pharaoh ant in a knoxville home on a piece of fruit

How To Identify Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants are yellow or amber in color and have a contrasting dark brown or black colored abdomen. Adults grow to be 1/6th of an inch long. Pharaoh ants can be identified by the extremely large size of their colonies. They can have thousands of workers and hundreds of queens.

Why Do I Have A Pharaoh ant Problem?

Pharaoh ants are usually live and nest indoors instead of outside. They do well in homes, hospitals, food processing plants, restaurants and other buildings that provide them with a constant source of artificial heat. Inside of homes and other buildings pharaoh ants nest behind walls, in furniture, underneath floors, behind appliances, and any other areas that are warm, humid and located close to their food sources. Pharaoh ants feed on other insects, sweet foods, oils, and proteins.

Are Pharaoh Ants Dangerous?

Pharaoh ants are dangerous for a few different reasons.

  1. They are very difficult to eliminate and control once they have infested

  2. They have very large colonies and will “bud” their colony if they feel threatened or smell a noxious substance.  When the colony buds a single queen and a group of workers leave the original colony to go build a new nest and start a new colony. This could occur several times, leaving you with many nesting areas to find and eliminate within your home.

  3. Pharaoh ants are known to carry and transmit dangerous pathogens to people that include salmonella and Streptococcus phogenes. Pharaoh ants can contaminate your food and introduce dangerous diseases to you and your family. They are also quite problematic in hospitals where they have infected patient wounds.

How Do I Control Pharaoh Ants?

Because of the size of the colony and potential high number of nesting areas, pharaoh ant control is quite difficult. The best way to get rid of pharaoh ants is with the help of a professional pest control expert. At Russell’s Pest Control, we offer home pest control services and commercial pest control solutions that will be effective in resolving ant problems.   

Pharaoh Ant Prevention Tips

There are a few things that you can do  to help control and prevent pharaoh ants from invading.

  • Seal all possible points of entry. This includes small openings and cracks around doors and windows, in the foundation, and spaces around utility entrances.

  • Trim back trees and bushes so that they don't act as a highway in and out of the structure.

  • Keep outdoor trash cans and woodpiles away from the structure.

  • Quickly cleaning up spills and crumbs, wash dishes right away, and store food inside of sealed  containers or in the refrigerator to eliminate potential food sources.


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