What do Pharaoh ants look like?
Pharaoh ants are yellowish-brown and have a three-segmented club and 12-segmented antennae. They are a small ant measuring about 2 millimeters in length.
Life cycle of Pharaoh ants
The pharaoh ant develops from egg to adult in a 38 day period. Queens lay 10-12 eggs at a time totaling 400. The eggs develop in 7-8 days before a larva emerges. The larva feed from around 18 days then pupate an average of 12 days. They live in large colonies with multiple queens. Queens will live for at least one year while males will die 3-5 weeks after mating. Unlike other ants the queen and males do not have nuptial flights; instead, to start new colonies they will move away from the existing colony in a process called budding. Many times satellite colonies are connected allowing for brood, workers and food to be shared between these nests. These large colonies can reach worker populations over 300,000.
Are Pharaoh ants dangerous?
Pharaoh ants are a significant indoor pest in the United States and have been a major problem for homes, schools, bakeries, factories, and hospitals as well as other commercial facilities. They have a habit of getting into things and cause major headaches as well as damage property if not addressed.
In addition to spoiling food they infest in any environment and contaminating sterile equipment and rooms in medical facilities, Pharaoh ants can spread salmonellosis, dysentery, and other illness.
Where do Pharaoh ants nest?
Pharaoh ants nest indoors primarily. Small spaces and dark, warm sites near sources of moisture are ideal nesting sites for these ants.
Helpful hints for Pharaoh ants
To discourage Pharaoh ant activity, our local pest control company recommends the following ant prevention tips:
- Repair any leaky pipes
- Minimize any potential water collection
- Maintain your yard or grounds to eliminate harborage points and food sources
If a Pharaoh ant infestation is occurring, you should contact an experienced pest control company who practices IPM. They will have the tools and skill to successfully reduce potential budding behavior and prevention colony expansion.
Interesting facts about Pharaoh ants
Twenty types of bacteria of medical importance have been isolated from Pharaoh ants.
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