Pharaoh Ant Facts

Pharaoh ants can be one of the hardest pests to eradicate from your house and can pose a serious problem both residentially and commercially. Due to their small size and high rate of survival when their colony is attacked, it is important to consult Cantu Pest Control when dealing with these insects.

How to Identify Pharaoh Ants and How They Live

All species of ants closely resemble one another, and all share the same biology. All ants have a body divided into three sections: head, thorax and tail. Red ants also have antennae that are bent at a 90 degree angle, and sport the standard six legs. Pharaoh ants are the smallest in size of all species of ants; around 1/ 16th inch, slightly larger than the end of a ball point pen, and can range in color from red to yellow with black markings.

A colony can be made up of a single queen that gives birth to a handful of eggs at a time. This queen can give birth at 39 weeks, and will continuously give birth throughout her lifetime resulting in around 400 eggs in all. The eggs will hatch and the larvae will grow from pupae into full adults. This entire process can take about 45 days. Colonies of pharaoh ants can range up to several groupings in a single space, and because of their unterritorial nature when around other ants of the same species, pharaoh ants are known to share queens. This polygamous nature means that there might be millions of ants in a single location as the colonies are not fighting and killing each other off for prime locations. If a colony is attacked or destroyed all that it takes for a new colony to sprout up somewhere nearby are 5 worker ants, 10 pre-adults and a single queen. This high survival rate often makes it near impossible to destroy a colony, and therefore may require an expert Cantu Pest Control professional to schedule the necessary treatments.

Since pharaoh ants are so small, they can inhabit almost anywhere and are attracted to dry, warm areas making a person’s home a prime location to build and maintain a colony. These ants will often inhabit cabinet voids, basement boards, attics, basements, folds in clothing, and cracks in walls. After establishing a colony, worker ants will go in search of food and are attracted to sugary foods such as jellies, honey, soft drinks, juices, syrup, and candy. This diet has caused them to take the nickname “sugar ants.”

Pharaoh Ants and the Risk They Pose to Sanitation

If ants get into a person’s food source they may contaminate it through touch and cause bacteria. This contamination can cause severe illness, therefore it is important to throw out any food that may have been touched by ants. Ant infestation is often a large problem in hospitals because ants can touch tools that have not yet been sterilized and then spread that bacterium throughout the hospital and to other patients. Lastly, because of their small size the ants can get into intravenous drip systems, and on surgical wounds.

Pharaoh Ant Bites and Treatment

Pharaoh ants can give a nasty bite that will appear as raised skin that is small, round in shape, and will sting and itch. Severe ant bites can cause secondary infection if scratched which will release pus, and can scar. It is possible that after being bit a human can experience anaphylaxis or a severe reaction over the entire body. Pharaoh ant stings treatment include using anything from an anti-itch cream such as Benadryl or a simple home remedy. Call your doctor or medical professional to discuss the treatment that is right for you.

Call CANTU at 972-201-9242 (Dallas, Fort Worth) or 713-956-7822 (Houston) and schedule an appointment today if ants have infested your home.