Adult pharaoh ant (April Nobile, Antweb.org)
Adult pharaoh ant dorsal (Eli Sarnat, Bugwood.org)
Adult pharaoh ant head and antennae (Eli Sarnat, Bugwood.org)
- 1/16 - 1/12 inch long
- two nodes (bumps between middle and rear body sections)
- workers of the same size
- 12-segmented antennae with 3-segmented club
- golden yellow to red with darker markings down the back
- wide variety of secluded places in cracks and crevices: countertops, baseboards, wall voids, under floors
- prefer a warm and humid environment (e.g., near furnaces, hot water pipes and heat ducts)
- can travel along pipes and wiring
- more likely to nest indoors than other ants
- can have very large colonies
- can have multiple queens in one colony
- sweets, protein, fat/grease
- syrups, jellies, grease, cake, pet food, dead insects, toothpaste, soap and several other things most insects would not feed on
- contaminate sweets and greases
- serious pest of dormitories, hospitals, schools and apartments
- Control may be hard because nests can be difficult to find and there may be multiple nesting sites in the building.
- Use a bait specific to the pharaoh ant.
- Baits can take time (months) to eliminate infestation.
- Do not use liquid or dust insecticides; they could spread ants, making the problem worse.
IPM for Ants: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)