Many people find it fascinating to explore the behaviors of ants and follow their trails to nests. They have extraordinary chewing capabilities that can put you in wonder sometimes.
Can Ants Eat Through Concrete? Ants can eat through concrete to get food from the underground soil or grease material on the slabs. Moreover, concrete slabs often remain wet and provide warmth, making them a suitable place for these insects to live. They can also chew through hard surfaces to form narrow tunnels and build nests.
Almost every type of surface is prone to the attack of ants as they keep crawling everywhere to reach humid areas where they can build nests.
Why do ants eat through concrete?
Ants navigate every corner of the house searching for food and moisture and like to hide in narrow spaces where they feel safe from the attack of predators.
You can find ants eating through concrete when trying to reach under the slab. These insects make a small hole with their strong mandibles and get inside the hard slab.
Most probably, it feels like they are getting nutrients from the cement, but these are just making their way through it.
These crawling insects can form a complex network of channels or tunnels by digging deep into hard surfaces or pavements. You can see them moving in and out of the holes in driveways.
Underground surfaces provide a dark, covered spot where they feel secure, as other larger insects cannot crawl inside these narrow spaces.
Attracted to moist spots
They need moisture to ensure their survival, as they have to keep their exoskeleton moist. Therefore, they like to live in a humid environment and choose moist places for building a nest.
The concrete slab on sidewalks remains wet due to snowfall in winter and rains when water seeps through the dry and hard surface due to hydrostatic pressure.
The wet ground surface allows ants to come and build their nest, ensuring water availability for a long time, and they do not have to reach other areas to seek moisture.
So, wet slabs and the humid environment under these slabs provide a suitable habitat for these tiny insects to live and multiply.
Concrete has something nutritious for ants that makes them chew through hard material. These insects used their strong teeth to create holes after continuous efforts.
Many tiny insects and worms live in the soil or underground areas that can provide nutrition to their tiny bodies; that’s why they are trying to reach the ground.
In addition, a greasy material on the driveway attracts these insects toward solid ground surfaces, resulting in nest building within the small cracks.
So, ants get attracted to a wide variety of food materials, from carbohydrates to proteins and fats, which can be the reason for reaching concrete pavement walks or driveways.
Seek warmth from the ground
Cement slabs provide warmth to insects living inside tunnels or under the slab. In addition, it acts as a roofing material and keeps them away from sunlight exposure.
It is an attractive site for soil insects, including termites or ants and other larger insects or even rodents, because the slab provides a canopy-like structure for their nests.
Additionally, warm environments allow them to reproduce and raise their colony population without waiting for the winter season to end.
So, these insects will crawl deep into the gravel pathways by following the narrow cracks. The aerated soil provides a good platform for them to live and multiply.
How do ants eat through concrete?
Ants have powerful mandibles allowing them to chew almost everything from soft rubber to hard concrete, leading to structural damage to the house foundation, which is a time-taking process.
It is not difficult for them to eat through plastic, silicone caulks, wood, and hard surfaces by continuously chewing the surfaces.
Moreover, a small hole or crack in the surface is enough to quickly start the chewing process for building the deep nest. These insects will make their way through tiny cracks and move inside.
You can find intricate tunnels or chambers within or under the slab after removing it from the ground. So, they usually rely only on their teeth or mandibles to eat through hard surfaces.
The presence of a small group of these crawling insects and concrete powder around a small crack in the pavement walk indicates the attack of ants under the ground.
Additionally, you can see them chewing on the material between the wall and the ground, where it is easy to make passage deep into the soil.
How do you get rid of ants eating through concrete?
Getting rid of ants from the house is challenging because they are present in larger colonies that are difficult to remove or kill.
It is better to use coffee grounds before using any chemical sprays as their strong odor will make them leave their nest and move away from the specific area.
You can spread the coffee powder in a circle around tiny cracks and holes in driveways. It is effective for the short term until its odor disappears, but it takes a long time to act.
Moreover, boiling water is also an excellent option to kill all these annoying pests collectively. You have to pour boiling water into the hole slowly so that it will reach the innermost chamber.
Fill all the cracks with a suitable resin that can efficiently bind with the hard surfaces of the driveway. Finally, close all the entry points responsible for triggering insects to move inside.
Ant baits are quite effective and help get rid of these insects long-term. You can mix a food ingredient like sugar, honey, or any fruit chunk with a poisonous chemical like boric acid.
Accordingly, it will attract them to eat food and get nutrition, but it is actually a poison that acts slowly on their digestive system and make a whole colony die at once.
Furthermore, it is good to call professional exterminators when you have found a large colony that is not easier to be removed from the lawns and gravel pathways.
They have skills or experience in addition to chemical sprays and appropriate tools to help remove insects and make your house pest-free.
What type of ants can eat through concrete?
Two types of ants are found to be eating through hard concrete material in pavement walks, driveways, and garage floors, where you can see many of these insects under cars.
Most commonly, these are pavement ants living in tunnels built inside the slabs; they are tiny insects of black or brown color with three body parts and a shiny gaster.
They have larger colonies based on multiple queens that are responsible for laying a large number of eggs. Quick reproduction leads to a rapid increase in the colony population.
Moreover, carpenter ants are also found to be responsible for structural damage to building due to their sharp mandibles allowing them to eat through electrical lines, wood, and even concrete.