For the most part, ants are just annoying, with the exception of one species that can actually spread some nasty diseases. Not only that, but in a hospital setting, these ants have been known to enter patients’ wounds or their mouths looking for moisture. Called the pharaoh ants, because of their resemblance to one of the biblical plagues sent against Egypt, these tiny insects can spread E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus among others.
What is the pharaoh ant?
Pharaoh ants are very small, and they are light in coloration. Unlike most ant species, they do not build new colonies with the use of swarmers, which are flying ants. Instead, the queens are born inside the nest, taking about 42 days to go from egg to adult. Then, a queen with a group of workers will split off from the colony and start a new one somewhere in the vicinity. This habit makes the pharaoh ant a very hard to remove pest because one colony may have several hundred reproductive queens. On top of that, if a colony has a single queen that dies, workers can travel to their mother colony and find a new one.
Are there any other dangerous ant species?
The other ant species that is dangerous and often invades our properties is the fire ant. Fire ants have a venomous sting, which causes a very painful reaction. A few stings are unpleasant, but they are not dangerous. However, if someone gets too close to the colony, the workers will stream out and climb up the legs of the intruder, stinging multiple times. This will inject a large volume of venom, which can lead to more severe reactions. Fire ants are easy to identify because they are red in coloration.
How do you deal with a dangerous ant infestation in the home?
Since pharaoh ants are hard to deal with and fire ants can be dangerous to approach, the best way to handle an infestation from these two species is with the help of a pro. A pro will use a combination of methods, depending on the circumstances surrounding the infestation, to eliminate the queens of the colony. Then, he can implement preventative measures that will make sure that re-infestation does not occur. If you would like to know more information about these ants, or if you have a dangerous ant infestation in your home, contact us today.