ant, 6 legs, yellow, small, elbowed antenna, crawling
Introduction: Its name resulted from the mistaken belief of Linnaeus that this ant was one of the plagues of Egypt in the time of the Pharaohs. Pharaoh ants are thought to be native to the African region. This ant is found throughout the United States. Pharaoh ants have been strongly implicated in the spread of various disease pathogens.
Recognition: Workers monomorphic, about 1/16” (1.58-2.0 mm) long. Body usually pale, varying from yellowish to reddish, with abdomen often darker to blackish. Antenna 12-segmented, with 3-segmented blub. Thorax lacks spines, profile unevenly rounded. Pedicel 2-segmented. Stinger present. Queens about 1/8” (4 mm) long, with/without wings, and slightly darker in color than workers. Males about 1/16” (2 mm), winged, black in color, and antenna straight, not elbowed.
Habits: Inside, Pharaoh ants nest in warm (80-86 degreesF/27-30degreesC), humid (80%) areas near sources of food and/or water. Nests are usually located in inaccessible areas such as wall voids, behind baseboards, in furniture, under floors, and between linens. The workers reange widely from the nest in search of food and water, and establish trails to food and water sources. They commonly use electrical and telephone wires as a highway system to travel through walls and between floors. Pharaoh ants are common problems in commercial food handling establishments such as hotels, grocery stores, hospitals, and in apartment complexes.