While termites often move around undetected, some signs can alert you of an infestation.
Termite frass may be your only notice of a problem, and you should know everything about termite droppings to keep these pests at bay!
What is Termite Frass?
For termites, frass is simply their feces. Termite frass is composed of the digested wood they regularly consume.
Depending on the wood the termites infest, the droppings may be a light tan color or a darker brown. The tiny oval pellets are a millimeter long and typically accumulate in large piles near infestation sites.
Lighter-colored droppings often resemble wood shavings, so it’s easy to mistake this feces for the sawdust often left behind by a carpenter ant or bee infestation.
What Termites Produce Termite Frass?
All termites discharge frass, but you may only see it from a few species! If you notice droppings in your home, it indicates what type of termite infestation you have.
One of the most common termite species that invade homes in the United States is subterranean termites.
While subterranean termites don’t live inside your home, they are one of the most destructive species! Subterranean termites create small mud tubes on the exterior of houses that directly connect to the openings of their nests.
Instead of discarding their frass, subterranean termites utilize their feces to line the inside of their colony and the dirt tubing that grants them access to homes.
Dampwood termites use their droppings similarly. Rather than deposit their droppings inside your home, these pests patch the inside of their nests with frass. Because dampwood termites require rotting or frequently moist wood, it’s unlikely you’ll have a dampwood termite infestation or experience significant damage.
Drywood termites are the typical culprits whenever you find frass deposits on your floor. Unlike subterranean termites, drywood termites live within the food they burrow through, creating complex colonies inside your home!
These pests receive all of their necessary nutrients from the wooden structures on your property, so they never need to exit their cavities for water or food. To make space for their growing population, drywood termites will often cut holes in the wood and kick out the discarded termite frass, according to Mississippi State University.
Will Frass Show me the Source of the Termites?
Typically, if you find frass, termites won’t be far behind. Drywood termites aren’t as destructive as subterranean termites, so they can’t cause as much damage in a short period. Whenever you see frass, termites should be close to the wood.
However, don’t get too comfortable if you can’t spot any termites around areas littered with frass. The termites may have deposited their droppings as they moved inside your walls and ceiling, relocating to another room with intact wood.
Termite droppings are an excellent indication of an active infestation, but you should always contact a pest control company like proof. pest control to find the true location of these pests and avoid further home damage.
Other Signs of a Termite Infestation
Besides droppings and mud tubers, are there other indications of an infestation in your home?
Termites are difficult to find, and homeowners may live unaware of an infestation for months or years. Finding mud tubes or frass is often the first sign of a pest infestation!
Winged termites or discarded wings are evidence of termites, but this won’t alert you to a new infestation. Flying termites indicates that the colony has grown large enough to produce reproductive members that will attempt to set up shop in other wooden areas on your property!
Finding damage to baseboards, window sills, or doorways could also indicate termites are chewing nearby, but keep in mind that visible damage or warping could indicate a long-standing infestation.
Here are some common signs of termites you should know, especially if you’ve seen termite frass or tubes!
- Lifting paint
- Hollow sounding wood
- Poorly fitting windows and doors
- Rustling sounds inside your walls or floors
Termites can live much longer than other destructive insects, with some species sticking around for up to two years! Queens can last even longer, creating many generations of termite workers for years.
Without proper monitoring, termites can infest homes unabated for months. These pests may not destroy your home, but they can cause problems and even compromise the structural integrity of your foundation.
Check out this video to see the amount of damage a large colony of termites can cause to a miniature house. Within a few months, they completely destroyed the model’s foundation!
Termite Pest Control Methods
So, what should you do whenever you think termites have invaded your home? For many pest issues, homeowners prefer to turn to DIY options to solve their problems, but this may not work for termites.
Because termites typically live within your walls or yard, it’s challenging to pinpoint their exact location. Without knowing the site of an active infestation, you could cause accidental damage to uninhabited spaces in your home.
Plus, eliminating termites isn’t a walk in the park! Not only are these pests hard to find, but many commercially available termite products can’t effectively make a dent in a large colony.
When you have termites, you should contact a reputable pest control agency like proof. pest control for help! During a free inspection, we will search for termites in some of the following areas:
- Your home’s foundation and perimeter
- Any other space where termites are suspected
After finding signs of termites, we’ll develop a treatment plan specific to your home’s needs to get rid of the pests plaguing your property. Our technicians will evaluate problem areas and give you a list of steps to prevent termites from coming back.
proof. technicians will then place bait stations around your home to stop them in their tracks. Worried about termites coming back? Don’t fret! We provide annual inspections with our termite control services to ensure these pests won’t return.
Contact us today to schedule a treatment or to learn more!