Pharaoh Ant

Monomorium pharaonis

Adult Pharaoh ant

Adult pharaoh ant (April Nobile,

pharoah ant

Adult pharaoh ant dorsal (Eli Sarnat,

head and antennae

Adult pharaoh ant head and antennae (Eli Sarnat,


  • 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

Nesting Habits

  • 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

IPM Recommendations

  • 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.

Additional Resources:

IPM for Ants: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)