Pharaoh Ant (Sugar Ant)
Pharaoh ants are sometimes referred to as sugar ants because of their preference for sweets, syrups, and fruits. In fact, these ants have been found in sealed, sterile bottles of salad dressing, and even in IV bags in hospitals. Pharaoh ants are infamous for being a major pest control problem. They are not only found in residential properties, but are notorious for infesting grocery stores, schools, restaurants, hotels, and hospitals. Pharaoh ants cause significant damage, and are most problematic in hospitals. This ant pest is drawn to the warmth of the intensive care units and operating rooms. Pharaoh ants cause major concern for hospitals when they access the sterile environment and promote the spread of infection; or create electrical interference. Pharaoh ants can carry pathogens like streptococcus, staphylococcus, and salmonella.
Pharaoh ants, or sugar ants, range in size from 1/16 of an inch to 1/12 of an inch. They are a pale yellow in color, with red bodies, and darker shading near the rear of the abdomen. An individual Pharaoh ant colony commonly consists of more than 2000 workers, and will make their nests just about anywhere. They prefer warm, humid areas near sources of food and water. Look for nests in wall voids, behind baseboards, underneath outdoor debris, in furniture, and under floors. These ant pests are common in all US states except Alaska; and are a serious problem in areas of Las Vegas, NV.
Pharaoh ants, or sugar ants, are very difficult ants to control. Using contact insecticides, like those over-the-counter sprays you buy at hardware stores, will cause the ant colonies to scatter and form several new smaller colonies in your yard or property. Professional ant control methods are required for optimum results.