Pharaoh Ants: Identification, Features, Bite, and Safeguard Measures (2023 Guide)

pharaoh ants

Have you ever wondered about the tiny, bustling world under your feet, an empire just as compelling as the civilizations above ground? Welcome to the world of Monomorium pharaonis, or as they’re commonly known Pharaoh ants! 

They’re tiny, they’re mighty, and they’re named after one of the most powerful dynasties in history. 

This blog will unpack the enigma that these miniature monarchs present, guiding you through their peculiar appearances, voracious appetites, and their surprising interaction with humans. 

Are they friendly? Can they bite? And if so, how can we safely cohabit with these fascinating creatures? Don’t scurry away just yet – we’re about to embark on an ant-venture you don’t want to miss!

What do Pharaoh ants look like?

Have you ever tried to identify a Pharaoh ant in the ant crowd? It’s not as simple as you might think! 

Let’s put on our detective hats and unveil the unique features that make these tiny titans stand out in the bustling world of insects. Ready for a close-up look?


Imagine a delicate brush stroke of light yellow to reddish brown – that’s our Pharaoh ant! Their bodies, almost translucent, blend seamlessly into their surroundings, a perfect strategy for these tiny conquerors.

Workers Size

Worker Pharaoh ants are a study in miniaturization. Typically, they measure just about 2 millimeters long. Yes, you heard it right! These industrious little workers are hardly bigger than a pinhead, yet their contributions to the colony are monumental.

Queen Size

Size does matter when you’re royalty! The queen of the Pharaoh ant world is notably larger, measuring up to a whopping 4 to 5 millimeters. Not quite a giant, but in the ant world, she’s the reigning queen indeed!

Where do Pharaoh ants live?

Pharaoh ants are true adventurers, seeking out cozy nooks and crannies both inside and outside our homes. They’re not picky! 

Here are some of the places you may encounter these tiny insects:

  • Kitchens: Pharaoh ants love to raid kitchens, scouting for crumbs and sweet treats that we leave behind.
  • Bathrooms: These resourceful ants explore moist areas in bathrooms, drawn to water sources and damp environments.
  • Electrical outlets and wall voids: Pharaoh ants utilize electrical outlets and hidden wall voids as secret passages for their colony expansion.
  • Snack cabinets: Your snack cabinet can become a hidden treasure trove for Pharaoh ants, as they forage for delicious morsels.
  • Behind bathroom tiles: Pharaoh ants may establish their nests behind bathroom tiles, taking advantage of the secluded spaces.
  • Offices: These tiny adventurers may venture into offices, seeking new territories to conquer and abundant food sources.

Pharaoh ants are not limited to indoors; they are always ready to explore and conquer new territories in nature.

What do Pharaoh ants eat?

When it comes to dining preferences, Pharaoh ants have quite the appetite! 

These tiny gourmands will savor a variety of delectable delights. From sweet to savory, they are not picky eaters. Here are some items that top their menu:

  • Sugary treats: Pharaoh ants have a notoriously sweet tooth and will flock to anything sugary, from spilled juice to syrupy residues.
  • Greasy goodies: These ants aren’t afraid to indulge in greasy delights, such as oily crumbs or leftover food particles.
  • Protein-rich feasts: Pharaoh ants appreciate a protein-packed meal, so don’t be surprised to find them feasting on meats, dairy products, or even pet food.
  • Fruits and vegetables: They won’t say no to fresh fruits or veggies either, relishing the natural sugars and nutrients they provide.

These versatile eaters can adapt to various food sources, making them resourceful foragers and opportunistic nibblers. 

Just remember, they’re always on the lookout for their next flavorful feast!

Do Pharaoh ants bite?

When it comes to Pharaoh ants, their bite is not something you need to lose sleep over. While they are capable of biting, their bites are generally considered mild and rarely cause significant harm to humans. 

However, keep in mind that everyone’s sensitivity to insect bites can vary. 

So, although Pharaoh ants may nibble if provoked or if they feel threatened, their bites are more of a pesky annoyance than a cause for alarm.

Are Pharaoh ants dangerous for Humans?

Pharaoh ants might have a reputation as pesky intruders, but in terms of danger, they’re more of a nuisance than a direct threat.

While they don’t transmit diseases like some other pests, they can contaminate food and cause minor skin irritations with their bites. 

However, for individuals with allergies or sensitivities, their bites may trigger a stronger reaction. 

So, while they may be bothersome, with proper hygiene and pest control measures, you can easily keep their presence in check and minimize any potential risks they pose.

How to get rid of Pharaoh ants?

Tired of playing host to these persistent Pharaoh ants? It’s time to reclaim your territory! 

But fear not, getting rid of these miniature invaders doesn’t require summoning an ancient curse. With a few strategic tactics up your sleeve, you can bid farewell to these unwelcome guests. 

Let’s explore both the natural and commercial methods that will help you restore peace and ant-free serenity to your living space. 

Say goodbye to their tiny footprints and hello to a pest-free haven!

Natural Ways

  • Keep it clean: Maintain a clean environment, free from food debris and spills that attract ants.
  • Seal the gaps: Seal any cracks or openings that serve as entry points for the ants.
  • Vinegar solution: Create a mixture of vinegar and water to spray on ant trails and entry points.
  • Essential oils: Use essential oils like peppermint, cinnamon, or tea tree oil to repel ants.
  • Citrus power: Place citrus peels or spray citrus-scented solutions near ant-infested areas.
  • Diatomaceous earth: Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth in ant-prone areas to deter them.
  • Cayenne pepper: Sprinkle cayenne pepper along ant trails or around entry points.
  • Coffee grounds: Scatter used coffee grounds near ant-infested areas to deter them.
  • Bay leaves: Place bay leaves in cabinets and pantry shelves to repel ants.
  • Natural ant baits: Create natural ant baits using a mixture of sugar and borax to attract and eliminate ants.

Commercial Products

  • Ant baits: Place ant baits specifically designed for Pharaoh ants in areas where they are active.
  • Ant sprays: Use ant sprays labeled for indoor or outdoor use to directly target and eliminate ants.
  • Ant dust: Apply ant dust in crevices, cracks, or areas where ants hide and travel.
  • Ant traps: Set up ant traps that attract and trap ants, preventing them from spreading.
  • Ant gel: Apply ant gel along ant trails or entry points to deter and eliminate ants.
  • Insecticide aerosols: Use aerosol insecticides to treat infested areas, targeting ants directly.
  • Ant-repellent granules: Sprinkle ant-repellent granules around the perimeter of your home to create a barrier against ants.
  • Ultrasonic pest repellers: Try using ultrasonic devices that emit sound frequencies to repel ants.

Professional pest control: If all else fails, consider contacting a professional pest control service to handle the infestation.

Having discussed both ways, dealing with Pharaoh ants requires a multi-faceted approach.

Whether you choose the natural methods or opt for commercial solutions, it ultimately depends on the severity of the infestation. 

Remember, with perseverance and the right strategies, you can reclaim your space from these tiny intruders. 

Good luck in your tiny battle!