Pest of the Month for February - Pharaoh Ant
Quick links to headings:
Appearance | Where do they live | How do they breed | What do Pharaoh Ants eat | How do I know if I have a problem with Pharaoh Ants | Are Pharaoh Ants harmful to humans | How Cannon can help | Archive for Pest of the Month |
A colony of pharaoh ants consists of workers (sterile females) which can grow to a length of between 1.5 and 2mm, and are yellow/brown in colour, with antennas and 12 segments. Fertile female pharaoh ants called queens can grow to a length of between 3.6-5mm and are a dark red in colour. While they do have wings they do not fly and they loose their wings soon after mating. Male pharaoh ants grow to a length of 3mm and are black in colour. Like the queen the male pharaoh ant has wings but does not fly either.
Where do they live?
Pharaoh ants require warm humid conditions in which to survive. In Ireland you are most likely to find pharaoh ants inside a building. A colony of pharaoh ants can hold as many as 300,000 ants. It is normal for a number of queens to live within one colony.
How do they breed?
Queens and male pharaoh ants mate in their nest. The queen ant will produce a maximum of 350 eggs which hatch within one week to produce legless larvae. It is the responsibility of the queen to feed the larvae and the workers (sterile ants) tend to the larvae also. The larvae stage lasts three weeks after which the pupal stage begins and this stage lasts for no longer than nine days. In total the life cycle of the pharaoh ant from larvae to adult takes around five and a half weeks. This timeframe does depend on the temperature of where the nest is located.
What do Pharaoh Ants eat?
The workers (sterile females) provide food for each colony. Even though pharaoh ants are omnivorous (eat animal and vegetable foods) they seek out proteinaceous foods which can be found in meat, fish, eggs, milk, and legumes.
How do I know if I have a problem with Pharaoh Ants?
The only way you will know you have problems with pharaoh ants is by actually seeing them.
Are Pharaoh Ants harmful to humans?
Most certainly pharaoh ants do pose a health risk to humans. As worker ants forage for food in unhygienic places i.e. refuse bins, drains, they run the risk of spreading pathogenic organisms which is any form of bacteria or virus which can cause a disease.
How Cannon Can Help?
Cannon recommend you call for professional assistance if you have a problem with common pharaoh ants in your home. For the month of February we have discounted our treatment of pharaoh ants. To find out more please go our ‘Special Offer’ page.
Call Cannon Pest Control on 1800 266 228 for more information on our pest control products and services.