Pharaoh ant

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Pharaoh ant

The pharaoh ant (Monomorium pharaonis) is a small yellow or light brown, almost transparent ant notorious for being a major indoor nuisance pest, especially in hospitals. The pharaoh ant, whose origins are unknown, has now been introduced to virtually every area of the world, including Europe, the Americas, Australasia and Southeast Asia.

This species is polygynous, meaning each colony contains many queens, leading to unique caste interactions and colony dynamics. This also allows the colony to fragment into bud colonies quickly.

Colonies do not display aggression toward each other; this is known as unicoloniality. Monomorium pharaonis is also notable for its complex foraging system, involving intricate trail routes maintained with several pheromones. It was the first ant species discovered to use a negative pheromone. These chemicals are integral for communication in this species.

Scientific classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Hymenoptera
  • Family: Formicidae
  • Subfamily: Myrmicinae
  • Tribe: Solenopsidini
  • Genus: Monomorium
  • Species: M. pharaonis
  • Binomial name: Monomorium pharaonis


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.


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.

Life Cycle

The queen lays thousands of eggs throughout her life. It usually does 10 to 12 eggs per set and does the 4-7 after each batch. If the temperature is 27 ° C and 80% relative humidity, then the egg hits five to seven days. 18-19 days is a larval day; Three days prior to pupae and pupal tenure is nine days. It is compulsory for four more days to determine its male and female forms.

From its egg form to its adult form, it takes around 35 to 50 days depending on relative humidity and temperature. They grew up in the tallest building in the calendar year. Mating occurs in the nest every time. There are many queens, males, eggs, workers, puppy, pre-poppy and larvae in large and adult settlements. The queen lives up to 39 weeks and puts about 400 eggs in her lifetime. Workers last for ten weeks.

Biology and Nesting Habits

The Pharaoh ant colony consists of queens, males, workers, and immature stages. Nesting occurs in inaccessible, warm, 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.

Trail and Feeding

The ants use distinct trail network and are constant every day, even though they search independently. Each system has trunk routes varying from 1 to 4 and one of the trunks is used by a scout from start to end in search of food. Thus the trunks become reinforced with the chemical and are not altered. The trunks further have divided branches depending on the food availability.

Pharaoh ant images

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