Last year, my wife and I purchased a house just south of Houston (Stafford, TX exactly). A couple of months into occupancy, we discovered that we had a problem with some Camponotus vicinus (Brown Carpenter Ant), and quickly got rid of them through the use of some boric acid and various other pesticides that were labeled for use against carpenter ants.
The thing about Camponotus vicinus is that they typically don't hit this far south and west, but I was able to confirm that's what they were by various sources around the internet.
Before you question on whether it's ants or termites, I can guarantee you that it's ants due to the piles of frass that they were leaving in a couple of places in the bathrooms, and I was able to grab a few and compare them to the ant/termite identification sheets found nearly everywhere.
But now we're starting to see swarmers of a different type of carpenter ant.
These have the characteristics of Camponotus pennsylvanicus (Pennsylvania Carpenter Ant), but again, they don't really pose a threat to this part of the US. (See below)
I have removed the dead and rotting trees from my property, but I still need to trim some back. I also need to replace my soffits and facia boards on nearly the entire house to rid of that rotten wood, and I need to caulk around various pipes and such around the house.
I'm not terribly concerned about structural damage, but there's a lot of accessory damage that these things have and could do, and I want to make sure that's put to a stop.
My question(s) ultimately are as follows, though:
- Is there some other black or brown carpenter ant that would strike southeastern Texas?
- What is the most effective means of stopping swarmers of this sort?
- Are there any other tattle tale signs that I need to be looking for with these wretched things?
I just got home from work a bit ago and caught a swarm in the master bathroom. Among this swarm were 3 or 4 queens and several other swarmers. The queens were about 5/8" in length, where the swarmers were all 3/8" or shorter.
I've ruled out Camponotus pennsylvanicus based on the appearance of the queens. Their head and thorax are brown, and their abdomen is a banded brownish black. They only have one pair of wings and these protrude from their thorax. They are single-noded, which leans more towards Camponotus vicinus again.
Once I get the pictures off my camera, I'll post them here for further identification.
I was able to get of one of the queens.