4954 N. Shamrock Place, Tucson, AZ 85705

Pharaoh Ant

Monomorium pharaonis

Pharaoh Ant

Life Cycle

Complete Metamorphosis

The pharaoh ant develops from egg to adult in a 38 day period.  Queens lay 10-12 eggs at a time totaling 400.  The eggs develop in 7-8 days before a larva emerges.  The larva feed from around 18 days then pupate an average of 12 days.  They live in large colonies with multiple queens.  Queens will live for at least one year while males will die 3-5 weeks after mating. Unlike other ants the queen and males do not have nuptial flights; instead, to start new colonies they will move away from the existing colony in a process called budding.  Many times satellite colonies are connected allowing for brood, workers and food to be shared between these nests.  These large colonies can reach worker populations over 300,000.

Helpful Hints

  • Repair any leaky pipes and minimize any potential water collection.
  • Keep yards well maintained to minimize harborage points and food sources.
  • IPM approach to control necessary to successfully reduce the potential budding behavior and expansion of colonies.

Interesting Facts

Twenty types of bacteria of medical importance have been isolated from pharaoh ants.


Pharaoh ants do not sting but they can bite.

Nesting Sites

  • Strictly indoors
  • Nest in a variety of small spaces
  • Hide often in dark, warm sites near sources of moisture