Pest Index

Ant Pharaoh

Binomial Name: Monomorium ph


  • Overall Length: Adult ant is 1.5mm
  • Colour: Adult ant is yellow or light brown to red
  • Other Features: Club at end of antennae has three segments

Life Cycle: Unlike most ants that have a mating swarm, pharaoh ants produce new colonies through a process called ‘budding’ or ‘fractionating’. Budding is when worker ants move brood (larvae and pupae) to establish a new nest. Often one or more queens will accompany the workers and brood to the new nest. Buddy occurs when the pharaoh ant colony becomes too large for the host site or when the colony is under stress. The application of repellant insecticide / pesticide will cause a pharaoh ant colony to bud.

Behaviour: Pharaoh ants nest in inaccessible locations near warm and moist areas. A very low percentage of the colony leaves the nest to forage, those that do can travel long distances in search of protein and sugar sources. A pharaoh ant colony can have multiple queens and worker populations can number 300, 000 or more. The use of insecticide and sprays easily causes the colony to bud off to initiate new colonies – accelerating the growth of the colony rather than eliminating it.

Signs of Infestation: Most often pharaoh ants are observed on their feeding trails along countertops baseboards. Once a worker ant has located a source of food it will lay a pheromone trail from the food to the nest. Worker ants will be seen moving the food along the pheromone trail.