The Pharaoh ant is a small ant, measuring from 1.5 to 2 mm (1/16th to 1/12th an inch) in size. The workers are all one size (monomorphic). The Pharaoh ants colour varies from golden yellow to reddish. Pharaoh ants originated in and derive from the tropics, meaning they can not survive outside in Canada year round.
Females mate and procreate in the nest, and new colonies are formed by “budding.” Budding means that part of the main colony moves to a new location, and there can be up to hundreds of thousands of ants in one colony.
A female produces 350-400 eggs in her lifetime. The entire life cycle is completed in 38 to 45 days. The life span of workers is approximately nine to ten weeks, and queens live four to twelve months.
Pharaoh ants nest in a wide variety of locations within a structure, and are very difficult to control and locate. However, it is useful to look near sources of water and food. They typically nest in warm, hard to reach areas such as walls, splash boards of kitchen counter tops and in wall sockets.
Pharaoh ants prefer meats or greases, but will also feed on sugar syrups and jellies.
Pavement ants are 1/16- 1/8-inches long and have lighter coloured legs with a dark body covered in stiff hairs. They have two small spines on the back portion of the thorax, and two nodes in their petioles.
The developmental time (from egg to adult) is 36 to 63 days. Located indoors, the swarmers can emerge anytime. They emerge outdoors in June and July.
Pavement ants nest outdoors under flat stones, sidewalks, concrete slabs, along curbing, etc. They invade structures in search of food and are a particular problem in areas where slab-on-concrete construction is prevalent. When inside structures, they nest in walls, insulation, floors, and find their way to heat sources during the winter.
Carpenter ants are the largest of all ant species, ranging from 1/8 to ½ inch long, with slightly larger sized queens. Carpenter ants are typically black in color, but some species can be found in red and black, solid red, or brown.
Adult winged females lose their wings soon after mating, and all worker carpenter ants are wingless. Mature colonies range in size from several thousand workers, up to 10,000 – 15,000. Black carpenter ants complete their life cycle in roughly 60 days.
Carpenter ants are social insects that are usually discovered nesting in wood. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but do excavate galleries for their nesting areas. Carpenter ants actively feed at night and the early morning hours, preferring to feed on sugar solutions.