Ant - Pharaoh
Common Names: Sugar Ant, Pharaoh Ant
Scientific Same: Order Hymenoptera, family Formicidae, Monomorium pharaonis
Size: Adult--1/12" to 1/10"
Identification: Very small ants, yellowish to golden to red. Most of their bodies are covered with minute pitted impressions.
Biology and Life Cycle: Complete metamorphosis.
Habitat: Nests in any secluded spot. Frequent house invader; found in appliances, ductwork, light fixtures, and attics. Likes to be near heat and water source.
Feeding Habits: Sugar, grease, bread, toothpaste, food crumbs, and anything else that humans eat. They love proteins and sweet foods.
Economic Importance: Beats us. Bound to be something--there's so many of them. Appear to just be an annoyance, causing no real damage. Difficult household pest to control.
Natural Control: Remove food and water sources and keep house squeaky clean. Wipe cabinets and counters with mixture of one part water and one part vinegar. Lizards, frogs, toads, birds, and other insects.
Organic Control: Baking soda, boric acid, and natural diatomaceous earth. No ant will cross a DE barrier in dry-weather conditions. Use boric acid baits and plant oil products.
Insight: Careless application of insecticides often make the sugar ant problem worse.
Small red to yellowish ants that can nest in wall voids, cabinets, boxes of food and any other accessible crevices and spaces and are even known to invade sick rooms and feed on blood plasma and wound dressings.
Most ants in the garden are either beneficial or just a nuisance. The three most troublesome in north Texas are odorous ants, fire ants and various carpenter ants. Fire ants are best controlled with mound drenches of citrus-based products. Beneficial nematodes and going totally organic is the rest of the fire ant program that really works.
Odorous ants, similar to carpenter ants, are best controlled with Abamectin baits. Sugar ants and other house ants can be controlled in the house with baking soda, cinnamon dust, tansy leaves, citrus oil sprays or baits made from sugar with a little bit of boric acid. My most recent tip is black pepper and it seems to work well. If you have ants and other troublesome insects in the attic – dust with a mix of cinnamon and natural diatomaceous earth. Hot pepper dusts or liquid sprays also work.