||Body usually pale, varying from yellowish to reddish with abdomen often darker to black
||Monomorphic with segmented body
||1/16” (1.5 – 2.0 mm)
Pharaoh ants get their name from the mistaken belief that they
were one of the plagues of Egypt during the time of Pharaohs. This
species is thought to be native to Africa, but is currently found
throughout the Unites States.
Colonies of Pharaoh ants tend to be large, with workers
numbering in the thousands. If disturbed, members of the colony
will migrate to new locations to establish several new colonies
through a process called budding.
Pharaoh ants feed on a variety of food sources including sweets,
oils and proteins. They will also eat other dead insects.
Pharaoh ants are commonly found in commercial food handling
establishments such as hotels, grocery stores and hospitals.
Inside, they nest in warm, humid areas near food and water sources.
Nests are usually located in inaccessible areas such as wall voids,
behind baseboards, in furniture and under floors. These ants often
use electrical and telephone wires as a highway system to travel
through walls and between floorboards.
Outside, Pharaoh ants are typically found in shaded areas or
under debris. They cannot survive outdoors year-round in the
northern regions of the country.
Pharaoh ants have been implicated in the spread of more than a
dozen disease pathogens including salmonella and Streptococcus pyogenes. They are
notorious for being a major nuisance in hospitals where they can
enter wounds, enter IV bottles and can sometimes even seek moisture
from the mouths of sleeping patients.