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What Aiken Property Owners Need To Know About Pharaoh Ants

a colony of pharaoh ants clustered on a patio

It is safe to say you don’t want ants infesting your home. They spread diseases, contaminate food, damage property, and are quite tricky to eliminate. However, one species is particularly hard to get rid of — the pharaoh ant.

While originally thought to be from Africa, pharaoh ants invade homes all over the United States, including here in Aiken. Given their tenacity and ability to move their colonies seemingly on a whim, you do not want these ants invading your home. That is why you should know the proper steps you can take to better protect your property from this invasive ant species.

What Do Pharaoh Ants Look Like?

Pharaoh ants are small ants that grow to about one-sixteenth of an inch in length. They are a yellowish-red color; however, their abdomens are darker, almost black. In addition, pharaoh ants have six legs and antennae.
Pharaoh ants prefer warm, humid places, and will usually enter homes in search of food. They eat sugars and proteins, so they will often be found close to the food in kitchens.
Pharaoh ants create very large colonies. On top of this, the colonies have multiple queens. Therefore, if the colony feels threatened, it can break apart and form several new colonies in new locations making infestations very difficult to eliminate.

Are Pharaoh Ants Dangerous?

Like a lot of ant species, pharaoh ants are considered to be dangerous pests. That is because they are known to spread numerous diseases, bacteria, and pathogens as they move around different surfaces or the home. They can contaminate countertops, dishes, and even food if it is left out or stored improperly. Diseases that pharaoh ants can spread include salmonella and streptococcus. 
Because they are known to contaminate homes and spread these various diseases and pathogens, you should do everything you can to prevent these ants from ever entering your house in the first place.

How To Prevent Pharaoh Ants?

When it comes to pharaoh ant prevention, your two primary goals should be to eliminate any access points through which these ants can enter your home and to remove any possible food sources that might attract them. 

To keep pharaoh ants out:

  • Seal any cracks in the foundation of your house.
  • Seal cracks around windows and door frames.
  • Install door sweeps under exterior doors.
  • Install screens in windows and exterior doors.
  • Mend any tears in existing screens.
  • Properly store food in airtight containers or refrigerators.
  • Wipe up any spills from countertops or floors immediately.
  • Refrain from keeping dirty dishes stacked in the sink.
  • Take out the trash with regularity.
  • Store your trash in tightly sealed trash containers.
  • Use dehumidifiers to reduce humidity in your home.
  • Keep woodpiles away from the exterior walls of your house.

If you can accomplish these preventive tasks, you should greatly reduce your exposure to pharaoh ant infestations.

What To Do If Pharaoh Ants Infest Your Home?

If you do find yourself dealing with a pharaoh ant infestation, don’t waste your time and money trying to get rid of it yourself. Instead, contact the professionals here at Aiken Pest Control. We have the required experience and expertise to correctly and effectively eradicate any pharaoh ant infestation. We will also work with you to help you take the proper steps to prevent future infestations. 
If you are dealing with pharaoh ants or have any questions about prevention, give us a call today.