Pharaoh Ants

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Pharoah ants are one of the most prevalent and uncontrollable pests in the Pacific Northwest. With extremely large colonies that are capable of splitting to form new nests when disturbed, these ants are known for spreading quickly. Additionally, Pharaoh ants are carriers of multiple dangerous diseases, which means that these pests can be seriously damaging to human health. If these ants manage to invade a home or building, they typically nest in well-protected areas that are difficult to reach.

 Size 1/16″ to ⅛”
 Characteristics Small; usually light yellow to red in color, with black markings on the abdomen.
 Legs 6
 Antennae Yes
Wings  No
Habitat Generally builds nests in difficult-to-reach areas with plenty of moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms, wall voids, and beneath floors.
Habits
  • Colonies can contain hundreds of thousands of ants with multiple queens.
  • Typically builds nests in damp and inaccessible areas.
  • Capable of transmitting dangerous diseases to humans.
Pharaoh Ants in the Pacific Northwest Pharaoh ants are one of the most persistent pests throughout the Pacific Northwest. However, these ants are an invasive species that are not native to the area. Thought to have originated in Africa, Pharaoh ants have exceptionally large colonies that can contain millions of workers and thousands of queens. Because Pharaoh ant colonies can split to form new colonies if disrupted, these pests can spread incredibly quickly and are very difficult to get rid of. If these ants make it indoors, they will usually nest in well-protected areas that are hard to access, which makes them even more challenging to eradicate.
Pharaoh Ant Habitat Pharaoh ants feed on a wide variety of materials, including sweets, proteins, and other insects – alive or dead. These ants also require moisture to survive, so they typically nest near a water source such as near a sprinkler system or evaporating cooling unit. If Pharaoh ants travel indoors, they tend to build their nests in areas that are very difficult for humans to access. These ants may also use plumbing or electrical wiring to travel throughout a structure, which allows them to spread throughout a home or building very quickly.
Pharaoh Ant Behaviors, Threats, and Dangers Though Pharaoh ants are not aggressive, they still pose a huge threat to human health. These ants are known to carry a number of dangerous diseases – including salmonella, staphylococcus, and clostridium (which may cause botulism). Because these ants are small and have exceptionally large colonies, they are able to access and infect almost any space in a building. Particularly if Pharaoh ants are able to infest hospitals or nursing homes, they can be extremely damaging and harmful to human health. If you suspect Pharoah ants are infesting your home or building, it is important to call a professional ant exterminator to quickly and efficiently remove these pests.