foraging pharaoh ants

Pharaoh Ants

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What do Pharaoh ants look like?

Pharaoh ants, Monomorium pharaonis, are incredibly small, with workers measuring about 1/16 of an inch in length. (Winged reproductives are twice this size.) Their appearance is distinctive, with a yellow to reddish-brown coloration and an abdomen that may appear darker. Identifying these ants can be challenging due to their minuscule size. Magnification is needed if you hope to see their unique visual characteristics. Up close, you'll notice that they have two nodes between the thorax and abdomen, and unlike some other ant species, they lack a stinger.

pharaoh ants infesting structure

Pest Facts

Did you know?

  • Pharaoh ants are so small that a whole colony can exist under a wet mop in a broom closet or a light switch box on a wall.
  • These ants are more commonly found in hospitals and other commercial buildings.
  • Pharaoh ants use electrical and telephone wires as a highway system through walls and between floorboards.

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What do Pharaoh ants eat?

Pharaoh ants are mostly omnivorous, but they have a versatile diet. They are primarily attracted to sweet things, such as honeydew and nectar. Inside a home, they are drawn to syrup or honey on containers and sugar on surfaces. But their love of protein will have them getting into dog and cat food or climbing into open dishes or pans when meat is left out on the stove or counter. Their ability to adapt their diet to available resources makes them very successful at living in interior environments. 

What are Pharaoh ants attracted to?

Pharaoh ants are attracted to the scent of decaying organic matter and are lured onto properties by the smell of trash. Clean receptacles and proper trash disposal can help deter them. They are also drawn to moist conditions as they provide what they need, which are moisture and food options. Indoors, they are attracted to unsanitary conditions. Keep things clean to deter these pests.

What problems do Pharaoh ants cause?

Pharaoh ants pick up and spread germs from unsanitary environments. It is not good to have them in your kitchen or pantry as they can cause contamination that can lead to stomach ailments. They are also a known source of disease transmission. Two common diseases spread by Pharaoh ants are staphylococcus and streptococcus.

How do you know if you have a Pharaoh ant infestation?

You'll likely see these ants. They have no trouble appearing during the day or in the light. But they may also infest in subtle ways. Search for these ants in hidden places, such as around appliances, in cabinets, and along baseboards. You may find ants or excrement left behind. 

How did you get rid of Pharaoh ants?

Effective control of Pharaoh ants requires a multi-pronged approach. Unfortunately, it is tricky to effectively apply control measures as these ants have multiple queens and their colonies are prone to budding. What is budding? It is the process by which one colony turns into many. As you can imagine, this is not good. We recommend having a licensed pest technician apply pest control solutions to address Pharaoh ants. Your technician will:

  • Inspect your property for ant trails, colony evidence, entry points, conducive conditions for infestation, and other relevant factors.
  • Identify the ant pests you're dealing with and apply appropriate products for Pharaoh ants and other ant species.
  • Apply control materials as needed in appropriate locations and in effective quantities to avoid triggering the budding process.
  • Apply a complete solution that takes into consideration the conditions present that are allowing and inspiring infestation.

If you're currently battling an ant infestation in your home or business, seek the assistance of a pest control service provider in your area. Here at Greenway Pest Solutions, we offer solutions for Pharaoh ants in the Phoenix metro.  

Can I prevent a Pharaoh ant infestation?

While complete prevention is challenging, proactive measures can significantly reduce the risk of a Pharaoh ant infestation. Here are some steps you can take to mitigate the risks of having an indoor problem.

  • Seal cracks and gaps in your exterior, particularly around doors, windows, and utilities.
  • Practice meticulous sanitation to eliminate food sources indoors and outdoors.
  • Store food in tightly sealed containers to keep ants out and seal ant-attracting scents in.
  • Address moisture issues to reduce favorable conditions that inspire nesting.
  • Regularly inspect and monitor for early signs of ant activity. 

Implementing these measures helps create an environment less conducive to Pharaoh ant colonization. For more protection, consider a year-round pest control service plan. If you'd like to learn more about ongoing ant and pest control in Arizona, contact your Greenway Pest Solutions service team for assistance or request a quote below. We're here to answer your questions and help you find solutions.

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