Pharaoh Ants (monomorium pharaonis)
Pharaoh ants are tiny, yellow-brown or orange / reddish in colour. Workers are 2 to 2.4mm long; Queens are 3.6 to 4.8mm long; and males are 3mm long. They were first discovered in Ireland in the 1840s in Co. Wicklow. They are now an established pest all over Ireland.
Pharaoh ants nest almost anywhere that provides protection. They are extremely opportunistic and have been found nesting in walls, furniture, appliances, between folded sheets, hollow curtain rods, inside irons and under roofing shingles. They have a high daily water requirement and prefer warm, humid areas close to food and water. Therefore kitchens, hot-presses and bathrooms are usually the first infested areas.
The small ants are regularly reported in bakeries, apartments, hotels, laundries, hospitals, public buildings, shops, flats and even houses. Workers range widely from the nest and establish visible trails to food and water sources. They travel from room to room (or floor to floor) via hidden plumbing pipes and electrical wires.
Pharaoh ants are opportunistic feeders that will “swarm” on foods that appear within their foraging range, which is why pharaoh ant control often uses bait. They are attracted to fatty foods as well as sweet substances. Indoors, this will include meats, nuts, cheese, honey, bread crumbs, meats, grease and pet bowls.
Pharaoh ants infestations are a growing concern in apartments and healthcare facilities in Ireland. They are a potentially serious health pest in hospitals as they can transmit diseases between patients. These include salmonella, streptococcus and clostridium.
Control of Pharaoh Ants
Getting rid of pharaoh ants can be very difficult. The nests may be impossible to find because of their inaccessible locations in places like cavity space in walls, around hot water pipes, under floors or building foundations. Once an infestation has become established, the numerous queens start forming satellite colonies. These live together as a big family made of hundreds of thousands to several million individuals. Only approx. 5% of a Pharaoh ant colony’s workers are out foraging for food at any one time and most of them remain hidden behind plasterboards, sockets, wall cavities etc.
Indoor treatments with residual insecticides will not eliminate a Pharaoh Ant infestation.
In Dublin, some apartment blocks with over a hundred units have been contaminated in less than a year as a result of poor control methods. It is therefore essential to act quickly when pharaoh ants are identified.
Baiting trails and suspected areas of activity is the most effective pharaoh ant control method. Owl Pest Control Technicians have extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with pharaoh ants infestations in hospitals, nursing homes and large apartment complexes.
Apartment Blocks: Block treatments represent major savings compared with treatments of individual apartments, and by accessing all units it guarantees 100% eradication of all current infestations in the building.
Problem with Pharaoh Ants? Ask a Pest Control Specialist:
DIY Ant Treatments - Get Rid of Pharaoh Ants
(Unfortunately there are no registered biocide in Ireland for DIY pharaoh ant control.)
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