No one likes pests in or around their homes. Yet, ants remain a recurring problem for homeowners both on the mainland and in Honolulu. In fact, Hawaii is home to dozens of species of ants, including Hawaiian carpenter ants, tropical fire ants, big-headed ants, and, of course, pharaoh or sugar ants.
With so many species of ants around, it’s not surprising that people need ant control services like Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions. Of course, the big question for many people isn’t whether there are ants, but whether a specific species of ant is dangerous. Let’s dig in and take a look at pharaoh ant specifics and whether or not they pose a danger to you and your family.
Are Pharoah Ants Native to Hawaii?
Anytime you deal with pests or pest control, you face the question of whether a given insect is native to the area. It’s particularly important on islands, where an insect population may be the only one in the world. In the case of the pharaoh ant, though, it’s not a problem.
The pharaoh ant is one of the most widespread ant species in the world. Since these ants are found virtually everywhere you find human beings, tracing their origin has proven difficult. The current theory is that they originate somewhere in Africa.
Legend held for a long time that these ants were one of the plagues of ancient Egypt, but that legend is just a tall tale.
Spotting Pharaoh Ants
Pharaoh ants are tiny with an average length of approximately 2 mm. They are typically a yellow, brown, or reddish color with a dark red or black underside. Despite being small, they form massive colonies that can contain tens of thousands of ants or more.
A colony often contains multiple queens, which lets one colony spawn additional, smaller colonies. That can make ant control efforts difficult. Even if an exterminator gets rid of the largest colony or even several colonies, it’s very easy for one to go unnoticed.
Where Do They Form Colonies?
In Hawaii, pharaoh ants typically form colonies in the dirt. They are temperature sensitive and cannot handle colder weather, but the warm weather on the islands lets them stay outside. They will often build colonies inside of buildings in areas where the temperatures drop closer to freezing in the winter.
What Do They Eat?
One of the reasons why pharaoh ants are so problematic is that they’ll a wide variety of foods. While they show a preference for sweet foods and liquids, hence the nickname sugar ants, they’ll also eat oil/grease, protein, and even other insects.
Are They Dangerous?
The answer to that question is both no and yes. The ants themselves aren’t dangerous because they are so small. That means that, while they do have stingers and jaws, they can’t really bite or sting a person.
What makes pharaoh ants dangerous is that they often carry pathogens that are harmful to human beings. Some of the pathogens they carry, or scientists at least suspect they carry, include staphylococcus, salmonella, and streptococcus. Since the ants will often crawl over food items, there is a serious risk that one of these pathogens will make you quite ill.
Pharaoh Ants and You
Since pharaoh ants are already in Honolulu, there is a decent chance that you’ll encounter them. If you come across them in or near your home, though, that’s a real risk to the health of your family. You’ll need professional pest control services to get the problem under control and prevent future colony formation.
Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions offers ant control and pest control services for Honolulu County. If you’re dealing with pharaoh ants in or near your home, contact Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions today.