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.
  • Indoors, will construct nests in walls, insulation, and underneath floors.
  • Outdoors pavement ants nest under flat stones, sidewalks, and concrete slabs.

Pavement Ants in El Paso TX

Pavement ants get their name from their preference of nesting beside and under driveways, sidewalks, and foundations. Common throughout the El Paso and Anthony NM areas, pavement ants eat an array of foods, however, they prefer the honeydew produced by aphids and mealybugs. Established colonies produce winged ant swarmers in the spring and summer. Sometimes confused with termites, swarmers can cause significant issues in large commercial buildings. Since pavement ants nest near structures, they often invade homes and businesses in search of food.

Pavement Ant Habitat

Urban habitats make ideal nesting sites for pavement ants as they prefer to nest in areas with minimal vegetation. True to their name, pavement ants nest under or near sidewalks, slabs, and concrete.  When building their nests, they place any soil removed in a mound near their nesting site. These mounds are generally located on the surface of the ground or next to a patio or sidewalk. Pavement ant nests usually occur at ground level and workers use wiring and pipes to move upward. In commercial businesses, they often become an issue when the alates or reproductives emerge from openings in walls above false ceilings, then drop into the rooms below.

Pavement Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Although pavement ants can bite and sting, they don’t generally bite humans. They are a nuisance pest due to the unsightly mounds of sand and debris they create on concrete slabs, driveways, sidewalks, and inside commercial buildings. Nesting beside garages and any areas of a home or building constructed on a concrete slab, pavement ants contaminate food as they access homes in tremendous numbers. When nests are not treated in time, pavement ants will continue to spread into new populations. If you suspect a pavement ant infestation, consult a professional ant exterminator.