Ants are the 3rd pest problem in the country. Ant control can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home.

Pharaoh Ant: Facts, Identification & Control

Argentine Ant


Pharaoh Ant

Monomorium pharaonis


Pharaoh ants are light yellow to red with their thorax darker colored; workers are about 1/16 inch long.
Pharaoh ants have the following characteristics:
1) petiole with two nodes,
2) thorax lacking spines,
3) 12 segmented antennae,
4) antennal club composed of 3 segments, and
5) normal sized compound eyes in proportion to the head [compare with thief ants].
It is best to have these ants identified by an expert.


They feed on a wide variety of foods, especially those containing grease or fats. They also feed on many types of sweets, dead insects, toothpaste, soap and other foods that other ants rarely attack. They often seek out water in kitchens and bathrooms.

Nesting Sites:

Pharaoh ants nest strictly indoors in the north central states; because of their tropical origins, they do not survive outdoors. They take advantage of their small size and nest in a wide variety of small spaces, cracks and crevices, including behind countertops, baseboards, in wall voids, and many other small voids. They often nest near dark, warm sites and near sources of moisture. Pharaoh ant nests are very difficult to find.

Mating Swarms:

Pharaoh ants, unlike most ants, do not have a mating swarm but produce new nests through a process called budding. When the colony becomes too large or is under stress, a group of workers take brood (i.e. larvae and pupae) and move to a new site. One or more queens often go with them to the new nest.


Management: Elimination of Pharaoh ants is difficult and the service of an experienced pest management service is recommended. Insecticides can cause Pharaoh ants to bud, creating new colonies. The use of baits is strongly recommended. Baits available to the public usually are not effective against Pharaoh ants. Professional pest management services have the experience and access to effective baits needed to successfully eliminate Pharaoh ants.

As pests:

Only about 5% of a Pharaoh ant colony's workers are out foraging for food at any one time.By attempting to kill ants with a spray, the remaining 95% of the workers will become stressed and split into two or more new colonies.

* This splitting of colonies among ants is known as budding.*


Pest control:

Pharaoh ants have been exterminated by placing baits.Control involves application of insecticides in various forms including dusts and liquids. The dusts are injected directly into galleries and voids where the carpenter ants are living.
The liquids are applied in areas where foraging ants are likely to pick the material up and spread the poison to the colony upon returning.

Argentine ants