Pavement Ant

Actual Size: 1/16″ to 1/8″

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


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.
  • Nests may have a characteristic “dirt crater” around the opening.
  • Outdoors pavement ants nest under flat stones, sidewalks, and concrete slabs.

Pavement Ants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque 

Pavement ants construct nests beside and under sidewalks, driveways, and foundations and are a common nuisance pest in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas. Feeding on a wide variety of foods, pavement ants eat meat, grease, dead insects, seeds, and sweets. The honeydew produced by aphids and mealybugs is their favorite food. Swarms occur in the spring but may occur continuously if the nest is located indoors. Sometimes confused with termites, pavement ants cause unsightly issues when swarming in commercial buildings.

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. Most often seen at night going to and from food sources, pavement ants move in slow deliberate motion and trails.  When building nests, they take the soil removed to construct neats and place in a mound near their nesting site. These mounds are usually visible on the surface of the ground or next to a patio or sidewalk. When pavement ants infest homes, they 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 are able to bite and sting, but they seldom bite people. Over the years, pavement ants have become a nuisance pest, creating unattractive piles of debris on driveways, sidewalks, and inside commercial buildings. As they forage for food and invade homes, they contaminate kitchens and pantries. If nests go untreated, pavement ants will continue to spread throughout a home or business as they form new colonies. If you suspect a pavement ant infestation, consult a professional ant exterminator.

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact New Mexico Pest Control today!