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    Other than the famous pavements ants, there are a lot of different kinds of ants in this world. Go ahead, take a guess how many. Five? Seven? Maybe Ten? You’re wrong, and you’re way off. Scientists estimate that there are a total of 22,000 different species of ant.

    Those species really like to breed. You think humans are bad, oh buddy, wait until you hear what ants get up to. There are so many ants that they’re not measured by the ant. They’re measured by the total percentage of earth’s biomass. And right now, ants are estimated at between 15% and 25% of the earth’s terrestrial animal biomass. Got all that?

    So, it’s no wonder that your driveway always seems to be crawling with them. And it’s no wonder that your window sill also seems to have ants on it as well.

    But wait, are they the same? Don’t be too hasty, ant fan. It turns out that they’re not. Which means that you have to treat them differently if you’re trying to get rid of an infestation.

    The ant infestation in your driveway are likely caused by pavement ants and the ones on the sill are likely carpenter ants. Here’s the difference of Pavement Ants vs Carpenter Ants:


    Pavement ant: These are more of the typical ant size. They’re normally about 2.5-4 mm long., although the reproductive members can be twice that.

    Carpenter ant: These are some of the largest of all ants. They can measure between 6 and 12 mm in length – or larger. The winged males can actually get up to 18 mm and queens can reach 20 mm. Shocking!


    Pavement ant: Normally they’re brown or black.

    Carpenter ant: Ants generally can vary widely in color. Carpenter ants are normally black, brown, red, or yellow. It’s just not consistent because there are so many sub-species of carpenter ant. Remember that 22,000 figure we mentioned?

    Where they live:

    Pavement ant: The name says it all. These guys tend to live under sidewalks or pavement. They can invade your home though, by traveling through cracks in the foundation. If you’re walking on the sidewalk and see little sand piles on the cracks in the sidewalk, those are most likely pavement ants.

    Carpenter ant: Because carpenter ants deal in wood, that’s where they tend to live. They want moist wood structures. Decaying wood in the forest, or inside your windows, doors, chimneys, and walls are perfect for them.

    What they eat:

    Pavement ant: In this case, the pavement ant isn’t too different from their carpenter ant brothers. They also eat other insects, fruit, and sugar. Pavement ants will also eat greasy food and human kitchen waste. Talk about tasty!

    Carpenter ant: You might think the carpenter ant would eat wood, but they don’t. They just live in wood. It’s their canvas, their raison d’etre, if you will. They remove it and live in it, but they prefer to eat other insects, fruit, and other sugary food.

    Rule One for Pavement Ant Removal in Toronto: Know Thy Enemy

    You cannot eradicate ants if you do not know what attracts them to your house.

    Pavement ants have their needs, and not all homes provide those needs.

    During early spring, pavement ants will work on conquering new territories, and they might even attack a nearby colony that is encroaching on their prospective land.

    Because pavement ants are aggressive, they will invade impenetrable areas, like sidewalks. They dig out the sand and gravel in between pavement to ventilate and then push their way under the surface.

    Homes more susceptible to pavement ant infestations in Toronto are those with plenty of concrete.

    If your home has interlocking concrete footprints that trace along to neighbours with an existing pavement ant nest, then they are likely to migrate toward your home in search of food, shelter, and a place to reproduce.

    Food: Pavement ants are particularly attracted to insects, seeds, bread, meats, nuts, and even cheese. So, if you have these tidbits lying around on the floor, they will find them.

    Shelter: As their name implies, pavement ants take up residence under concrete surfaces. However, those concrete surfaces could be in your basement, on your porch, or any slab of concrete indoors or outdoors.

    What to Do Once They Invade

    Once the army of pavement ants has their sights on your home, the process of removing them is more than creating a war path of insect spray and a hand-held vacuum.

    In fact, it requires strategic use of baits, sealants, and insecticides that are unique for pavement ants. After all, what kills the common carpenter ant will not work on pavement ants and vice-versa.

    The main reason pavement ant control in Toronto fails because most underestimate the size of the nest or the extensiveness of the infestation.

    Once ants invade, they move about your home and your property, constantly looking for sources of food.

    One lone ant could travel several feet to yards away from the nest foraging. So, placing bait only where you see them means you are not taking care of the ants you do not see.

    Pavement Ant Extermination Frequently Asked Questions

    Are pavement ants aggressive?

    Pavement ants (Tetramorium caespitum) are generally non-aggressive toward humans, primarily focusing on foraging for food and maintaining colonies. While they may bite defensively if their nests are disturbed, these bites are usually not painful and pose minimal risk. Despite being less aggressive than some other ant species, it’s advisable to avoid nest disruption and consider hiring a pavement ant exterminator if they become a home nuisance.

    How do I identify pavement ants in Toronto?

    Pavement ants are small, typically measuring around 1/8 inch in length and are usually brown to black in color. They have two nodes on their petiole, which is the narrow waist between the abdomen and thorax. Additionally, they often build small, sandy-colored mounds of soil near cracks in pavement or concrete.

    Why are pavement ants a problem in Toronto homes?

    Pavement ants can enter homes in search of food, particularly sweets and greasy substances. They are known to nest in walls and under floors, making them a nuisance for homeowners in Toronto and around the GTA. While they do not pose significant health risks, based on the experiene of many local pavement exterminaors, their presence can be unwelcome, and their foraging behavior may contaminate food and become a bigger issue that you will eventually need to deal with for it not to expand.




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