Ants are a very old and very well-known enemy of many paver patio owners. They love to make their nest on the dark and humid joint sand between pavers. Let’s discuss all the things you can do to get rid of ants on brick patio and prevent them from ever coming back.
Pavement ants have that name for a reason. In case you didn’t know that already, sand is added between the paver at the moment of their installation to form the interlocking system they are so famous for.
Not only that, a coat of sand is added on top of the gravel base prior to the placement of the pavers. So you can only imagine how much of a paradise that is for ants.
The grout lines between the pavers are dark, humid places, full of sand and biological material decomposing. They are an open invitation for ants to build their nests.
While the ants are not a health hazard per se, they can get inside the house and start to build nests in more dangerous places. Even contaminating food if you’re not careful enough.
So how can you counteract that perfect environment that a brick patio provides and get rid of those ants? How to prevent new ones from nesting?
How to Get Rid of Ants on Brick Patio? – Know Your Enemy
You know what they say: knowing your enemy is the first step to defeat it.
Pavement ants are extremely small. Most don’t go past 1/8″. This allows them to walk through every small crack and crevice, which makes them hard to control and combat.
In the US, the west coast and eastern states have more problems with pavement ants, especially during the summer. But they are a problem all over the country and all over the world.
They can nest almost anywhere, especially around and under rocks, pavers, trees. The more nature elements you have outside, the more chance for them to chose one of them to make their home.
However, their nest can easily be spotted. They usually build it in the form of a small volcano using very tiny grains of sand.
It is not common to see nests inside the house, but they do move inside easily and can reach any food that is not stored in airtight containers.
Getting Rid of Ants
There are two ways in which you can fight against the pavement ants.
The first one, recommended for outdoors, is using pesticides.
Get the safest pesticide you can, with as few chemicals as possible not to put your health or the health of pets and plants at risk. The application is usually easy enough, simply following the instructions on the label of the products.
They will almost always tell you to spread around the area where you see ants walking back and forth and around their nest if know where it is.
This is the most immediate and the recommended course of action to deal with ants’ nests that are directly on your pavers since it will kill them right away.
Inside the house, however, your best option is to use bait.
There are tons of potions of ant bait to choose from in the market. From granular bait to gel bait. These are very good to prevent ants from reaching food around your house.
They are created using sweet chemicals that attract ants to them. They eat the food the chemical, which is actually poison, and go back to the nest. Once in the nest, the effect kicks in and kills not only the ant that ate it but every ant in the colony.
It is extremely effective in the long term, but it needs to be put in the correct spots. Keep food as far away as possible from the baits and place them in areas where you see ant activity.
Is There a Way to Get Rid of Ants Forever?
Forever is maybe too much, but there’s a way you can get rid of ants on your brick patio for years to come.
What you can do is apply a long-lasting insecticide to your pavers. In fact, you can even apply it an the sand under your pavers at the moment of installation.
This alone can prevent ants from nesting on your pavers for years and years on end. But there’s also a second trick you can use to top it all off perfectly.
You can mix borax into your polymeric sand before sweeping it between the pavers. The borax is poisonous to the ants and will make it impossible for them to survive between the joints.
And, of course, sealing your paver installation will make it virtually impossible for ants to nest beneath them, as the protective coat formed by the sealer is too hard for them to break through.
Professional Help Getting Rid of Ants on Brick Patios
In the worst-case scenario, if a lot of time has gone by, the ants can leave the structure of your installation compromised. If that happens, maybe you’ll need to replace the sand beneath your pavers.
In that case, is best to hire professional help to help you with the ant infestation. Professionals from the extermination field can get rid of the antes for you.
As for the installation and replacement of pavers, professionals from the hardscape industry can help you with it. We here at JS Brick are happy to provide that help.
For more than 20 years we’ve been serving the Sarasota region with the best work in the installation and maintenance of pavers.