Pharaoh ants: both similar, and different than what you’ve seen before!
As its name suggests, the pharaoh ant certainly views itself as a “ruler” among ants and they
can be a real headache for home and business owners, and the pest management professionals
that are tasked with eliminating them. Pharaoh ants, although tiny and seemingly harmless,
spread very fast through the process of budding. They are mainly seen within the kitchen and
bathroom areas, where moisture and food sources are inevitable. Unlike other ant species that
are easily traced by following visible trails, pharaoh ants do not necessarily follow specific trails
when they forage for food and harborage. Combine that with their preference to establish
nests in hard-to-reach locations like wall voids, subfloors and attics, and the pharaoh ant is a
It is important to note that while pharaoh ants do bite, their bite is not poisonous. They may,
however, carry and transmit diseases such as salmonella, staphylococcus, and others; as such it
is extremely important to deal with these pesky creatures with the right tools. Pharaoh ants are
a problem in both commercial and residential accounts. While primarily a nuisance in
residential accounts, they can present a health threat in food processing and healthcare
facilities, hotels and grocery stores because they can carry and leave behind harmful bacteria
(i.e. Salmonella, E. coli) on surfaces they come in contact with. They may especially become
problematic in commercial settings such as hospitals where wound contamination could spread
through pathogenic bacteria.
Pharaoh ant colonies are large in size with multiple nests and when they are displaced –
sometimes the result of a pesticide application – members will venture off and establish new
colonies in a process called budding. A few species other than the pharaoh ant, can also spread
by budding, however that is beyond the scope of this particular blog. This occurs when groups
of workers break off from the main colony with or without a mature queen. Treating budding
ants improperly can cause the problem to get worse instead of better. Pharaoh ants possess
the ability to create multiple nests deep within the structure of the property, and come out
once there is a food or water source available to be taken back to the nest by the worker ants.
As a home or business owner, what must be kept in mind is that pharaoh ants are attracted to
fairly high humidity and a source of food, as such it is best to monitor the humidity in areas
such as kitchens and bathrooms. Pharaoh ants are generally light brown in color and very tiny,
and they do not swarm in colonies like the other species of ants. A home-remedy or DIY
approach to eradicating pharaoh ants may render matters worse due to a lack of experience.
Your best bet with these crawling insects is to contact a professional pest control technician!
If you have any signs of infestation or have any other issues, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us by calling us at 647-997-5080!