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.


  • Prefer to nest indoors.
  • Ant colonies have 300,000 members in a single nest, with multiple queens.
  • Attracted to warm and humid areas.
  • Are a concern in hospitals because they contaminate equipment and can transmit disease organisms.


Pharaoh Ants in your area

While it’s believed Pharoah ants are from Africa, their actual origin isn’t known. These tiny pests are one of the most persistent and difficult ants to control in the Spokane WA area because their colonies tend to be very large with several million workers and thousands of queens. Pavement ants are an invasive species so they outnumber native ants and force them out of their homes. When disturbed, Pharoah ant colonies will divide quickly and form new colonies. Because of their splintering ability, they can spread throughout homes and buildings rapidly.

Pharaoh Ant Habitat

Pharaoh ants forage for food 24/7, looking for proteins, sweets, and insects–dead or alive. They prefer to nest in moist areas such as near sprinkler systems and evaporative cooling units. Inside homes and businesses, Pharaoh ants will nest in well-protected and moist areas such as in bathrooms and in kitchens around pipes, toilets, heating ducts, and boilers. These ants often use pipes and wires to travel between rooms, allowing them to easily gain access throughout an entire building.

Pharaoh Ant Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

While Pharaoh ants do not bite, they are vector pests, meaning they can carry and transmit potentially dangerous pathogens to people and pets. These pathogens include streptococcus and salmonella. Because Pharaoh ants are so small, they can access almost any space and contaminate food prep surfaces and food. When Pharaoh ants gain access to medical facilities, they can contaminate sterile equipment, operating rooms, and recovery rooms. Since many conventional pest control treatment do not work on Pharoah ants, it’s recommended to contact a professional ant exterminator.