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 inaccessible areas.
  • Colonies are very large with over 300,000 individuals and multiple queens.
  • Potentially dangerous in hospitals due to their ability to transmit disease organisms.

Pharaoh Ants in Bristol

Pharaoh ants are known for being one of the smaller species of ants, as they only grow to be about ⅛ of an inch. They are most often a pale yellow color and their colonies tend to be extremely large, with worker ant numbers reaching the thousands. When nests or colonies are disturbed, members will branch out to form new colonies in a process called budding. Due to the large size of their colonies, controlling pharaoh ants can be extremely difficult. Indoors, they will nest in any well-protected areas throughout a structure, but prefer lawns and gardens outdoors.

Pharaoh Ant Habitat

Pharaoh ants are always on the hunt for food. They prefer to feed on sweets, proteins, and live or dead insects. Preferring areas near moisture, nests are located near a water resource, such as sprinkler systems and evaporative cooling units. Inside homes and businesses, Pharaoh ant nests are generally located in hard-to-reach locations near moisture, such as bathrooms, kitchens, under floors, and behind baseboards. In hospitals, nursing homes, and food-processing facilities, they appear in kitchens, laundries, boiler rooms, and around heating ducts, toilets, and pipes. Pharaoh ants utilize electrical wiring and plumbing pipes to travel from room to room, which allows them to gain access throughout an entire structure.

Pharaoh Ant Behaviors & Dangers

Although Pharaoh ants do not bite, they carry and transmit a number of dangerous pathogens to people and pets, including salmonella and streptococcus. Due to their small size, they can access almost any space, contaminating food and food prep surfaces in kitchens and cafeterias as they forage. When they invade hospitals and nursing homes, they can contaminate sterile operating rooms, surgical equipment, and recovery rooms. Furthermore, most conventional pest control treatments do not hold up against these ants. If a Pharaoh ant infestation is suspected, it is recommended to contact a professional ant exterminator.