February 10, 2023

Pavement Ants vs. Carpenter Ants: Identify & Eliminate

Ants can invade and overrun almost anything on your property, from your backyard to your kitchen counter. Their ant mounds can turn any lawn into an insect-overrun hazard, while their presence indoors can disrupt day-to-day life. 

However, not every ant infestation has the same outcomes. Sugar ants and Pharoah ants can contaminate food and spread harmful bacteria around kitchen surfaces. But what about other ant species you regularly see inhabiting structures in or around your home? 

Pavement ants and carpenter ants are common Washington ants that may pop up around concrete cracks and water-damaged wood.

Check out our blog, where we’ll tell you everything you need to know about pavement ants vs. carpenter ants! 

Identifying Pavement Ants vs. Carpenter Ants

While the two insects typically stick to different areas on your property, it’s still important to understand the difference between both for identification purposes. 

Pavement ants can occasionally come indoors and are even notorious for infesting items in your pantry. While they can’t spread bacteria like other species, they will still ruin your hard-earned food!

These pests are tiny, only reaching lengths of around 3 millimeters, with sleek brown or black bodies. 

Carpenter ants are much more immense and easier to identify. While most are approximately half an inch long, others can grow over an inch long!

Because of their size discrepancies, you can easily discern which pest has invaded your home. Carpenter ants are hard to miss, as most ants in the United States don’t reach sizes quite as large. 

Do Both Species Cause Damage?

One of the key separations between the two species of ants is the potential damage they may cause. 

Pavement ants regularly build their homes in pavement creases, under sidewalks, inside brick walls, under decks, porches, or your home. While they may build in damaged or cracked areas, they aren’t responsible for any of the wear you may see. 

These pests don’t chew or degrade the spaces they choose to inhabit, unlike carpenter ants. Instead, they choose these damp, dark, and often warm spots to lay down their roots. You may see the tiny openings to their underground colonies atop foundational or sidewalk cracks.

On the other hand, carpenter ants regularly cause damage akin to termites on a smaller scale. While these pests don’t consume the wood fibers they chew through, they can still cause considerable deterioration to your home’s wooden foundation and other structures, especially if they’re already water damaged. 

Because carpenter ants tunnel through wood to establish their colonies, it’s unlikely you’ll experience extreme damage compared to termites. But, between pavement ants vs. carpenter ants, the latter will cause your wallet the most distress!

Carpenter ant damage looks similar to traditional termite damage. You can usually find these pests chewing through water-logged wood, so thoroughly inspect any water damage around your home if you notice large black ants foraging. 

You may overlook the extent of the damage until you see one of these pests out and about or until ants leave their interior colonies during mating season. Like termites, many homeowners only notice a problem once flying ants start flitting around their homes. 

For more information about locating carpenter ants in your home, check out our blog “Carpenter Ant Frass | Locating Pesky Infestations!

Handling Ant Infestations

So, what should you do when you find an infestation in your home? While both species are unpleasant to have indoors, carpenter ants are significantly worse for your home’s health.

When you have pavement ants inside your home, look around for any spots these pests may be entering. Because they typically prefer to nest in or under concrete, they could live in concrete foundations or patios.

Keep an eye out for their tiny ant mounds atop cracks and crevices for a clue where their nests lie. You can contact a pest control company for further help and repair the areas they regularly infest. 

Between pavement ants vs. carpenter ants, the latter insect will cause more destruction in your home and should be eliminated at the first sign of an infestation.

Carpenter ants are difficult to remove from your home, so you should always contact a professional to help remedy your problem. However, there are ways you can mitigate a growing infestation and prevent other ants from coming back. 

All ants consume plant matter, decaying organisms, and most items in your pantry; carpenter ants and pavement ants are no different. They’ll flock anywhere with ample access to food. Start by removing their access to water and food. 

Place all easily accessible food items in rigid plastic or glass containers to reduce the chance of pests interfering with your goodies. Ensure that each container has a tightly closing lid, as well. 

Consistently cleaning around your home will help avoid recurrent pest infestations. Tidy your kitchen, dining room, and pantry each time to discourage pests. Ants are crafty critters and will look through your garbage for last night’s leftovers too. 

When dealing with carpenter ants, repair water-damaged wood to prevent these pests from infesting. Carpenter ants prefer to inhabit rotting or water-logged branches, logs, or limbs and will crawl indoors to reach similar items in your home. 

Fix any rotting floors or ceilings deteriorating from spills or leaks. While the repair costs may be expensive, they could help avoid further damage down the road from carpenter ants or other termite species. 

Lastly, contact us at Zunex Pest Control for all your pest control needs. We can eliminate any species of ants that may infest your home. Whether you have pavement ants or carpenter ants, we can get the job done!

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Contact your local Zunex pest expert to schedule a treatment today!