Pavement ants are light brown to black with appendages lighter than rest of the body. They are about 2.5 to 3 mm long, with parallel lines on head and thorax. They have 12-segmented antennae with a threesegmented club.
Pavement ants invade buildings while foraging for food. Nests are outdoors under stones, along curbs or in cracks of pavement. They can nest indoors in walls and under floors. Pavement ants will feed on a wide variety of foods, including meats, grease, live and dead insects, seeds and honeydew from aphids. They prefer to eat greasy foods, and can eat many foods consumed by humans. They forage for food for their colonies and set up trails to food sources from their nests. Pavement ant workers enter houses to forage and can become a nuisance when large groups infest a kitchen or garden patio. They can sting and bite.
Pavement ants don’t bite, although they do possess the ability to sting. Pavement ants are docile and not aggressive, preferring to avoid confrontation rather than stinging to defend themselves. Worker pavement ants are the most likely sign, but other indicators can be small piles of excavated materials or even the swarmers.
Pavement ants undergo complete metamorphosis, passing through the egg, larval and pupal stages before becoming mature adults. A typical colony of pavement ants includes multiple queens and numerous workers. A queen establishes a new colony of pavement ants by laying eggs. Pavement worker ants then tend the queen’s brood until they develop into adults. During their development, broods are transferred from location to location to protect them from fluctuations in moisture and temperature.