Pharaoh Ants are small, about 1/16-inch long. They colored light yellow to red, with black markings on the abdomen.
Pharaoh Ants grow from egg to adult in about 45 days. The queens live as long as 39 weeks and can lay about 400 eggs. Workers only live up to 10 weeks.
Pharaoh Ants, being extremely small, can be found in diverse places. Their nests are usually well hidden and the can forage far away from the nest. Pharoah Ants can be persistent, with large colonies.
Phraoh Ants are common inside homes in Florida. Inside they are usually found in the kitchen and bathrooms, but workers are also commonly seen trailing along window sills and baseboards.
They are also spotted near water sources around counter tops, toilets, drains, and sinks.
Indoors they prefer to nest in recessed areas like wall voids, under some appliances, in wall outlets, and under carpets for protection.
Pharaoh Ants can nest outdoors in lawns and gardens.
How to Get Rid of Pharoah Ants
Unless you use a non-repellent spray, baiting is the preferred treatment over typical residual spraying. Baiting is the most reliable way to eliminate the entire colony. When choosing Ant baits, it is best to choose from both the sugar-based baits and protein/grease-based baits. If using a spray, choose a non-repellent type unless you are treating the nest itself.
Why Ant Bait?
The use of residual sprays or dusts stresses Ant colonies, causing them to split into sub-colonies and scatter. This scattering, also called budding, multiplies the number of Ant colonies, and thereby multiplies your Ant problem.
When you bait, use a slow-acting bait. Quick-kill insecticides and baits will only kill the foraging Ants, not allowing those worker Ants to take the bait back home to feed the queen, nest workers, and brood.
If the Ant bait that you are currently using is not effective (if the Ants are not visiting the bait) you will need to change baits. Slow-acting baits provide a variety of the foods the Ants find in nature. Examples are: other insects (proteins/grease-based baits), nectar, aphid honeydew, and plant products (sugar and carbohydrates found in sweet-based baits).
Choosing a bait requires an understanding of the nutritional needs of the colony. To be sure that you have all the baiting needs met, you may want to be ready with a sugar/carbohydrate-based bait, a grease/fat-based bait, and a protein-based bait.
IMPORTANT NOTE: REMOVE ALL OTHER FOOD COMPETITION WHEN BAITING AND LEAVE THE BAIT ALONE ONCE THE ANTS START FEEDING ON IT.
Recommended Ant Baits
(Sweet and Protein/Grease Feeding Cycles)
When in doubt of which one to choose, choose one from each category. We also carry baits that feed both cycles.
Protein / Grease feeding cycles:
Sweet Feeding Cycles:
Intice Gelanimo Ant Bait for sweet cycles-not messy, particularly good for Odorous Ants
Optigard Ant Bait Gel for sugar feeding cycles excludes Fire, Harvester, and Pharaoh Ants
The powerful, slow-acting non-repellent active ingredient, thiamethoxam in Optigard Ant Gel knocks out workers, brood, and queens.
Baits that feed both Protein /Grease and Sweet cycles:
Maxforce Complete Bait Granulars for protein/grease/sugar feeding cycles
InVict AB Insect Paste is an all around insect bait containing 0.05% Abamectin (botanical insecticide)
Invict AB Insect Paste has a range of attractants including sweet, oil, and protein attractants (but no peanut products). Not only will it kill Ants, killing the whole colony quickly, but it effectively eliminates Roaches, reducing the need for two different bait formulations.
Spraying for Odorous Ants with Non-Repellents
The best insecticides for Ant control are non-repellent insecticides such as Taurus SC, Termidor SC, Optigard Flex, Alpine Aerosol, and Phantom Aerosol. Termidor SC and Taurus SC are labeled for inside usage.
Unless you can treat the nest directly, spraying is not an effective solution for Odorous House Ants, unless you use a non-repellent insecticide or "undetectable" liquid treatments such as Phantom Aerosol or Alpine Aerosols (both labeled for inside use). Optigard Flex is another very good non-repellent, also labeled for inside use and very effective against Odorous Ants.
Unlike older insecticides, non-repellent insecticides can't be smelled, tasted, or even felt by pests. They crawl through the treated area, and ingest treated materials or merely contact the residual insecticide which results in their eventual death. This type of control is incompatible with treatments such as repellent sprays that prevent workers from delivering the non-repellent insecticide residue to the nest.