home.
How To Get Rid of Pavement Ants
Some people believe just getting rid of the dirt mounds on the driveway is enough, but that is simply not true. The colonies live underground, and this will not deter them.
It can also be tempting to spray an over-the-counter harmful remedy on the ants that can be seen. This may kill the few there, but what happens is the colony then splits and scatters and in a short amount of time will multiply your problem.
It is also not enough to just treat one time. Again, the colonies are fairly large under the earth. It takes time for any treatment to reach enough of the ants to make a significant dent in their numbers.
Your best bet for pavement ant control is to use a licensed and experienced pest control expert.
How to Keep Them from Coming Back
Now that your ant problem has been handled, there are a few steps to keep them, and other pests, away.
Try to limit the mulch in your flower beds to 2 inches and more than 1 foot from your homeâ€™s foundation. Keep shrubs and larger plants trimmed so they do not touch the sides of the house.
Seal all cracks on the outside of your home. Be sure to check the seals on all windows and doors as well. Be careful when using landscape timbers or large rocks for decorating.
Keep all unused pet food either covered or removed. Â
Ants, inside or out, do not have to be a cause of concern.
When you are ready to combat the pavement ants problem at your Alexandria, VA home, contact us.