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Pharaoh Ants are approximately the same size (monomorphic)and are approximately 1/16 inch long. Theyare yellow or light brown to reddish, although the tip of the abdomen may be somewhat darker.
The petiole or waist has two nodes, and the thorax is without spines. The antennae have 12 segments; the last three segments end in a distinctive club. Pharaoh ants may be confused with another Washington resident, the thief ants, Solenopsis molesta, which are similar in color but slightly smaller in size. However, the antennae of the thief ant has only 10 segments; the last two segments end in a distinctive club. Wing venation can also be used to separate these two ants if reproductive (winged) forms are present.
Pharaoh ants have evolved some habits that enable them to spread out within a structure, and make it difficult for people to locate their nests. Colonies nearly always contain many queens (polygynous). These ants do not have nuptial flights or exhibit territorial behavior. New colonies are created by â€śbudding.â€ť In this procedure, a portion of the colony, including several to many queens, simply moves away (sometimes very short distances). Geographical spread of these ants by their own devices would probably be slow.
They feed on a wide variety of foods, especially those containing grease or fats. They also feed on many types of sweets, dead insects, toothpaste, soap and other foods that other ants rarely attack. They often seek out water in kitchens and bathrooms.
The crazy ant is extremely easy to identify on sight by observing its rapid and erratic movements. Confirmation may be made with the aid of a hand lens through which the extremely long antennal scape, long legs, and erect setae are very apparent.The slender-bodied, long-legged worker is capable of extremely rapid movement.
Life Cycle : The Pharaoh ant colony consists of queens, males, workers, and immature stages (eggs, larvae, pre- pupae, and pupae). Nesting occurs in inaccessible warm (80 to 86Â°F), humid (80%) areas near sources of food and/or water, such as in wall voids. The size of the colony tends to be large but can vary from a few dozen to several thousand or even several hundred thousand individuals. Approximately 38 days are required for development of workers from egg to adult.
Mating takes place in the nest, and no swarms are known to occur. Males and queens usually take 42 days to develop from egg to adult. The males are the same size as the workers (2 mm), are black in color and have straight, not elbowed, antennae. Males are not often found in the colony. The queens are about 4 mm long and are slightly darker than the workers. Queens can produce 400 or more eggs in batches of 10 to 12 . Queens can live four to 12 months, while males die within three to five weeks after mating
Management :Treatment must be thorough and complete at all nesting sites, as well as the foraging area. Thus, treatment must include walls, ceilings, floor voids, and electrical wall outlets. Baits are now the preferred method of control for Pharaoh ants and several baits (insecticides) are labeled for indoor ant control. A Pharaoh ant infestation of a multifamily building requires treatment of the entire building to control the infestation. Ants nesting on the outside may be controlled by also using a perimeter barrier treatment .
pharaoh Ants Colony
Damage :Ants trailing throughout home, especially counters, cabinets, bathrooms, and floors. Often gnaw their way into packaged foods. Indoor nests best controlled by baits.
Prevention : Kitchen surfaces are washed before and after preparing food. Hot soapy water is sufficient for this task. Spillages of liquid and food are cleaned up as soon as possible. All food rubbish is placed in a lined bin and emptied into an outside bin as soon as possible
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