Common Name: Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh Ants are small, about 2mm in length, with the queen being slightly larger at 4mm. They have light yellow bodies with red and black markings on the abdomen. They are found in many parts of the world and are considered to be a major pest due to their ability to survive in indoor areas.
Biology Pharaoh ants have multiple queens and are able to move their colonies from place to place when disturbed. Workers can grow from eggs to adults in as little as 38 days and may live for nine to 10 weeks. The Queen pharaoh ants can live from 4 to 12 months, but male pharaoh ants die within 3 to5 weeks of mating. Pharaoh ants begin new colonies by budding. This means that a small group of workers and a single queen migrate from their colony to start a new colony.
Habitat Pharaoh ants are tropical in origin, and require a minimum temperature of 18C to breed, with 30C being the optimum. They will take advantage of heated and insulated buildings cavity walls, cabinet voids, behind baseboards, fridge insulation, the hollows of curtain rods, boiler rooms, around central heating pipe-works and undisturbed warm dark spaces to build their nest. Large boilers and hot water pipes in tower blocks, hospitals, prisons and factories make them particularly susceptible to Pharaoh ants infestation. They can also nest outdoors in lawns or gardens in warmer climates.
Behavior and Diet. Infestations commonly occur in food service areas. Pharaoh ants eat all types of food and other insect but prefers sugary diet. In hospital the can be found in the kitchen area but also in the waste bandages bin.
Disease There are no specific diseases associated with Pharaoh ants. However due to their extremely small size they are able to penetrate most secure packaging and may contaminate foodstuffs intended for human consumption, with pathogens picked up whilst travelling through buildings. Pharaoh ant infestations within hospitals may pose additional risks to human health due to the fact it can contaminate equipment and other product intend to use by or on humans .
Sign of pharaoh ants are small amber-coloured ants on wall, floors, waste bins food containers and other places foraging or look for food .