Pavement Ant


Actual Size: 1/16″ to 1/8″

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

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: The reproductive males and females have wings.

Habitat: Nests are located in open soil or under stones and pavement, masonry or wood, near sidewalks, patios, and driveways.


  • Prefer to feed on meat proteins and greasy foods.
  • Builds nests indoors in wall voids, insulation, and underneath floors.
  • Outdoors pavement ants nest under flat stones, sidewalks, and concrete slabs.

Pavement Ants in Iowa

Pavement ants build nests beside and under sidewalks, driveways, and foundations. These ants earned their name due to their tendency to burrow under concrete, pavement, or asphalt surfaces and construct nests. Pavement ants will pile the dirt removed from constructing nests in mounds on top of the pavement. They feed on meat, grease, dead insects, and sweets, however, their favorite food is the honeydew produced by aphids and mealybugs. Swarms occur in the spring and ant swarmers are sometimes confused with termites. Since they build their nests in close proximity to homes, they often make their way indoors in search of food. 

Pavement Ant Habitat

True to their name, pavement ants nest under or near sidewalks, slabs, and concrete, making urban habitats ideal due to the lack of vegetation. Moving in slow deliberate motion, pavement ants can be found trailing at night going to and from food sources. When building nests, pavement ants place any soil removed in a mound near their nesting site. Mounds are usually noticed on the surface of the ground or next to a patio or sidewalk. Inside homes, ants tend to be found in kitchen areas or the patio, establishing nests inside wall voids, insulation, or under flooring.

Pavement Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Pavement ants can bite and sting, but they rarely bite humans. Considered a nuisance pest, pavement ants create unsightly piles of debris on driveways, sidewalks, and inside commercial buildings. Pavement worker ants can become an annoyance when they infest a kitchen or garden patio in large numbers and contaminate food. When nests aren’t treated in time, pavement ants will continue to spread throughout a home or business as they form new colonies. If you suspect a pavement ant infestations, it is recommended to contact a licensed ant exterminator.