Homeowners in Plainsboro, NJ contacted Cowleys after noticing a large ant colony that decided to set up shop outside their front door. Prior to contacting us, the homeowners had attempted a DIY treatment with an over-the-counter ant bait. As often happens with these store-bought products, the results failed to live up to the promises made on the label. The ant population continued to increase, and ant infestation just got worse.
Upon arrival, I observed small black-brown foraging ants. I immediately knew what I was dealing with — pavement ants. These ants have certain distinguishing characteristics including paler legs and antennae and two parallel lines on the head and thorax. Also, I saw a tell-tale sign of these particular ants — small mounds of excavated sand and debris. These ants prefer to nest outdoors, often under stones, along curbs, or in pavement cracks. The last common nesting location is the reason for their name. Often times, you’ll find these ants crawling around on pavement.
The time to take care of these nuisance ants is when you first find them outdoors. If they are near your home, they’ll likely weasel they’re way inside to forage for food, even setting up indoor satellite colonies. Pavement ants feed on a variety of foods including meats and grease, all types of “people” food including sweets and seeds, and also honeydew from aphids. The foraging worker ants are slow moving and are able to follow trails as far as thirty feet from the nest in search of food. They like to travel through the grass along the edges of sidewalks. To get inside your home, they’ll often use pipes or wires as conduits from foundation slabs to the floors above. Once indoors, you’ll see these pests traveling along baseboards.
This particular ant infestation was an quick fix because of the types of ant control products that I have at my disposal. I applied a residual barrier treatment to the exterior perimeter of the home. This application is highly effective, exploits the ants’ social behavior. The foraging worker ants unknowingly bring the product back to the colony, soon killing the queen and the rest of the nest.
After completing the treatment, I explained to the homeowners what I had done to resolve their infestation. They were grateful for my thorough explanation and for finally getting rid off this pest problem that had been bothering them for weeks.