to Ants Article
Pharaoh ants are small, yellow ants about 1/16-inch long.
They have two nodes and the workers are all one size. It is often confused with the
thief ant which is also a small, yellow ant with two nodes. The Pharaoh ant's
antenna has 12 segments and ends in a three-segmented club. the thief ant's antenna
has only 10 segments and a two-segmented club.
The Pharaoh ant can be found throughout the United States but is
most common in the southern states. In northern states, it is most commonly found in
apartments and commercial buildings such as hotels and hospitals. In the South, this
ant is a common pest in homes as well as other buildings. In temperate climates such
as the United States, the Pharaoh ant cannot survive outdoors year-round and so is found
in close association with heated buildings. It can survive outside only in the
subtropical areas of the country such as Florida and Hawaii.
Pharaoh ants do not build mounds or carve out galleries in wood.
The nest in any dark void in a structure. Nest locations include wall voids,
cabinet voids, behind baseboards and window moldings, behind insulation of appliances,
inside hollow curtain and shower rods, boxes and expansion joints in slabs. They may
even be found in areas such as folded paper sacks and newspapers. Outside, these
ants can be found in leaf litter, flower pots and in the debris of rain gutters.
Pharaoh ant colonies can grow large enough
to contain as many as 300,000 workers and many queens. The queens are very mobile
and so are the colonies. This is a key point to remember when attempting to
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- Pharaoh ant elimination can only be accomplished through an extensive indoor
baiting program. Indoor treatments with residual insecticides
will not eliminate an infestation of these ants. Only about 5% of a Pharaoh
ant colony's workers are out foraging for food at any one time. By attempting to
kill ants with a spray, the remaining 95% of the workers will become stressed and split
into two or more new colonies. This splitting of colonies among ants is known as budding.
- Baits must be place in every area where ants are known to forage.
Complete or Maxforce FC should be used.
You also must bait areas where they may possibly forage.
- In severe infestations of larger buildings, total elimination of Pharaoh ants
has been known to take up to a year. Because of the particular habits of this pest,
your baiting program should extend for several months. Even after the ants seemed to
have been eliminated, continue to place fresh ant bait in areas known to have been
frequented by them.
- Because Pharaoh ants tend to trail along edges, place baits in corners and along
edges of door moldings and baseboards. This precise bait placement ensures that the
ants are more likely to find your bait. Placing baits in the middle of cabinets or
walls reduces the chances of the ant pests finding the bait.
- Although the active ingredient and attractants in Maxforce bait are practically
non-toxic to mammals, make sure that children and indoor dogs and cats cannot get to your
bait. Children and pets could possibly choke on the plastic station. Simply
place the bait stations out of reach of children and pets.
Exterior treatments for Pharaoh ants are necessary in southern states and
sometimes during warm months in the north. Two steps can be taken:
- Treat around the perimeter of the structure with Maxforce Granular Ant Bait.
This first step is necessary when large numbers of worker ants have been observed
on the exterior of the building.
- Treat the exterior of the building with Termidor
prevent outside workers from entering and re-infesting indoors. This step can be
used alone or as a follow-up to using Maxforce Granular. When following outdoor
baiting program, wait at least two weeks before applying your insecticide.
The best bait available for the elimination of Pharaoh ant colonies is
Maxforce Ant Bait Stations.
This professional ant bait comes in plastic bait stations which are 2 inches square in
size. Maxforce bait stations should be place in all areas where Pharaoh ants are
present or may be active.
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