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 hard-to-reach areas near moisture, such as kitchens, bathrooms, interior wall voids, under floors, and behind baseboards.


  • Attracted to moisture and will nest in inaccessible areas.
  • Can nest between sheets of paper or layers of linens inside houses.
  • Potentially dangerous in hospitals due to their ability to transmit disease organisms.

Pharaoh Ants in Nevada

Pharaoh ants are found throughout the Las Vegas valley and are known for being one of the smallest species of ants. Also known as tramp ants, this invasive species constructs transient colonies that splinter off and form new colonies when disturbed. These ants travel in set trails marching beside carpets, countertops, and baseboards. Due to their splintering ability, Pharoah ant infestations can spread quickly in homes and buildings, forming colonies with over 300,000 workers and multiple queens. Indoors, they will nest in any well-protected areas throughout a structure, but prefer lawns and gardens outdoors. 

Pharaoh Ant Habitat

Pharaoh ants prefer areas near moisture, and their 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.  Searching for food round the clock, Pharaoh ants feed on sweets, proteins, and live or dead insects

Pharaoh Ant Behaviors, Threats or 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. Pharaoh ants utilize electrical wiring and plumbing pipes to travel from room to room, which allows them to gain access throughout an entire structure. 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 control Pharaoh ants. If a Pharaoh ant infestation is suspected, it is recommended to contact a professional ant exterminator.