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How to Manage Pests

Key to Identifying Common Household Ants

Pharaoh ant—Quick management tips

Overall strategy

An extensive baiting program, combined with exclusion and sanitary practices, is the best way to manage pharaoh ant populations. Insecticide sprays will only make infestations worse by dispersing colonies to new locations. Be sure to distinguish pharaoh ants from thief ants which are similar looking but not as easy to control with baits.

When ants invade your home, take immediate action

  • Sponge invaders with soapy water as soon as you see them.
  • Plug up entryways with caulk or petroleum jelly.
  • Clean up food sources such as sugary spills, pet food, or garbage.
  • Rely on baits to control the ant colony.
  • Insecticide sprays are not effective for pharaoh ants.



Follow good sanitation practices in the home, such as removing garbage, picking up pet food, keeping counters clean, and storing food in containers

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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