Pharoah Ant

Pharoah ants are about 2 mm longs, and have a two-segmented petiole.  Antennae are 12 segments and with a three segmented club at the end.  They are yellowish or light brown to reddish.  They do have a stinger but are unable to sting.  The queens are similar in color to workers but about twice the size.  Most ants are omnivores that feed on a wide variety of foods.  The light yellow or reddish pharoah ant nests inside of buildings and isn’t picky in its choice of foods.  Sanitation is the one essential element to deter the Pharoah ant.

There diet can change based on availability and colony needs such as egg production and larval growth.  They rarely nest in walls of buildings, as the Pharoah ant.  Summer months the ant colonies dietary needs will shift to carbohydrates, a primary source of energy.

Due to the small size of the Pharoah and they are often confused with the Theif Ant.  The nesting habits of ghost ants are similar to Pharoah ants.   These ants are notorious for the fact that these ants are know to create satalite colonies.  An application of a residual insecticides, often triggers a separation of colonies into numerous satalite colonies.    These ants also forage long distances, and forage both day and night.  Their trails are often hidden behind baseboards, cabinets and walls where they are using wires and pipes to travel.

Argentine and Pharoah ant colonies have many queens and millions of workers in an enormous conglomeration of interlocking nests.  Pharoah ants are monomorphic meaning the workers are all the same size.  Their size is determined by the quantity and quality of the food they receive as larva.    They will have multiple queens and she lives for approximately 200 days.  Larvae that are sufficiently fed can become queens in a pharaoh colony.

The light yellow or reddish pharoah ant nests inside of buildings and isn’t picky in its choice of foods.  Sanitation is the one essential element to deter the Pharoah ant.

Effective control of the pharoah ant is often long term, using a baiting solution in every area where the ants are known to forage.  Unlike most ants, the pharoah ant is polygynous, meaning its colonies contain many queens.  Pest Control Pharoah ants are usually much harder to control than other ants because of their ability to disperse.

The Pharoah ant will forage night or day and are a common problem in hotels, grocery stores, hospitals and apartment complexes.  Also, the foods eaten by this ant are similar to those of the Pharoah ant.  College campuses are excellent breeding grounds for the Pharoah ant, especially the kitchen or dormitories.

The Pharoah ant, also called sugar ants and other trailing house ants can come into your house in search of sugary foods.  There is only one sure solution to pharoah ants and that is to use the insect growth regulator methoprene in a food bait.

Control of the Pharoah ant is difficult and can be time consuming, but by knowing their characteristics and foraging habits one can effective control any Pharoah ant colony no matter what the size.

Monica Bird (922 Posts)

Monica’s compassion for her customer's struggles with pest control issues and passion for pest control stems from over 10 years in the industry. With a master’s degree in entomology, she uses her knowledge and experience in chemistry, insects and pests to educate her customers.


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