As their name suggests, the Pavement Ant (2.5 to 4mm in length) usually builds their nest under concrete structures and under footpaths. Some Pavement Ants also build their nests around firewood, bricks and stones. The male Pavement Ants can live for as long as five years while the females can live a little longer (up to 8 years). A single nest of pavement ants can house more than 10,000 workers. The male Pavement Ant’s only role in life is to mate with the queen and after he performs this duty – he dies. The queen Pavement Ant’s only duty in her lifetime is to lay thousands of eggs. Mating mostly occurs during the spring and summer seasons when the drones fly high up in the air and mate with the new queens. Non-productive females (usually seen running around) are workers and soldiers that hunt for food, take care of the queen’s offspring, protect the community and work on the nest. They are omnivores and feed on various types of foods ranging from nectar, fruits, honey and bread. They also feed on dead insects, small nuts and seeds. They have two stomachs, one that holds food for themselves and the other that holds food for the colony.
They communicate by using a chemical trail (pheromones) when recruiting nest-mates to help find food and bring it back to the nest and also to alert them of danger. Pavement ants are known to be very aggressive especially when seeking out new colonies or settlements. The invasions of new colonies result in battles that end up causing the deaths of thousands of ants – these battles occur mostly during the spring. During the summer, they are less aggressive so instead of invading new colonies they dig out the sand in between the pavements to vent the nests. Pavement ants were studied on the International Space Station in 2014.