Learning how to get rid of pharaoh ants has become an important topic for people all over the world. Although formerly limited to a relatively small tropical range, pharaoh ants have spread to the US, Australia, and Europe, and thrive in buildings in all types of climates. Particularly in hospitals and office buildings, pharaoh ants are a major pest; they proliferate and fill buildings quickly, and their small size allows them to get into medical equipment and carry disease and cause electrical malfunction.
What are pharaoh ants?
Pharaoh ants are a tiny species–only about two millimeters long. The are light colored, usually yellowish to reddish-brown. They tend to live in walls, under floors, and in some furniture.
Pharaoh ants are omnivorous, and will eat sweets,grease, and parts of dead insects.
Pharaoh ants have a unique habit known as budding, in which parts of a colony, including a queen and workers, will break off from the main colony and form a new one. This makes extermination difficult, as when sprayed or otherwise attacked the new colonies can simply rejoin their former colonies and spread out again once the threat has passed.
How to get rid of pharaoh ants
Because pharaoh ants create new colonies by budding, it is important to know what not to do when exterminating them. Avoid using insecticide sprays or dusts, as they will cause the ants to band together and shift their colony structure, and they will simply return once the pesticides have worn off.
The most effective method for how to get rid of pharaoh ants is using bait stations. Commercial baits, like Terro, are generally baited with sweet foods, like corn syrup. These are often effective for pharaoh ants. However, if your ants don’t seem to have a sweet tooth, try making homemade baits using liver, as many pharaoh ants develop a specific preference for protein-rich foods.
Because of pharaoh ants’ large colony system, you may need to re-bait or replace your baits multiple times before your infestation has cleared up.
Keeping pharaoh ants out
Once you’ve figured out how to get rid of pharaoh ants, take ant control steps to prevent a recurrence.
- Wash down any areas where ants have been and destroy their scent trails. Use boiling water or vinegar to map or thoroughly wash all surfaces.
- Keep the area clean of any food that might attract ants, Vacuum frequently, and clean up spills and crumbs
- Eliminate moisture or standing water
- Seal possible entry points: Although pharaoh ants small size makes it easy for them to penetrate homes, don’t leave them any openings you can help!
Follow these steps, and let us know if you’ve discovered any other effective methods for how to get rid of pharaoh ants!