The pesky pharaoh ant

The pharaoh ant is yet another invasive species and pest control issue that we deal with here in central Florida. This can be a tricky ant to deal with that may leave you scratching your head. Here’s the story behind the pesky pharaoh ant and ant control methods used for successful eradication.

The pharaoh ant is a small ant. Only slightly bigger than the rover ant and the ghost ant. They tend to be yellow or light brown, and appear transparent.  These ants have become a real nuisance and tend to be the number one ant to invade hospitals. Still, we here at Meryl’s Termite and Pest control get residential calls for pharaoh ants often, although I must say we get more calls for rover ants and ghost ants. This ant species has multiple queens which make it a tricky ant species to deal with. They are best treated with a non-repellent spray rather than a repellent, but overall your best bet with pharaoh ant control is baiting, spraying(if any) would be on the exterior part of the structure. The problem is you may get one part of the infested under control but still have a problem in another room since the bait had not reached the other queens. in other words, this ant usually requires a few follow-up treatments, especially for a major infestation. Treated this ant with a repellent spray will only cause budding. This is why identification of the species is so important in Florida when dealing with ants and cockroaches.

This species of ant is tropical, although in can survive in even temperate conditions where inside heating is used. One dead give away of this ant is it’s trailing habits. This ant utilizes up to three pheromones and the several encounters I have had with them all stayed close to their specific pheromone trail. This ant can at times be confused with the ghost ant, not only for it’s size but the ghost ant may also stay close to a main trail when foraging. All the ants mentioned in this article, including other species of ants found in our area are commonly referred to as sugar ants which is inaccurate, especially when different species are called sugar ants, not properly identifying certain ant species will lead to unsuccessful control and possibly making the problem work. Beware of ant gels and baits that are sold in hardware stores and such places because they do not contain the same ingredients as the pest control industry standard baits.