Pharaoh Ants

Description: Pharaoh Ants are very small: workers are about 1/16 inch long. They range from yellow to light brown. They can be distinguished from the thief ant because they have a three-segmented club at the end of the antenna. The Pharaoh Ant is so small that the whole colony can exist under a wet mop in a broom closet, or in the light switch box on the wall.

Biology: Pharaoh ants do not swarm. Females mate in the nest, and new colonies are formed by budding. This means part of the main colony moves to a new location. There may be hundreds of thousands of ants in a colony. The queens are about twice the size of the workers and are a dark brown color. There are multiple queens in the colony all laying eggs at the same time. A female produces 350 to 400 eggs in her lifetime. The entire life cycle is completed in 38 to 48 days at room temp. Indoors, these ants develop year round.

Habits: Most colonies will be found inside structures such as homes, Infestations may be prominent in the kitchen and in the bathroom because of the presence of water. The pharaoh ant does not bite or sting. Pharaoh Ant workers forage in the evening and at night and often come from large colonies of 100,000 ants or more. When a forager (worker ant) finds a good source of food it returns to the nest, leaving a pheromone trail on the surface it is traveling on. It alerts the workers in the nest, who follow this pheromone trail directly to the food source. The Pharaoh Ant loves sweets. It is omnivorous, feeding on protein and grease as well as killing and eating small insects.

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Andrew IsraelsenPHARAOH ANTS