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PAVEMENT ANTS

Ants are social insects. Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organized colonies which may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. These larger colonies consist mostly of sterile wingless females forming castes of "workers", "soldiers", or other specialized groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called "drones" and one or more fertile females called "queens". The colonies are sometimes described as super organisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.

Ants have colonized almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems, and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass. Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organization and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic, and mutuality relationships.

Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems. These parallels with human societies have long been an inspiration and subject of study.
Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine, medication and rituals. Some species are valued in their role as biological pest control agents. However, their ability to exploit resources brings ants into conflict with humans, as they can damage crops and invade buildings. Some species, such as the red imported fire ant, are regarded as invasive species, establishing themselves in areas where they are accidentally introduced. Pavement ants on the other hand are very common in Kenya and penetrate buildings through crevices in search of water and food.

Pavement ants like to nest next to and under sidewalks and other types of slabs. They often enter buildings through expansion joints in slabs. Application of insecticides through these cracks may help in controlling the colony beneath. In severe infestations, a slab floor may need to be drilled and treated by pumping chemical underneath with a specially equipped sprayer. Outside perimeter treatments with certain products is helpful in preventing re-infestation.

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