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Residential Pest Identification


Pharaoh ant

Approximately 1.5 to 2 mm long . The antennae have 12 segments with each segment of the 3-segmented antennal clubs increasing in size toward the apex of the club . The eye is comparatively small, with approximately six to eight ommatidia across the greatest diameter. The prothorax has subangular shoulders, and the thorax has a well- defined mesoepinotal impression. Erect hairs are sparse on the body, and body pubescence is sparse and closely appresssed. The head, thorax, petiole and postpetiole (the petiole, or the petiole and postpetiole, in ants is also called the pedicel) are densely (but weakly) punctulate, dull, or subopaque. The clypeus, gaster, and mandibles are shiny. The body color ranges from yellowish or light brown to red , with the abdomen often darker to blackish . A stinger is present but is rarely exserted .

The Pharaoh ant colony consists of queens, males, workers, and immature stages (eggs, larvae, pre- pupae, and pupae). Nesting occurs in inaccessible warm (80 to 86F), humid (80%) areas near sources of food and/or water, such as in wall voids. The size of the colony tends to be large but can vary from a few dozen to several thousand or even several hundred thousand individuals. Approximately 38 days are required for development of workers from egg to adult.

Mating takes place in the nest, and no swarms are known to occur. Males and queens usually take 42 days to develop from egg to adult. The males are the same size as the workers (2 mm), are black in color and have straight, not elbowed, antennae. Males are not often found in the colony. The queens are about 4 mm long and are slightly darker than the workers . Queens can produce 400 or more eggs in batches of 10 to 12 . Queens can live four to 12 months, while males die within three to five weeks after mating .

Part of the success and persistence of this ant undoubtably relates to the budding or splitting habits of the colonies. Numerous daughter colonies are produced from the mother colony when a queen and a few workers break off and establish a new colony. Even in the absence of a queen, workers can develop a queen from the brood which is transported from the mother country. In large colonies there may be as many as several hundred reproductive females .

Pavement Ant

This ant gets its name from commonly locating its nest in or under cracks in the pavement. Pavement ants were introduced from Europe by the early colonies. Colonies are moderately large to large averaging 3-4,000 ants and several queens. Inside structure, these ants will occasionally nest in walls, insulation, and under floors or near some heat source in the winter. Although not aggressive, they can bite and sting.