Pharaoh Ant Facts
These pests can be a royal pain. Pharaoh ants get their name from the mistaken idea that they were one of the plagues that occurred in ancient Egypt. They were brought to the United States through commercial commerce, however, they can be found all over the world. The pharaoh ant is thought to have its roots in Africa, but its origin is uncertain because of its widespread reach. As a result, these tiny brown ants have become not only one of the most common household pests, but also one of the most difficult to control.
While pharaoh ants can exist almost anywhere, they are most commonly found indoors. Usually, they will take up residence in any warm area, thriving in spaces that are around 80 degrees and humid. They will only nest outside if the environment is warm and moist.
Pharaoh Ant Bites
Pharaoh ants have mouths that are too tiny to really bite or hurt people. These tiny brown ants also have stingers, but rarely use them. Pharaoh ant stings are harmless.
Pharaoh Ant Infestation
These tiny ants will establish colonies in any place that’s heated and has food. This means that homes, bakeries, factories, office buildings, apartments, and hospitals can have pharaoh ant infestations if the problem is not addressed.
They are of particular concern in hospitals because they can carry a variety of pathogens that can cause staph infections, strep throat and salmonella infection.
Pharaoh ants are often found foraging along wiring or hot water pipes. Once they find a food source, they leave a chemical trail when they return back to the nest so they can follow the same path again. They are often found around sinks, appliances, cracks, and around food.
Types of Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh Ant Identification
Commonly described as: tiny brown ants, tiny ants
Pharaoh ants are all roughly the same size, about ⅙ inch in length. Their bodies are yellowish or light brown with a dark red abdomen.
Pharaoh Ants In The Home & The Garden
These tiny brown ants will nest in warm areas like the wall voids of your home. They have also been found between sheets of stationery, in bed linens, appliances and even in trash. Their colonies are large, and can get as big as several hundred thousand members in the most severe cases. Pharaoh ants will mate right in their nests, so there is no swarming season. Males are not often found in the colony. After mating with the queens, who can live up to a year, the males die in just a few weeks. Once the eggs are laid, it can take around 38 days for a worker ant to reach full maturity. Queens can produce 400 eggs or more in batches of 10 to 12. Their quick reproduction is one of the reasons this species is so hard to control.
Pharaoh ants are also successful in sustaining their presence anywhere because they will often split into sub-colonies. Queens and workers will often break away to establish new nests. Larger colonies can sometimes have several hundred reproducing females.
These pests eat like kings, too. They’ll eat anything that is sweet, fatty or oily. Any crumb that falls off the table is a feast to a pharaoh ant.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do pharaoh ants have wings?
Pharaoh ants do not develop wings and swarm like some ant species do. Mating happens within the nest and the colonies will often “bud” by creating a new colony with a new queen nearby.
Do pharoah ants eat wood?
Pharaoh ants do not eat wood, but love any food that is fatty, oily or sweet.
Benefits of Professional Pharaoh Ant Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a pharaoh ant problem. Finding and treating the ant colony can be challenging, especially if the main colony is hidden somewhere outside in the lawn. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify and determine the best possible solution to resolve the pharaoh ant infestation.