We ask an expert about the harmless but persistent insects…

From the city’s forums to comments on our Facebook page, we’ve noticed lots of Dubai residents – in both apartments and villas – asking about tiny reddish brown ants that have appeared in their house recently.

They’re not that bothersome, but they’re everywhere – and they don’t only appear when food has been left out. To find out more about them, we spoked to the pest experts at ServiceMarket.com…

Note: If you have a pest issue, you won’t always have to call a pest control service as the government will deal with many for you. The Dubai Municipality website says it will deal with flies, mosquitos, rodents, scorpions, snakes and bees for citizens and residents of the UAE. If you need their help. you can put in a request for assistance here.

*ALSO: Moving house in Dubai? DEWA just made it a whole lot easier*

We’ve seen a lot of tiny little reddish-brown ants in our apartment this summer. They’re so small and they definitely don’t bite. What are they?

It’s hard to be certain without a visual identification. However, they are likely to be Pharaoh ants. Pharaoh ants (sometimes called Sugar Ants) are common in Dubai and have a reputation of being one of the hardest ants to control. Although they are annoying, they are not dangerous and do not bite. They are around 1/16 of an inch in length. They are light yellow to a reddish brown in color, with a darker abdomen.

We see them in our kitchen and in our living room, how do they come into the apartment? We hardly ever have doors or windows open.

They are tiny and group together to invade homes. They can come through cracks and crevices in your building or can be picked up from a friend or family member’s home. They breed quickly and can split into multiple colonies. While detecting a Pharaoh ant infestation is usually easy, locating the nest may prove to be difficult, as the pest tends to colonise in inconspicuous areas of the house.

Pharaoh ants like to colonise warm, humid areas indoors such as near drains, pipes, and wiring. They prefer dark and warm areas so are often near hot water pipes and are often seen in heated buildings in the colder months in the UAE. Common nesting sites include wall voids, books, behind baseboards and refrigerators, sheets of paper, and even inside electrical switch boxes.

They don’t bother us at all really, but will the problem get worse if we don’t deal with it?

Yes, they are known to be fast breeders so the population size will increase unless you address the issue. It’s a good idea to call a Dubai pest control company immediately as these ants can transmit diseases like salmonella and staphylococcus.

Is it a seasonal thing that just happens over summer?

No, they are found at all times of the year in Dubai, but they do prefer the warmth.

What pests do you see more of in Dubai over summer?

Cockroaches and bedbugs are the most commonly sighted pests during the summer. Bed bugs take advantage of the hot and humid climate to spread.

You can find a pest control expert at ServiceMarket.com.

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Image: Getty