The queen of these colonies only lives four months to one year but can lay up to 400 eggs. Unfortunately, by the time you notice a few of these pests, it's quite possible that an infestation has started spreading in your home. There are ways to get rid of these pests once they've invaded, though.
Luckily, we're here to help you through the entire process. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
What Pharaoh Ants Look Like
Before you can start fighting these pests, you need to be sure that's what you're dealing with. Pharaoh ants are small and pale in color. They can be golden yellow or reddish brown, and their abdomen is typically darker than the rest of their body.
They don't bite, nor do they pose an immediate physical threat.
Where Do They Live?
Pharaoh ants are an invasive species thought to have originally come from Northern Africa. They enjoy moist, warm spaces, and tend to make their nests places like:
- Under floors
- Inside furniture
- Between linens
- In hard-to-reach areas of your home
What Pharaoh Ants Eat
These pests like to eat a wide variety of things. Whether it's fruit, meat, or even dead insects, pharaoh ants don't mind. This can pose a particular problem in businesses that handle food, like grocery stores, but it can also be a big problem in your home.
Since they're so small, they can fit inside even the most secure food packaging. That means they can easily contaminate food with germs they pick up while traveling through other buildings. This is a particularly large problem if you live in an apartment complex and they've traveled from unit to unit.
How They Infest So Easily
Pharaoh ants work efficiently. They can easily colonize new territory and then work to drive out any existing species, making it simple for them to inhabit many different areas.
They spread through something called "budding," meaning that groups in one colony can simply split off when they're ready to start an entirely new colony. That means they don't have to swarm a new area to start over, so they tend to take over many areas throughout homes rather quickly.
You might wonder how they're able to branch out without a queen, but that's because they don't need one. Workers can develop a new one, making it easier for them to start over whenever they need it.
How to Kill Them
Pharaoh ants can often survive conventional pest control treatments, but there are effective methods available. Services like Remedy DIY Pest Control make it simple to control infestations.
All you have to do is go online and enter your zip code and home information. Your zip code helps us identify which type of product would be best to provide, and it lets us know how to best help your pest needs. Entering your home information, like the number of floors and square footage, allows us to calculate the amount of product we'll need to provide.
From there, you'll be able to select your plan. We offer the option to pay monthly or to pay for six or 12 months of coverage upfront. Finally, you'll be able to tell us which pests you've seen inside or outside your home, review your selected plan, and then proceed to check out. We can also help with pest identification if it's needed.
Typically, baiting is the best option you have for killing pharaoh ants. They're attracted to both sugar and protein-based baits.
You can also make use of sprays to create a border around your home. Be sure to follow the instructions provided first, but you'll typically want to spray around baseboards, windows, and doors. Remember to not use only spray on an entire infestation, though.
These sprays can be effective against a few pharaoh ants, but attacking an entire colony with it increases the chance of colonies budding. Bait is the best direct attack, while sprays are effective at keeping them out of other areas of your home.
When spraying, also be sure to pay attention to areas like your bathrooms and the kitchen. It's also smart to spray around the perimeters of other areas of your home, like the pantry and other closets. Most sprays dry quickly and leave no odor, but be sure to keep animals and children out of the area until it's dried completely.
Find the Source
The most important part of pharaoh ant control is finding the nest itself. Treating trails they've created is effective for a while, but it can be hard to cut the problem off at its source this way.
Typically, you can find an ant nest by following the trail back to its source. Given the pharaoh ant's tendency to breed in hard-to-reach areas, though, it can take some time to search for and locate a nest.
Having a flashlight on hand to check areas behind or under refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, cabinets, sinks, and dishwashers is typically a good place to start. These pests can also be found in areas in or around floor drains, behind wallpaper, and even inside the motor areas of refrigerators and microwaves.
Preventing Another Pharaoh Ant Infestation
Once you've gotten rid of pharaoh ants, it's essential to take the steps necessary to prevent a second infestation from happening. Luckily, building a pest control routine for your home is easy and affordable to do.
Between grocery bags, homework, spilled drinks, crumbs, and everything in between, your kitchen counters see a lot during their day-to-day. That's why practicing proper sanitation on a daily basis is so essential.
This can look like cleaning your countertops every day with hot water or an all-purpose cleaner. Once a week, it's essential to move small appliances and other items off the counter to clean everything with a detergent. You can also opt for harsher cleaners like isopropyl alcohol or bleach for more effective disinfection.
It's also essential to keep food sealed and put away. After leftovers have been stored properly, place them in the refrigerator or freezer for later. Also, don't allow dirty dishes to pile up in the sink.
Make Necessary Repairs
Pharaoh ants like moisture, so it's important to fix leaky pipes if there are any in your home. If there's a crawlspace or other humid room, it can help to have a dehumidifier on hand to remove excess moisture from the air.
Excess moisture in your home on its own is bad, as it can have a negative impact on your indoor air quality. Adding unwanted pests to that, however, can lead to other diseases or bacteria making their way into your home.
Seal off Your Home
If there are holes in entryways or any points that need to be sealed off, be sure to care for them as soon as possible. Pharaoh ants are notorious for gaining access through small cracks and crevices, especially around doors or windows, so be sure these areas are sealed correctly to keep pests of any kind out.
Fix up the Yard
Finally, don't give pharaoh ants a place to live in the first place. If there are piles of wood in your yard, be sure to place them as far from your home as possible.
Be sure to remove excess vegetation, like tree branches or shrubbery, from the property as well. This means trimming outdoor plants when necessary, but it also means getting rid of debris in a timely manner.
Excess growth can essentially act as a road for them to travel straight into your home. Keeping excess debris on the ground for too long can give them a place to live in your yard. This is especially true if the debris begins housing standing water or trapping excess moisture.
These factors, mixed with warm temperatures, provide the perfect condition for pharaoh ants to make their new home and begin nesting near or inside the smallest parts of your house.
Don't Underestimate Pharaoh Ants
If you're experiencing pharaoh ants in your home, it's important to take things seriously. They're not harmful on their own, but they have the power to spread diseases like salmonella and staphylococcus if given the chance. If you notice these pests beginning to infest your home, be sure to take quick action.
You don't have to do it alone, though. Sign up today and create your custom DIY pest control plan.