Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are small, yellowish-brown ants that are known for their highly adaptive and resilient nature. They are native to Africa but are now found in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Pharaoh ants are considered to be a major pest due to their ability to infest a wide variety of environments, including homes, hospitals, and other institutional buildings. Today, we at Effective Pest Services would like to discuss the basics of Pharaoh Ants.
How Do I Identify a Pharaoh Ant?
Pharaoh ants are small ants, typically measuring about 2 mm in length. They are usually pale yellow or light brown in color and have a darkened tip on their abdomen. Their antennae have 12 segments, and their heads are slightly wider than their thorax. Unlike other ants, Pharaoh ants have two nodes or bumps on their petioles, which is the area between the thorax and the abdomen. They also have stingers but are not aggressive.
Do Pharaoh Ants have Social Lives?
Pharaoh ants are highly social insects that live in large colonies. These colonies can contain thousands of workers, multiple queens, and brood (eggs, larvae, and pupae). They communicate with each other through pheromones, which are chemicals that they secrete to mark their trails and alert other ants of potential food sources.
What Do Pharaoh Ants Eat?
Pharaoh ants are omnivores, which means that they can feed on a variety of food sources. They primarily feed on sweet foods such as nectar, honeydew, and fruit juices. They also feed on proteins such as dead insects, meat, and pet food. In homes and hospitals, they are known to infest areas where food is stored, prepared, or consumed.
How Do Pharaoh Ants Reproduce?
Pharaoh ants have a unique reproductive system compared to other ants. They are polygynous, which means that each colony can have multiple queens. The queens are responsible for laying eggs and maintaining the colony’s population. Unlike other ants, Pharaoh ant queens do not fly during mating season to start new colonies. Instead, they divide their existing colony into smaller groups, and these groups will form new colonies elsewhere.
What is the Lifecycle of Pharaoh Ants?
The lifecycle of Pharaoh ants is similar to that of other ants. The eggs hatch into larvae, which then develop into pupae. The pupae eventually emerge as adult ants. The entire lifecycle takes about 38 days from egg to adult.
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Pharaoh Ant Infestations?
Pharaoh ants are known to be one of the most difficult ants to control due to their highly adaptive nature. They are capable of forming new colonies and relocating quickly, making it difficult to locate and eliminate their nests. They are also resistant to many common pesticides and can quickly develop immunity to chemical treatments. To control a Pharaoh ant infestation, it is essential to locate and eliminate all of the nests and satellite colonies. This requires a comprehensive inspection of the entire property, including cracks and crevices, wall voids, and other potential hiding places. Insecticides, baits, and other treatments may be used to control the ants. However, it is essential to use them correctly and in combination with non-chemical control methods such as sanitation and exclusion.
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Pharaoh ants are a highly adaptive and resilient pest that can be challenging to control. Understanding their behavior, diet, reproduction, and lifecycle is essential to effectively manage an infestation. If you suspect a Pharaoh ant infestation, it is best to consult with a pest management professional who can help you develop a customized plan to eliminate them from your property. If you have a Pharaoh Ant infestation problem in Loveland, CO home or business, contact Effective Pest Services and we will do the rest.