Pharaoh Ants are small, about 1/16-inch long. They colored light yellow to red, with black markings on the abdomen. Pharoah Ants look similar to Thief Ants, but Pharoah Ants have three segments in the antennal club. Since they are so tiny, they can travel and trail to many places.
Univ. of Nebraska
These are very tiny ants. May be found both inside and outside.
Pharoah Ants will feed a wide range of foods; they feed on proteins, sweets and fats. They can feed on both dead and live insects. If choosing baits, consider their complete dietary needs, sweets, proteins and grease based baits. Below is our recommended baits for protein/grease and sugar needs.
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.
Nests and Trails
Pharaoh Ants, being tiny, can be found in diverse places. Inside, they like to nest in warm areas. Their nests are usually well hidden, and the can forage far away from the nest with trails marked by trail pheromones. Pharoah Ants can be persistent, with large colonies. Indoors they prefer to nest in recessed areas like wall voids, under some appliances, in wall outlets, and under carpets for protection. If their colonies are disturbed or the colony becomes too large, they may move.
- Inside they are usually found in the kitchen and bathrooms, but workers are also commonly seen trailing along window sills and baseboards. They are seen traveling along plumbing or electrical wires, going from room to room.
- They are found among paper, clothes, sheets, inside curtain rods, behind baseboards and wall and cabinet voids.
- You can see trails of foraging pharaoh ants where water or food sources are available, but their nest may not be nearby. Their nests are rarely found.
- They are also spotted near water sources around counter tops, toilets, drains, and sinks.
- Pharaoh Ants can nest outdoors in lawns and gardens.
- They are found outside buildings where a constant source of moisture is present, such as sprinkler systems and evaporative cooling units.
Pharoah Ants are commonly found inside homes in the warmer climates of southern United States, but found thoughout United States. They may be found in homes, grocery stores, hospitals, apartments, hotels, etc.
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. Pharoah Ants may be very persistent and suddenly appear in various places. When placing out the recommended sugar/protein baits, consider the likelihood of the ants changing locations. Pharoah Ants are mainly a problem inside, so the recommended baits below are for inside use.
If using a spray, choose a non-repellent type unless you are treating the nest itself.
Why Ant Bait?
- The use of most residual sprays or dust stresses ant colonies, causing them to split into sub-colonies and scatter. The use of non-repellent sprays such as Taurus SC, FUSE or Phantom Aerosol will not cause this division. This scattering, also called budding, multiplies the number of ant colonies, and thereby increases 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 Pharaoh Ant Baits
(Sweet and Protein/Grease Feeding Cycles)
When in doubt of which one to choose, choose one from each category. We have combined the top bait products in the Advion Ant Bait Kit .
- Top recommendation from the protein/grease category is Advion Ant Bait Arena
- To recommendation from the sweet feeding category is Advion Ant Bait Gel
Advion Ant Bait Kit--Combines both Advion Ant Bait Arena and Advion Ant Bait Gel for greater savings.
Protein /Grease feeding cycles
Sweet Feeding Cycles
Advion Ant Bait Kit (Inside Bait Kit)
Non-Repellents For Outside and Inside Pharaoh Ant Control
Spraying for Pavement Ants with Non-Repellents
- Outside: The best insecticides for Pharoah Ant control are non-repellent insecticides such as FUSE Insecticide or Taurus SC.
- Inside: You would spray on the outside with Taurus around the perimeter. Usually spraying the perimeter is enough treatment for Pharaoh Ants, will help with prevention. If you need any insecticide inside, use Phantom Aerosol or Alpine Aerosol PT in cracks and crevices.
Non-Repellent insecticides are best for ants and termites, because these insects can not detect it and will not try to escape the insecticide. Non-repellent insecticides can't be smelled, tasted, or even felt by Pavement Ants.
Another advantage for using a non repellent insecticide such as Taurus, Alpine or Phantom for Pharaoh Ant Control, is that you can use ant baits near it. Repellent insecticides do not combine well with insect baits, because they contaminate the lures inside the baits; that is not the case with non-repellents.
Non Repellent Ant Kit combines Taurus SC and Phantom Aerosol for greater savings. A complete kit to spray both inside and outside for Pharoah Ant Control.