Are you worried about termites in your home? If you’ve come across what you believe are termite droppings, you probably feel anxious, nervous, or upset.
That’s totally normal. Nobody wants to realize that they may have an infestation of termites under their roof.
Several steps should be taken if termite droppings are in your home. The first is finding out whether that is even what the substance actually is. Sometimes, these droppings may be something else.
This article will describe what termite droppings look like, how to determine if the droppings are new or old, and whether the droppings are dangerous.
We’ll also share information about termites and procuring a pest specialist who can help if needed.
What Termite Droppings Look Like
Before we delve into the appearance of droppings, keep in mind that there are two types of termites: subterranean and drywood. Each has a different lifestyle and excrement.
We’ll be sharing the characteristics of each so you can determine whether you have termites.
Drywood Termite Droppings
If you see small piles of pellets, this can be a sign of drywood termites. When these piles are made by this type of termite, the droppings are also called frass.
Most of the time, drywood termites will leave few signs of activity in your home. For instance, when a pair of termites start a new nest in wooden furniture or walls, the hole is sealed up and the termites do not leave the nest.
Swarmers are the only termites that will leave the nest and only do so when it’s time to create a new colony. One of the disadvantages of drywood termites for a homeowner is that all the conditions they need are found in wood.
The water, food, shelter, and an optimal temperature are all provided through the environment where the termites make their home.
However, drywood termites will have limited space depending on how large the wooden structure is that acts as a nest. When termites eat the wood, they also create holes where they can push termite droppings out of the nest.
The appearance of Termite Pellets
If you have drywood termites, their pellets are going to be very small with an oval shape. They tend to have rounded ends and are constructed with six concave sides.
The pellets are only about one millimeter long and can be found in mounds underneath the nest holes. When you see a mound of termite droppings, they often look like piles of salt or pepper.
As far as color goes, the frass can vary depending on the wood that the termites have been eating. However, it will always have six sides.
Subterranean Termite Droppings
Visible droppings are not common with subterranean termites. Instead, the initial sign of an infestation is the presence of mud tunnels along the walls or the home’s foundation.
The droppings are used to construct mud tubes and tunnels so it’s nearly impossible to distinguish between the two.
Since dampwood and drywood termites live inside the wood they eat, you also are likely not to realize they exist unless you see droppings or a swarm.
Determining if Termite Droppings Are New or Old
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to decide if the droppings are fresh or old. The color is not going to change between the two types of termite droppings. However, the reality is that it doesn’t matter how old these droppings are.
When you have termites, they are going to be active inside your home for years. So whether the droppings are old or new, they can give you a warning that you need to have a termite inspection.
Are Termite Droppings Dangerous?
There is no indication that termite droppings cause illness or are toxic. Termites eat natural items and don’t produce waste that is dangerous to pets or animals.
However, frass does have some similarities to sawdust. If you happen to touch it, it could cause allergic skin reactions or irritation. It’s certainly not a good thing to have around if you are dealing with asthma or other respiratory issues.
Because of that, termite droppings should be cleaned up as quickly as possible.
What To Do With Termite Droppings
Most experts recommend that the average person not clean up these droppings on their own when they see them. Instead, it’s a better plan to have the droppings inspected and confirmed by a pest control specialist.
In addition, this technician will clean up for you while also helping you create a plan for handling the termite infestation in your home.
After a professional does a clean-up and works on your home, make sure to keep an eye out for additional termite droppings. Clean the area regularly so you know if more frass is present.
If it does not, this is an indication that the treatment the specialist used is working.
So, here is a shortlist of the things you should do if you encounter what you believe are termite droppings:
- Do not disturb the droppings as they may cause irritation and should be seen by a professional.
- Call a professional who can determine if the droppings are frass and clean them up properly.
- Work with the expert to decide on the proper method that should be used to remove the termites in your home.
- Continue to watch for additional frass that might indicate other pests.
Access to the Top Termite Pest Specialists in Your Area
If you have termite droppings in or around your home, you need the help of a professional. Bringing in a pest specialist can help you determine if you have termites. This person can also give you insight into what options you have to get rid of pests.
Do you not have a pest specialist you already rely on? That’s okay! Find a Pest Pro can help you get in touch with a professional who has experience in your location. Head to the front page and type in your zip code, press a button, and see all your options. You’ll be able to deal with an infestation in no time.
Click here to read our past blog, Where Can I Find the Best Ant Control