Pavement Ant


Actual Size: 1/16″ to 1/8″

Characteristics: Light to dark brown to blackish; dark parallel lines run down the head and thorax.


Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.


  • Attracted to both greasy and sweet foods.
  • New colonies are established after mating flights during summer. 
  • Construct nests beside and under sidewalks, driveways and foundations.

Pavement Ants in Illinois and Indiana

The pavement ant gets its name from its habit of nesting beside and under sidewalks, driveways, and foundations. Found throughout Illinois and Indiana, pavement ants pile the dirt removed from constructing their nests in a mound on top of the pavement. New colonies are established after mating flights in summer, generally in June and July. As household pests, pavement ants are attracted to both sugary and greasy foods. Due to their habit of nesting near driveways and sidewalks, these ants often make their way indoors in search of food. 

Pavement Ant Habitat

Pavement ants are most often found under or near cement slabs, sidewalks, patios, and driveways. Nests are located in the soil in the open or under stones and pavement, masonry or wood. Since nests usually occur at ground level, worker ants use pipes or wires to move upward. In commercial buildings, they often become a concern when the alates or reproductives emerge from openings in walls above false ceilings, dropping into the rooms below. During winter, they are more likely to be found in homes near a heat source such as a radiator or heating duct. 

Pavement Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Pavement ants can bite and they do have a stinger, but they rarely bite humans. These ants do not pose a public health risk, but they can contaminate food as they forage. Additionally, pavement ants cause unsightly piles of sand on driveways, patios, sidewalks, or in basements. They will eat almost anything and foraging and invading buildings to find food resources for their substantial colonies. When nests are left untreated, pavement ants will continue to spread into new populations. If you believe you have a pavement ant issue, it is recommended to contact a licensed ant exterminator