The pavement ant, Tetramorium caespitum, is a common household pest. Their name comes from the fact that they usually make their homes in pavement. They are distinguished by one spine on the back, two nodes on the petiole, and grooves on the head and thorax.

During early spring, colonies attempt to conquer new areas and often attack nearby enemy colonies. These result in huge sidewalk battles, sometimes leaving thousands of ants dead. Because of their aggressive nature, they often invade and colonize seemingly impenetrable areas. In summer time the ants dig out the sand in between the pavements to vent the nests.

The pavement ant is dark brown to blackish, and 2.5–4 mm long. Like other ants there are the workers, alates, and a queen. Alates, or new queen ants and drones, have wings, and are twice as large as the workers. The drone's only job is to mate with the queen, and reproduction is at its highest in spring and summer. Tetramorium, like many other ants have nuptial flights where drones fly high up in the air and mate with new queens. The queen finds a suitable nesting location and digs a founding chamber. As the eggs hatch and the ants develop they will spend that time, about two to three months, tending to the queen of their colony. They will continue helping in the colony until they are a month old. Older workers hunt and defend the colony. They will eat almost anything, including insects, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts, ice cream and cheese. The species does not pose a public health risk, but can contaminate food and should be avoided.

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Pavement Ant

Fast Facts


Diet:
Carnivore/Herbivore
Avg Life Span:
Workers 5 years, Queens may live much longer than that
Size:
2.5–4 mm long (1/8th in)
Weight:
.01 grams


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Pavement Ants (Tetramorium caespitum) Details

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