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Pharaoh ants are insects that live in colonies.
In a colony you have a breeding caste: queens and males
and a worker caste.
The queens are the largest ants in the colony
Their length varies between 3.5 and 5 mm.
Red-brown in color, they have a darker color than the workers.
Their abdomen ends with an egg-laying organ called an ovipositor.
There are many queens in a single colony and you can sometimes
see them when they move among the workers.
The workers are between 1.5 and 2 mm.
Their color varies from golden to reddish brown.
The abdomen is generally darker than the rest of the body.
The color and small size of these ants can differentiate
pharaoh ant from other local species.
They do not sting.
The coupling between male and female occurs within the colony rather
than during a nuptial flight. The males die soon after while females
begin their spawning.
Each queen produces about 400 eggs during her life.
A fertilized egg gives birth to a female (worker or queen), a non-fertilized egg
will produce a male
At a temperature of 27 C, a worker will reach adulthood in 38 days. Those are
workers caring for eggs and larvae. Their development is fast, the
nest may contain thousands of such individuals.
(Some colonies have 300,000 insects or more).
A colony can have more than one queen, and each of them will eventually go
found another colony. When the colony is overcrowded or in turmoil
(Flood, or the presence of pesticides), one or more queens,
the workers and their brood will separate from the main colony to settle elsewhere.
We then say that there is separation of the colony.
Each satellite nest includes several laying queens, making their eradication
very difficult once their numbers start to grow.
In temperate climates, it only survives inside heated buildings.
They especially like tropical greenhouses, hospitals and other
nursing homes, canteens, etc.
The colonies of this species only have one form of workers
(There are no soldiers, for example, as with other ants).
Pharaoh ants are omnivores. Their menu consists of syrup, honey,
sugar, fruit juice, candy, cakes and sugared substances.
They also eat meat and fat. They can attack insect collections
and fat based products such as shoe polish.
They sometimes attack other insects.
They cause little damage to food.
The main problem is their presence.
They are found most often in the kitchen or the bathroom, close to a
source of water and heat.
They establish their nests in the walls, under the floors, at the base of buildings
and in the cracks of stone and cement.
To prevent these ants from entering your building, it is necessary to seal cracks
in the building structure.
Inside the house, you must keep the premises clean and in good condition.
Water leakage from the roof or pipes must be quickly repaired.
You must store food in airtight containers and avoid leaving
any source of food available to them.
It is important, when there is an infestation, or to locate the nests by observing
the behavior of ants.
Treatments can be applied but should be administered by
specialists to make sure that all sources of infestation are treated.