How to Get Rid of Pharaoh Ants

You’ve spotted tiny, yellowish ants marching through your home, and now you’re wondering how to evict these unwelcome guests. You’re in luck! There are effective strategies to send these Pharaoh ants packing. 

With a strong foundation in entomology and countless hours of pest control research, this extensive article will become your expert guide on how to get rid of Pharaoh ants. 

We’ll start by understanding these critters, explore why they decide to bunk in our homes, and then move on to tested methods to eliminate them. We’ll also touch on preventative measures to ensure they don’t return.

Key Takeaways

First things first, identify those little troublemakers. They’re small, yellowish, and probably where they shouldn’t be. small, yellowish, and probably where they shouldn’t b
Skip the sprays; they don’t cut it. Go for baits made for Pharaoh ants. Baits can be slow, but ultimately they will whole ant colony.
Place commercial ant baits where the ants will walk. This can include along baseboards, in cabinets, on your countertops, and any other places where food or water can be found.
To prevent Pharaoh ants from returning, keep things tidy, address damp spots, and maintain your yard.
If DIY methods aren’t working, contact a pest control professional.

Understanding Pharaoh Ants

Pharaoh ants aren’t your typical backyard ants. Tiny in size, about 1/16-inch long, and sporting a light yellow to reddish hue, these ants are masters of invasion. 

Originating from the tropics, they’re used to living undercover, often nesting in hard-to-reach and hidden areas, making them a unique challenge compared to their ant cousins.

Pharaoh Ants in Wooded Board

The Problem with Pharaoh Ants

If an infestation isn’t addressed, there will be consequences. The problem with Pharaoh ants isn’t just their presence; it’s their nature. They’re not merely a nuisance that can get in your way. 

Their attraction to sweet, oily, and protein-based substances means they can end up anywhere in a house or business. Kitchens, bathrooms, you name it. These ants can contaminate food and, due to their love for damp spaces, are notorious for infesting hospitals, posing risks of spreading pathogens as they travel. 

But there’s a silver lining. Solutions exist to tackle these pesky invaders. While traditional ant baits might only sometimes do the trick given their unique dietary habits, there are specialized products and methods tailor-made for Pharaoh ants. We’ll delve deeper into those in the following sections.

Pharaoh Ant Close Up On Red Plant

Quick Facts About The Resilient Pharaoh Ant

Then there’s their incredible survival skills. The adaptability and resilience of Pharaoh ants make them formidable opponents. 

  • They breed rapidly, with a single colony housing thousands, if not millions. 
  • Disrupt them; they’ll merely split into several groups, scattering and establishing new colonies. This phenomenon, known as budding, explains why they can seem inescapable once they’ve infested an area.
  • These ants have a versatile diet, which allows them to survive on almost anything, from other insects to household crumbs.
  • This broad diet can make finding the right bait challenging. 
  • Furthermore, Pharaoh ants have multiple queens within a colony. This means if you eliminate one queen, others can continue the breeding process, ensuring the colony’s survival.

In essence, understanding the Pharaoh ant is half the battle. Their sneaky behavior, rapid reproduction, and adaptability set them apart. However, with the right knowledge and tools, we can combat and prevent their infestations. Stay tuned as we arm you with the necessary strategies to wage war against these tiny invaders.

Proven Extermination Methods

You’ve probably heard of numerous “foolproof” ways to eliminate ants. The list of supposed Pharaoh ant repellents is endless, from chalk lines to cucumber peels. While some of these methods might offer temporary relief and work with many different types of ants, many need to provide a lasting solution and can even backfire.

Direct Spray Insecticides Can Make It Worse

Spraying Pharaoh ants with common household insecticides might seem like a quick fix, but here’s the twist – it’s not! 

Killing visible ants might give you a fleeting sense of victory, but it can exacerbate the situation. 

These sprays don’t reach the colony’s heart, the queen, or the brood. Additionally, disturbing a Pharaoh colony can cause it to “bud,” splitting into multiple new colonies, each with its egg-laying queen. Instead of solving the problem, you end up with a larger one.

Understanding Ant Behavior

Baits are the answer since Pharaoh ants are attracted to sugary, oily, and protein-based foods. 

But not just any baits – baits formulated specifically for Pharaoh ants. These are slow-acting, ensuring the worker ants have enough time to carry the bait back to the colony and share it. Over time, the bait reaches the queen and brood, effectively exterminating the colony from within.

Pharaoh Ant on Plant Stem

Let’s Delve Into the Specifics

So, what’s the effective way out? The key lies in understanding their behavior and using it against them. 

