Bug Blog

Pharaoh Ants Nest In Bizarre Indoor Areas

Ant pests are notorious for establishing extensive indoor infestations where their presence can be difficult to eliminate. This is especially true when it comes to ant pest species that are capable of establishing indoor nests. One of the most commonly encountered ant pest species in homes, Monomorium pharaonis, often establishes multiple nests within hidden indoor areas where colonies can mature rapidly without attracting notice from affected homeowners. Entomologists with the University of Arizona state that this ant pest species, which is more commonly known as the “Pharaoh ant,” has become an established household insect pest within the state, and their non-native distribution in the US continues to expand.

Pharaoh ants are excessively small in size, even for ants, as foraging workers rarely grow beyond 1/16th of an inch in body length. Despite their near microscopic size, workers of this species may be noticed in some circumstances due to their pale yellow color, which makes them appear as specks of dust against dark backdrops. The small size of Pharaoh ants allow them to be transported into and around homes through infested produce items, infested plant materials, and anywhere where organic materials are busily handled. Unsurprisingly, Pharaoh ant workers are rarely noticed when foraging into and around homes, which is why homeowners often fail to notice infestations until the pests become so abundant indoors that their numbers become nearly impossible to control.

Pharaoh ant workers can establish nests within homes and in yards, and workers have no problem locating a variety of narrow cracks, crevices and other entry points on the exterior of homes. Once indoors, these pests habitually gravitate into inaccessible areas where they can rapidly establish multiple nests. Indoor areas where Pharaoh ants and their nests are most frequently uncovered include subflooring, tight attic spaces, behind baseboards, in plaster, between flooring, within insulation, and just about anywhere imaginable provided that temperatures are warm enough to allow the pests to reproduce all year round. In fact, these ants are unique for establishing nesting sites on indoor materials where other ant pest species are never found. The strangest Pharaoh ant nesting locations that have been documented within infested homes repeatedly by pest control professionals include in bedding, between clothing in trunks, in an electric iron and other electronic devices, in a can of modeling clay, in between sheets of stacked paper and in piles of trash. These ants are widely considered to be the most difficult ant pest species to control within and around homes.

Have you ever encountered ants that appeared to be exceptionally small in size?