3 Ways to Control Pharaoh Ants in the Home

Monomorium pharaonis, or Pharaoh ants, are thought to be natives of Egypt, but they have spread all over the world, including to North America. Measuring just 2 millimeters, these ants are brown or yellowish in color. Although originally a tropical species, Pharaoh ants are highly adaptive to climate and temperature variations. They can even survive in American homes in winter if the central heating is on. As a loving and caring parent, you’ll want to get rid of this all-season nuisance pest.

Pharaoh ants live in colonies and they follow the social order of polygyny. Often, there are several queens in a single colony, so their population multiplies rapidly. When a colony becomes overpopulated, it gets fragmented into bud colonies, thus increasing their presence inside a home. Colonies can be anywhere including electricity pipes and ducts, small holes, or even cracks in walls and floors. Pharaoh ants can also damage silk, rayon, and rubber products, as they feed on almost everything sweet with sufficient protein content.

What is the biggest threat from Pharaoh ants?

These ants do not pose any major threat themselves except for mild stings. However, Pharaoh ants can transmit many illnesses and diseases as they are transporters of several pathogens. These include Streptococcus, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Pharaoh ants must be eliminated from modern homes to keep the family healthy and happy. However, keeping your home ant-free is a big challenge.

Why is it difficult to eradicate Pharaoh ants?

There are two major challenges in ant control. First, ants are very tiny and agile, and can easily escape or hide inside holes and cracks if attacked. Second, Pharaoh ants also have the unique gift of sensing insecticides and will abandon colonies before any harm comes to them.

What then are some effective ways of controlling pharaoh ants? Here are three options.


These ants have a terrific sweet tooth, so the smartest way to destroy them is by preparing poisonous baits mixed with honey, crushed sugar, or any other sweet solvent. Boric acid and baking soda are two effective household bait ingredients. These baits should be placed strategically and particularly in and around cracks and openings so that the ants can easily access them. Quite often, ant workers carry food to their queens so this method is also effective in killing the queens and thus controlling the population.

Capping holes, openings, and cracks

These are the gateways for Pharaoh ants that facilitate their entry and exit in homes. By sealing them, you can restrict their movement successfully. The challenge here is to spot and seal all possible points of entry, as many of them may be out of reach or simply go unspotted.

Spraying pesticides

If the ant infestation remains unmanageable even after trying the previous methods, you can try spraying pesticides. This should be the last resort because the average homeowner might struggle choosing the right pesticide for the job, as well as finding one that was safe. Using the pesticide both correctly and effectively might also be a challenge to a layperson.

Pharaoh ants are both smart and elusive. Controlling them is an expert’s job, so the best way to do it is by involving professionals. When it comes to the health and safety of your family, you would not want to take chances, right?

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