Baits

Several commercial ant baits target Pharaoh ants in gel and granule forms. The baits usually contain an insecticidal agent mixed with a food attractant. Place these baits near ant trails but away from areas accessible to pets and children. 

Ensure you’re patient, as the bait can take a few days to weeks to work its magic.

Insecticides

While direct sprays aren’t advised, certain insecticides can be used as perimeter treatments. They deter ants from entering a structure and reduce the risk of an indoor infestation. Always read and follow label instructions, and consult a pest management professional for proper application.

Natural Methods

If you seek a more natural route, consider diatomaceous earth (DE). Made from fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms, DE damages ants’ exoskeleton, causing dehydration. Sprinkle it in areas where you’ve noticed ant activity. Remember, while DE is natural, keeping it away from places where pets and kids might ingest it is still crucial.

Diatomaceous Earth Powder Poured on a Table

Combating Pharaoh ants requires patience, the right products, and some strategy. Quick fixes might be tempting, but they often need to catch up. Understanding the nature of these ants and using proven methods tailored to their habits will ensure they pack their bags and leave your premises for good.

Prevention and Long-term Solutions

Have you ever cleared your kitchen of ants only to find them parading back a week later? That’s the tricky thing about Pharaoh ants. Without taking proper preventive measures, these tiny invaders can easily make a comeback, turning your victory into a short-lived one.

Continuous infestations don’t just result in never-ending battles with these pests either. Over time, the presence of Pharaoh ants can lead to serious health concerns. These ants carry and transmit various pathogens, contaminating food and surfaces they contact. Furthermore, their persistence can cause unwarranted stress, especially when infestations seem uncontrollable.

The answer to how to keep them from returning ever again lies in comprehensive preventive strategies that address their entry, breeding, and sustenance.

Seal Entry Points

Thoroughly inspect your home for possible entry points. Pharaoh ants are tiny and can enter through the smallest of cracks—seal gaps in windows, doors, and walls. Make sure to check utility lines and vents. Silicone caulk is an excellent material for sealing most gaps.

Stay On Top of Clean-ups

Even a tiny crumb can attract these ants. Regularly clean your countertops, floors, and cabinets, leaving no food residues behind. Also, consider storing food in airtight containers and immediately attending to spills, especially sweet or oily substances.

Manage Moisture

Like many pests, Pharaoh ants are attracted to moisture. Fix any leaking pipes or faucets. Ensure that areas like bathrooms and kitchens have proper ventilation to reduce humidity.

Yard Maintenance

Maintaining the area around your house can make a big difference. Keep shrubbery and trees trimmed, ensuring they don’t touch the house, which can provide ants with a direct path inside. Regularly check and clean gutters and ensure water drains away from your home’s foundation.

Regular Inspections

Even with the best preventive measures, it’s essential to stay vigilant. Regularly inspect known problem areas and potential entry points. Being proactive allows you to address an infestation early on, making it easier to manage.

Now, let’s touch on some nuances you should be aware of:

  • Seasonal Changes: Ants, including Pharaoh ants, tend to be more active during warmer months. However, they seek shelter indoors during bad conditions. As seasons change, it’s crucial to reevaluate your preventive measures, ensuring they’re suited to the current conditions.
  • Home Maintenance: Over time, wear and tear can lead to new entry points for these ants. Regular home maintenance, like repairing cracks or replacing worn-out seals, can prevent these potential entryways.
  • Regular Checks: Set reminders to recheck bait stations, diatomaceous earth placements, or any other preventive measures you’ve set up. This ensures they remain effective and helps in early detection should another wave of invaders attempt a comeback.

While battling a Pharaoh ant infestation can be daunting, maintaining a defense strategy is your best bet against future invasions. 

A combination of proactive measures, regular checks, and understanding their behavior will keep your home ant-free in the long haul.

Conclusion

Dealing with Pharaoh ants isn’t just about the here and now; it’s a long game. Understanding these tiny invaders, from their unique characteristics to their resilient behavior, is the first step to regaining control and keeping them out. 

It’s crucial to rely on tried-and-tested extermination methods, ensuring you’re not inadvertently making the problem worse and preventing their return is an ongoing effort anchored in regular maintenance, vigilance, and a deep understanding of the ant’s behavior.

Feel free to consult a professional if the challenge seems too persistent. Share what you’ve learned with friends and neighbors. After all, the more households that are educated on how to get rid of Pharaoh ants, the less these pests can thrive. Together, we can ensure our homes remain sanctuaries, free from these unwelcome guests.

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Sean is the founder of Conquer Critters. With more than 17 years of experience in dealing with various pests, he is passionate about spreading his knowledge to help everyone manage their pest problem in the fastest, most effective manor possible.

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