Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are a species of ant that is commonly found in households and other structures, as well as in a variety of natural habitats such as deserts, forests, and grasslands. They are native to Africa but have now spread throughout much of the world, likely aided by human activity such as international trade.
One of the key features of Pharaoh ants is their ability to establish multiple nesting sites, which can make them difficult to control. A single colony of Pharaoh ants can contain tens of thousands of individuals, and they are known to establish nests in a wide variety of locations, including wall voids, electrical boxes, and inside appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioning units. When a colony feels threatened, it can split into multiple satellite colonies, making eradication even more challenging.
Pharaoh ants are omnivorous, and their diet can include a wide variety of foods such as sweets, proteins, and oils. They are known to feed on a wide range of household items, such as pet food, fruits, and sugary drinks. In addition, they are attracted to moisture and will often nest near water sources such as leaky pipes, sinks, and bathtubs.
Because of their small size and tendency to nest in hard-to-reach locations, Pharaoh ants can be a significant pest in households and other structures. They are capable of contaminating food, damaging property, and spreading disease, making them a potential health hazard. Effective control of Pharaoh ants typically requires a multi-pronged approach, including identification of nesting sites, baiting, and exclusion measures such as sealing cracks and gaps in walls and floors.