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Pharaoh Ant

Size: 1/16 inch

Color: Light yellow to red

Where found: Hospitals, institutions, food service locations

Potential treatment: Interior

Pharaoh ants are only 1/16 of an inch long and nearly transparent. Their coloring is generally light yellow to red, with some black markings, but because of their size, these colors and marks can be difficult to see.

These tiny insects occur everywhere in the United States and are known for being a particular problem in hospitals, institutional settings and food service locations.

Colonies are extremely large, with millions of workers and thousands of queens. Females will lay hundreds of eggs in their four- to five-week life span, and development from egg to adult is about 45 days. These pests will quickly spread, creating branch colonies rapidly.

The origin of pharaoh ants is unknown, but they are considered a tropical species. They nest outdoors in lawns and gardens in warmer climates, but are able to survive in colder areas by setting up their massive colonies inside heated buildings.

They eat virtually anything, and are especially attracted to sugars.

Pharaoh ants are one of the most resilient ants, and can be difficult to eradicate, largely because of their numbers.