These ants are similar to fire ants in appearance, but may be distinguished by the 12-segmented antennae with a 3-segmented club at the end, as well as by the “major” workers in the colony which have extremely enlarged heads, so large that on occasion they have difficulty walking. Colonies are normally established in the soil, but occasionally invade structures as they forage. Exterior nests are located under debris, logs, rocks, or other objects on the soil, as well as within cavities in rotting wood or old termite galleries. Big-headed ants feed on a variety of materials, both protein and carbohydrate, usually foraging only short distances from their nest in distinct trails, making it easier to locate the nest opening by following a trail back to its source. Protein foods seem to be preferred when these ants are foraging within homes.
Along with cleanup of potential food sources both inside and outside the structure, pavement ants are easily controlled by locating the colony and applying a residual dust insecticide into it. Colonies are usually very shallow and found under rocks, wood, or debris, or by following workers back to the nest opening. Bait products also seem to be accepted by the workers and will be effective. Removal of unnecessary debris and materials on the soil will greatly reduce the nesting locations around a structure.