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Pharaoh ants (Monomorium pharaonis) are with their length of 1.5 to 2.5 millimeters rather small ants. The head of state, the queen, is about twice as large and is usually darker colored. The worker's body is honey-yellow to light yellow. Due to their small size, a pharaoh anomaly infestation is often only recognized when the animals are already in large numbers. But then they can become very annoying and even dangerous. They probably have their name because first copies of their kind are said to have been discovered on the mummies of the pharaohs.
Notifiable because potentially dangerous
Pharaoh ants are among the potentially most dangerous insects in Central Europe. They are considered carriers of many pathogens such as streptococci, staphylococci, salmonella and other pathogens, which can be caused by inflammation of the respiratory tract, food poisoning, typhoid fever, meningitis, pneumonia and wound and urinary tract infections. Due to this danger, recognized infestations by pharaoh ants are notifiable. The fatal thing about this ant species is its small size, which allows it to penetrate even the narrowest cracks and crevices.
Origin and food
Originally pharaoh ants are not native to our latitudes, but come from India and immigrated to Africa at the beginning of the 20th century. Here they are mainly in hospitals, commercial kitchens, indoor pools and the like, because they meet there suitable living conditions. They need a humid microclimate - preferably at temperatures between 26 to 32 degrees Celsius. Pharaoh ants are among the omnivores. They usually prefer egg whites of any kind, but also love sweet carbohydrates as well. Disgusting is what feeds this insect. In search of protein, they like to eat raw meat and processed meat products. However, with their preference for moist substrates, they do not stop at urine, fecal matter, vomit or wound secretions.
A successful fight against pharaoh ants is difficult and tedious. Treatment must be carried out over a longer period of time so that a new infection can be prevented. In inaccessible areas contact insecticides and baits are used. In order to kill the colony with the bait through the toxin it contains, other food sources must be excluded. Before the control measure, it should be checked on which bait the animals could be most interested in the particular situation. For example, in a butcher's shop, sugar-based baits should be designed, whereas in a bakery they should be more protein-based.
In addition to the pharaoh ant, there are still some other animal reportable pests such as
- Domestic goat (Hylotrupes bajulus)
- Rat infestation in the domestic area (IfSG)
- Phylloxera (Viteus vitifoliae)
- San José Scale (Quadraspidiotus perniciosus)
- Potato weevils (Ditylenchus destructor)
- Chinese citrus beetle (Anopolophora chinensis)