pharaoh ants are one of the most persistent and difficult to control
the satelliting of nests makes colonies vast
worker ants generate pheromones as a way of marking food and leaving trails.
workers show a strategy for food preference known as alternation. If they are exclusively offered one type of food for weeks they will turn away from it and find an alternative
they eat a very varied diet, from sugary sweet carbohydrates to protein based things such as meats, fat and grease, dirty nappies, soiled bandages and other dead insects
the only way to eliminate these ants is to place Biopren or Imidasect bait along the pheromone trails and alternate the attractant in the bait every few weeks from protein to carbohydrate based and back again
also be sure to keep the area scrupulously clean and free of crumbs and spillages
insecticidal sprays should be avoided as they cause the ants to scatter
total elimination of a colony can take as long as three months
small, about 2mm long
yellow-light brown in colour, almost transparent
males are black, slightly larger and winged, although they do not fly
queen is dark red in colour and measures about 3.5mm
each queen lays about 400 eggs in batches of 12-13
with optimum conditions of 27ºC and 80% humidity, eggs hatch in 5-7 days
larval stage lasts about 18 days
pupal stage lasts 9-10 days
pharaoh ants can breed all year round in heated buildings
colonies produce sub-colonies by budding, each with multiple queens
mating takes place in the nest, flying swarms are never seen
pharaoh ants are a tropical ant species that thrive in warm, humid environments, particularly hospitals, apartment buildings and greenhouses.
in northern climates they only build nests indoors. You might find them at home in wall voids, window casings, storage areas, in kitchen cupboards, behind baseboards, in the mechanism of electrical appliances, even on houseplants.