Pharaoh Ant

The Pharaoh ant or Monomorium pharaonis is native to Africa and through out time due to trade and commerce they have spread world wide. They are typically very small about 1/8 of an inch in length and can be confused with the thief ant, Solenopsis molesta. Pharaoh ant workers range in color from yellow to red, with black markings on the top, rear portion of the gaster.

The Pharaoh ant worker develops from an egg to an adult in about 76 days. The Queen can lay between 350-450 eggs in their lifetime. Pharaoh ant colonies can contain hundreds of thousands of workers, several thousand queens and hundreds of males. They are most active around 80 degrees and 80%humidity. Pharaoh ants are primarily nocturnal, and feed on a variety of foods including fats, proteins, carbohydrates and small insects. Once they find their food source they leave behind a pheromone trail to recruit colony members. Their trails normally follow edges and behind baseboards and cabinetry.

They typically nest in warm and moist areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. They can travel from room to room within walls via plumbing pipes and electrical wires. They however are opportunistic in their selection of nesting sites and have been found to be very resourceful. Colonies have been found nesting in walls, furniture and appliances, but also have been found in unique places such as in folds of sheets in closets, hollow curtain rods, inside irons, in small boxes or stacks of paper. New nests are formed through a process called budding, it occurs when a group of workers carry the brood to another nest site. The queens usually follow these expeditions.

Pharaoh ants are hard to control and eliminate. When foraging workers ants are killed by residual treatments, the colony will fracture or split into two separate colonies in an effort to preserve the survival of the colony. Expertise and experience will be needed in the treatment and eradication of Pharaoh ants.