How to Get Rid of Pharaoh Ants
Ants are beneficial to the environment as they help keep the habitat free from organic waste, dead insects, and dead animals. However, when ants decide to invade your home, they can wreak havoc. Unfortunately, most of us hardly pay attention to indoor ants until they become a threat.
Pharaoh ants are problematic, and one of the most common ant species in the United States. They can build nests in confined spaces, and they multiply quickly. That’s why it’s challenging to control these tiny brown ants.
In this article, learn how to get rid of pharaoh ants and how to identify them.
Identifying Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh or sugar ants are small red ants that are sometimes yellowish-brown with a rounded thorax. They are 1/16th inch long with black abdomens. However, the queen can be 1/8th inch long. These ants have their antennae segmented with a club on end. Feral ants resemble thief ants, but the latter is so tiny and trails to different places.
What Do They Eat?
Pharaoh ants consume different foods like sweets, fats, insects, and more. They may also eat foods like bacon, shortening, and peanut butter. Nothing is off-limits with these tiny pests.
Where Do They Live?
You can find these ants in different places. They like to nest in warm areas that are hidden. Indoors you can find them under appliances, in wall voids, under carets, and in wall outlets. You can also spot workers along baseboards and window sills.
You can also spot these tiny red ants near water sources around drains, toilets, countertops, and sinks. These ants also nest outdoors in gardens and lawns.
Are Pharaoh Ants Dangerous?
Unlike other ant species, pharaoh ants are dangerous and cause problems like:
- Contaminating food sources
- Transmit diseases like streptococcus and salmonella
- Forming multiple colonies that are difficult to eliminate
How to Get Rid of Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh ants are tiny and reproduce quickly. Below are some tips on how to get rid of pharaoh ants.
Find the Ant Trails
These ants form trails as they go foraging for food. Pharaoh ants trail along baseboards, edges of door moldings, and on carpet edges. If you can’t locate the path, you can use the honey and peanut butter bait method to prompt them to form a trail. Finding the trail helps with the elimination process.
You can use a tin foil and dab honey and peanut on it. Place this card on one corner where you suspect ant activity. Target places near door frames, windowsills, and where any two walls meet.
Place different cards on multiple locations to encourage them to form a trail. In a few hours, you should notice a trail. The place that has a lot of ant traffic should tell you where to place the pharaoh ants baits.
Place the Bait
You should place the pharaoh ant bait in strategic places that indicate a lot of ant activity. Effective bait placement includes areas along baseboards, edges of door moldings, and wall corners.
Avoid placing baits in the middle of floors or walls, as this won’t capture these tiny ants effectively.
Refresh the Bait
You need to monitor the bait and refresh it as needed. You need to check if the bait is being accepted after placing it. One telltale sign that the bait is being taken is when you notice persistent trailing. The bait supply will diminish, or you may see ants around the bait.
Refresh the bait after a week. You can also put in fresh bait if the supply has disappeared or when you notice the ants don’t seem interested in taking the bait. You can experiment with other foods to see if it will be accepted.
Natural Methods of Getting Rid of Pharaoh Ants
You can use natural methods to get rid of pharaoh ants. These methods include:
Using Boric Acid
Boric acid, when ingested, can help eliminate pharaoh ants. Use it to contaminate food sources or as a spray on the trails.
Mix water and vinegar. The mixture acts as a pharaoh ant repellent when sprayed.
Diatomaceous earth isn’t hazardous to humans or pets. However, you can use it to dry out the ants’ exoskeleton by absorbing the oils and fats from the exoskeleton. When ants eat DE, this speeds up the process.
Combine borax with sugar to make a lethal solution. Once they ingest this mixture, they will die instantly. You can place this mixture in an open bowl or cup to attract ants.
Get Professional Help
Unfortunately, pharaoh ants can be challenging to get rid of as they form multiple colonies. Although baiting is an effective method of getting rid of these pests, you need the help of a professional exterminator to determine the best bait and find the best baiting locations.
Moreover, a professional will help determine the type of ant you’re dealing with for him to recommend the best bait to trap these ants. Remember that you need patience during the process as these ants lay eggs at a fast rate.
Prevention and Control of Pharaoh Ants
It’s critical to put in place preventative measures due to the dangers associated with these small red ants. You can prevent a pharaoh ant infestation by:
Eliminating Food Sources
These ants thrive on sugary items and protein-based foods. Ensure that you seal any exposed food and store it properly. You also need to clean any spills and crumbs. Don’t forget to eliminate sources of standing water outside. Use a dehumidifier indoors to prevent moisture buildup. Repair any leaky faucets and pipes.
Get Rid of Potential Nesting Sites
Pharaoh ants can nest on shrubs, bushes, and piles of mulch in your garden. You can prevent an infestation by trimming the bushes, trees, and shrubs. Make sure that you don’t have any mulch near the exterior of your wall. Store firewood twenty feet away from the house.
Seal any Gaps
Caulk gaps around doors and windows. Check your foundation for any openings that could allow pharaoh ants inside your home.
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