Pharaoh Ant


Actual Size: 1/16″ to ⅛”

Characteristics: Small; typically light yellow to red, with black markings on the abdomen. 

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: No

Habitat: Nests are often located in inaccessible spots near moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms, interior wall voids, under floors, and behind baseboards.


  • Attracted to moisture and will nest in hidden well-protected areas.
  • Eats most any food, but prefers sweets and will also eat other insects.
  • Potentially dangerous in hospitals due to their ability to transmit disease organisms.

Pharoah Ants in Virginia

Known for being the most difficult household ant to control, Pharaoh ants are found throughout Virginia. An invasive species, Pharaoh ants build colonies that splinter off and form new colonies when disturbed. Due to their splintering ability, Pharoah ant infestations can spread quickly in homes and buildings, forming colonies with over 300,000 workers and multiple queens. Indoors they nest in any well-protected and hidden areas throughout a structure and prefer lawns and gardens outdoors.

Pharaoh Ant Habitat

Foraging both day and night, Pharaoh ants feed on sweets, proteins, and live or dead insects. Outdoors they prefer shaded areas near moisture or under debris. In household structures,  nests are often located in inaccessible spots near moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, interior walls voids, under floors, and behind baseboards and or window sills. Using electrical wires and plumbing pipes, Pharaoh ants can travel from room to room, spreading throughout a structure quickly. Besides sweets and protein, Pharaoh ants have a high daily water requirement and will forage for water just as aggressively as they do for food.

Pharaoh Ant Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Pharaoh ants can bite, but their real threat is their ability to spread diseases. Implicated in the spread of more than a dozen disease pathogens, they are known to spread salmonella and streptococcus. Due to their ability to transmit disease organisms, a Pharaoh ant infestation is potentially dangerous in hospitals.  Additionally, this species can survive most conventional household pest control treatments, enabling them to establish large colonies throughout a home or building. If a Pharaoh ant infestation is suspected, it is recommended to contact a licensed ant exterminator. 

Don’t wait until your home is overrun by ants. Contact Ehrlich Pest Control, formerly Connor's today!