Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: Check Around Your Pantry
Perhaps the most successful species of ant in areas where humans live is the pavement ant. They’re the tiny dark brown–nearly black–ants you see crawling about cracks in your walkway or home foundation in huge numbers.
The first indication you have a pavement ant problem might be when you see a few ants around the base of your refrigerator or kitchen counter where you left a few crumbs of food. The next day there are hundreds of them. Follow their neat pathway, and you may discover where thousands are emerging from their nest, perhaps under a concrete slab.
Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: Endless Multipliers
The key is that these ants won’t just disappear on their own. They seem to have the ability to endlessly multiply as long as there is a food source, and they love just about everything we humans eat.
“Eating human food could be an advantage for the pavement ants, allowing them to thrive in areas where their natural diet of dead insects and things might not be so prevalent”, said Clint Penick, a post-doctoral fellow at North Carolina State University.
Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: First Line of Defense
So, the first line of defense is to keep everything very clean. Clean all food particles and residue under tables, counters, under your refrigerator, on the floor under and behind your stove–all those hard to reach places. Your goal is that all food in any form is only to be found in tightly sealed containers. Know that pavement ants have the ability to penetrate cereal boxes and sugar sacks that seem neatly sealed, so you’ll need strong ant-proof containers like Tupperware and Ziploc.
Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: Finding the Nest
Look around your home or business for small piles of super fine gravel–larger than sand, looking like tiny rocks. Unlike the carpenter ant, the pavement ant doesn’t burrow into wood, and is not likely to damage a structure. However, they can eventually undermine walkways, causing them to crack.
Pavement Ants In Our Food Supply: Don’t Inadvertently Drive Them Indoors
So you’ve found the nest. The first natural thought is to spray it with an over the counter spray you found at your local home improvement center or grocery store. This may just end up driving them indoors!