Pharaoh Ant

Classification
Species category: Ant
Scientific name: Monomorium pharaonis
Family: Formicidae

Description
This small ant is yellow-brown in colour with well-developed black eyes. Workers tend to be 1.5-2mm long, while the male is slightly larger at 3mm long and is a darker black colour with wings. The Queen is 3.6-5mm long, she is dark red and winged.

Widely distributed across Australia, they need warm, humid conditions which mean that in temperate lands they are confined to buildings and often found infesting hospitals.

Infestations are discovered in a wide variety of locations including residential blocks, hotels, hospitals, zoos and on board ships. In warmer climates, infestations can even be found outside.

The insects locate themselves in the fabric of buildings (wall voids, windows etc.) or in plants and sterile supplies. They can spread through service ducts (e.g. heating and electrical conduits). The ants forage for water around sinks and areas of condensation.

Ants forage for meat, cheese, fat, sugar, honey, jam etc. In hospital, they will feed on blood and intravenous diet fluids. Dead insects, mice and droppings can also provide a food source.

Behaviour
There are several queens in one nest (polygenic). Winged Pharaoh ants do not fly. The queens are interchangeable, so colonies survive indefinitely. Disturb, rather than destroy the nest, and there is a strong likelihood that you will encourage a new colony.

These social insects live in colonies from a few dozen to 300,000 ants. The ants can survive low temperatures for prolonged periods where the workers continue to forage for food.

Risks
Materials are often damaged by the ant’s constant chewing with their strong mandibles. They can even penetrate the plastic bags containing sterile dressings and instruments.

Pharaoh ants pose a risk to health as pathogenic organisms can be transmitted when the ants feed in unhygienic places including drains, bins or even wound dressings.

White Footed Ant

White Footed Ant

A small, dull, and cloudy-black coloured ant which can...

See pest
Fire Ant

Fire Ant / Red Imported Fire Ant

The Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) has a copper brown head...

See pest
Ghost Ant

Ghost Ant

Very small ants, the workers are 2mm long and have a pale,...

See pest
Black House Ant

Black House Ant

They have a preference for sugary liquids and will tend to...

See pest
Clothes Moth

Clothes Moth

They are typically 7–8 mm in length when the wings are...

See pest
Spider

Spider

Most spiders are harmless and play an important role in...

See pest

Brown-banded Cockroach

adults and nymphs have two brownish, broad bands across the...

See pest
Flea

Flea

Adult fleas live exclusively as parasites of warm blooded...

See pest
Silverfish

Silverfish

Silverfish are nocturnal and secretive insects that are...

See pest
Oriental Cockroach - Pest Control - Bayer

Oriental Cockroach

It is most commonly found around the ground-floor of...

See pest
American Cockroach

American Cockroach

Gregarious and nocturnal, they spend the day hiding in...

See pest
Bed Bug

Bed Bugs

See pest
German Cockroach

German Cockroach

German cockroaches are faster and smaller than other...

See pest
Meat Ant

Odorous Garden Ant

Typically omnivores, they can eat proteins and will...

See pest
Australian Spider Beetle

Spider Beetle

Gregarious and nocturnal, Spider Beetles spend the day in...

See pest