Why Do Ants Gather On Sidewalks?

Do you ever wonder why ants seem to swarm in the cracks of pavement? Many Vancouver homeowners wonder how and why pavement ants seem to take over the driveway every Spring and Summer. Pavement ants are a common sight in Canada and can be found gathering in large numbers on sidewalks and driveways. While they may seem harmless, these little critters can be a nuisance when they invade your home or property.

Identifying Pavement Ants

When it comes to pavement ants, there are a few key signs that can help you identify them. 

They are:

  • Small, up to 1/8 inch long: Pavement ants are relatively small, on average measuring around 1/8 inch long. One of the key ways to tell they are pavement ants is by comparing their size to that of other common household ant species.
  • Dark brown or black in color: As the name suggests, pavement ants have a dark brown or black coloring, and often have an opaque appearance. This makes them easy to spot when they gather on sidewalks and driveways.
  • Asocial and non-aggressive: Unlike other common ant species with a reputation for being aggressive, pavement ants are asocial. Their large colonies generally do not exhibit any type of aggression towards humans.

Why Do Pavement Ants Gather?

There are actually several different reasons why pavement ants gather on sidewalks, driveways, and other paved surfaces. Some of these include:

1. Nesting sites

Pavement ants typically nest in the ground, but will often seek out cracks in the pavement as potential nesting sites. This is especially true during dry or hot weather when their preferred underground nests become too dry to support them. When this happens, pavement ants will often swarm on paved surfaces as a way to stay cool and hydrated.

2. Food sources

Another reason why pavement ants gather is to seek out food sources. As scavengers, these tiny insects will scour sidewalks, driveways, and other paved surfaces for crumbs or other small bits of debris that they can feed on.

3. Protection

In addition to seeking out food and nesting sites, pavement ants may also gather on paved surfaces to protect their colonies. The dense urban environment in cities and other built-up areas can expose ant colonies to predators, so gathering on the surface of a sidewalk or driveway can help make it more difficult for these pests to be detected by predators.

How to Control Pavement Ants

Unfortunately, once pavement ants have invaded your home or property, they can be difficult to get rid of. Although you may only notice a few dozen ants at a time on your walkways, driveway, patio, or kitchen floor; each colony can contain tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of ants. The activity you’re seeing on the surface is only a small percentage of their population, which can nest two to five feet underneath the ground. Pavement ant tunnel systems can span hundreds of meters, which is why it may seem like there’s an infinite population of them!  

Here are a few tips and strategies that you can use to control these pesky insects:

1. Remove nesting sites

One of the best ways to control pavement ants is by identifying and removing their nesting sites. This includes sealing cracks and holes in the pavement to prevent them from building nests, as well as using pesticides or ant baits to eliminate existing colonies.

2. Reduce food sources

Another effective way of controlling these insects is by reducing their food sources. This can include cleaning up crumbs and debris from sidewalks, driveways, and other paved surfaces, as well as sealing all food in tight containers to prevent pavement ants from accessing it.

3. Contact a professional pest control service

In some cases, your best bet for controlling pavement ants may be to call in the experts. Professional pest control services like All Green Pest Control have the expertise and tools needed to get rid of these stubborn pests and prevent them from coming back. All Green Pest Control has been the trusted Ant Exterminator in Vancouver since 2016, serving thousands of families in Vancouver and the surrounding communities.

Ready to solve your ant problems? Contact us today for 10% off of your seasonal pest control services.




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