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How to Identify Termite Droppings

Termite droppings are also referred to as frass or pellets. Termites make very small holes in wood in order to get rid of the droppings so that their nests are free from poop.

The presence of droppings in a particular area is a sign that there is a thriving termite activity in the house. If you notice termite pellets in a specific location, try to investigate the place where the frass has been found.

Example areas where termite droppings can be found, include:

  • on the bed (a sign of infestation on the roof or ceiling above the room)
  • on wooden window sills and frames
  • on the floor, especially in the cracks (might look like water
    damage)
  • underneath the carpet (look for holes in the carpet)

What do Termite Droppings Look Like?

The look of termite droppings depends on the type of termite species, for example, drywood, dampwood, or subterranean termites.

But in general, the droppings are tiny, about 0.04 inches long. They are wood colored, ranging from light beige to black, which depends on the type of wood the termites are eating.

The pellet’s shape is oval, having 6 concave sides and rounded ends. These pellets can form small mounds below the wood holes and closely resemble small piles of pepper, dirt, or sawdust.

How to Tell if Termite Droppings Are Old or New?

There is no clear way to tell if the droppings are old or new. There is also no difference in color between new and old droppings.

Essentially, it shouldn’t matter how old the droppings are. As termites can be active inside of a structure for many years, the crucial matter is that the discovery of droppings is a cause for alarm.

Carpenter Ant Droppings vs Termite Droppings

Even though both appear similar, you can easily identify them by looking for characteristics within the frass of termites and carpenter ants.

The main difference is that ants leave their frass around the openings of their nest, while termites are likely to scatter their pellets.

Apart from that, ant frass is much larger and more bulky, and tends to contain bits and pieces from other ants that have been consumed by them. These are wood shavings mulched by the ants to make burrowing easier.

Termite droppings, on the other hand, will be more processed and much finer, looking just like sand.

Termite Droppings vs Sawdust

Telling the difference between termite droppings and sawdust is almost impossible if you see them for the first time. The best way to spot the difference is by using a magnifying glass.

Although both look alike, their shape is what makes them different. Termite droppings will be 6-sided (hexagonal), granular pellets, often varying in color.

On the other hand, sawdust will look more like tiny shavings and shiny slivers, compared to the granular shape of termite droppings.

Are Termite Droppings Dangerous?

Termite droppings are not proven to be toxic or cause illness. Termites only eat natural substances (cellulose), and thus, don’t produce waste that is dangerous to humans or pets.

However, the frass is just like sawdust, and when touched, it may cause irritation and allergic reactions to the skin. It is certainly not healthy to have it around if you are suffering from asthma or other respiratory ailments. Therefore, it’s important to get it removed from your home as soon as possible to avoid any health issues.

Saying that, it is not recommended to clean up the termite droppings by yourself as soon as you spot them. You should first get it inspected and confirmed by a pest control professional.

What’s more, the skilled technician will not only clean it up for you but also exterminate the active termite infestation in your home. Contact our expert team at Chem Free Exterminating who are here to assist with eliminating termite droppings and infestation from your house.