This ant is so named because it is thought to have been part of the insects present during the plagues in ancient Egypt. They are small and are normally found indoors. They are reddish brown to yellow in color and measure about 2mm in length and have dark abdomens.

They are mostly found in places with food and can also be found in gardens and have been known to infest hospitals. This is in an attempt to access food easily or feed on other smaller insects. They prefer to stay indoors because they are sensitive to temperature changes and cannot stay outside all year round. Their nests can be found in dark areas such as cabinets and in wall voids. They feed on greasy, oily or fatty foods and for this reason food has to be kept out of their reach in tightly covered containers.

They grow to adulthood in about 45 days and can live for a minimum of 10 weeks to a maximum of 39 weeks. Females can lay as much as four hundred eggs. Their colonies have more than one queen, and they can easily transfer their colonies to other areas if disturbed.

In addition to this their colonies are widely spread as queens branch off and they can contain as many as 300,000 ants. They can easily survive most household pest treatment measures. Very few are normally out in the open at any time, so killing them by spraying, gets rid of just a small fraction.