There are some insects which are capable of surviving, and even causing an incredible nuisance, even in the winter. Pharaoh ants are one of these insects.
Pharaoh ants are very tiny ants, they are about 2 mm long (or 1/16th “). The ants are light yellow to reddish brown in color with red and black markings on the abdomen. Interestingly enough, their thorax hasn’t any spine.
Pharaoh ants take advantage of our artificial heating indoors to survive the winter. Infestations commonly occur in food service or unsanitary areas, although nesting will be in well-protected and hidden areas throughout a structure. Pharaoh ants can be found outdoors during warmer months in garden, patio or lawn areas.
Pharaoh ants, which have also been referred to as “sugar ants”, eat many types of foods and other insects, but especially prefer sweets, greases and meats. These trail-making ants will be found foraging through unsanitary places and/or pet food areas quite often looking for food.
The most obvious signs of a Pharaoh ant infestation are simply witnessing the small workers as they forage along surfaces; they will appear as trails in motion.
Medical facilities are of a heightened concern with pharaoh ants, as the ants can spread diseases such as salmonella, streptococcus, staphylococcus, and more, and contaminate sterile equipment and rooms. Because Pharaoh ants have a well-known knack for “getting into” things, they can typically transmit multiple pathogenic pathogens to patients.
Pharaoh ants can build nests in wall and cabinet voids, behind baseboards, refrigerator insulation, the hollows of curtain rods, the folds of clothes, boxes of food, sheets and paper and other quiet, dark spaces.
Pharaoh ants have multiple queens and are able to move their colonies from place to place when disturbed. A colony of Pharaoh ants will scatter if a toxic substance disturbs it, creating multiple problems and colonies where before there had been only one.
Pharaoh ants rarely cause damage to buildings, although they can be a nuisance since nests can be difficult to eliminate.
Pharaoh Ant Prevention Tips:
- Keep pet and human food in stored containers.
- Daily wash dishes (food stained dishes can be a food source).
- Clean up crumbs and spills immediately.
- Keep tight-fitting lids on garbage containers.
- Avoid using ant and bug spray as it can cause the nests to split and spread the infestation out.
- Pharaoh ants are a difficult pest to control, it is best to find a professional to help.
Safeway Pest Management’s pest specialists are licensed, trained and knowledgeable about Pharaoh and other ant problems. Call us now for a free quote at 262-679-4422 or 800-956-0800 or visit our website at http://www.safewaypest.net.