What Does Termite Frass Look Like?

August 18, 2021

Termites do poop and their faeces are also known as frass or pellets. Termites create tiny holes in wooden materials to dump their excrement, which helps keep their nesting place less congested and free of droppings. Finding termite frass anywhere in your home is a sign of termite infestation, which calls for immediate detection and elimination of the termites. Failure to do so often results in costly property damage. But what does termite poop look like? Worry not if you have never seen termite poop images before. Read on to learn more about the frass termites leave behind.

Areas You Are Likely To Find Termite Excrement

There are a couple of areas where termite droppings are usually concentrated, including:

  • On the floor
  • Inside cracks in walls
  • On the bed
  • Under the carpet
  • On wooden frames and sills

What Do Termite Droppings Look Like?

The look of termite poop depends on the termite species infesting your home. Common household termite species include subterranean, dampwood, and drywood. Generally, all termite feces are small, measuring about 0.04 inches long. They are light beige to black, depending on the kind of wood the termites eat. Additionally, termite excrement is oval-shaped with six concave sides. Termite excreta usually forms tiny mounds that look like small piles of dirt or sawdust.

Termite Droppings

1. Termite Droppings Vs. Ant Droppings

While the feces of both ants and termites may look similar, you can differentiate them by the pooping behaviour of the insects. Ants typically leave their droppings at the entry of their nests, while termites scatter their feces all over the place. Ant poop is also bigger and bulkier than that of a termite and contains insect remains of either dead ants or the insects that ants eat. Termite droppings are finer, resembling sand.

2. Termite Frass Vs. Sawdust

At first sight, it can prove challenging to differentiate between termite feces and sawdust. Although the two look pretty similar, they are distinct in shape. Termite frass is hexagonal with a more granular appearance. On the other hand, sawdust looks like small wood shavings and features shiny slivers that termite stool does not have.

How Dangerous Are Termite Droppings?

Termite excrement is not toxic and does not cause diseases. After all, termites only consume natural substances. Therefore, there is no need to worry about your family’s and pets’ health being adversely affected by termite stool. But since the droppings are like sawdust, you may suffer from skin irritation when you touch them. If you have asthma or any other respiratory issue, avoid termite dust piles or termite wood shavings as they can worsen your condition. Either remove the feces or debris yourself while wearing protective gear or hire an expert to safely get rid of them.

How To Differentiate The Frass Of Different Termite Species

1. Drywood Termite Frass

Finding piles of pellets in your house indicates a drywood termite infestation. Drywood termites are tricky to detect because they only leave a few signs. On creating their nesting place in wooden material, they close the entrance and never exit. Only swarmers get to leave to establish new termite colonies. Wood provides ideal living conditions for drywood termites, including ready food and favourable temperature. The only problem is unlimited space. Therefore, drywood termites puncture holes through the wood to push their droppings out. Drywood termite poop is tiny and oval-shaped. It measures about a millimetre long and is deposited in mounds that look like small piles of ground peppers. Drywood termite feces may differ in colour depending on the type of wood the termites ate.

2. Subterranean Termite Frass

Subterranean termites do not leave behind visible feces. They produce a more liquid form of frass, unlike that of drywood termites which is dry, that they mix with saliva and other debris to construct mud tunnels. Hence, it becomes challenging to differentiate their poop from their nest. Subterranean termites build tunnels to facilitate travel and protect themselves from predators and dry air. Check for wormlike mud tunnels running up a wall or the foundation.

How To Determine If Termite Droppings Are Old Or Fresh

Unfortunately, there is no way to determine whether termite frass is old or new. Finding termite droppings that seem old does not mean the termites have moved away. Such feces are those that termites have pushed out of their nest during cleaning, meaning there is still a termite infestation in your home.

Other Termite Residues To Examine

Dropped termite wings are another indicator of termite infestation besides termite poop. Adult reproductive termites, commonly referred to as swarmers, develop wings that they shed afterwards. Swarmers fly away from the nest and shed their wings when they arrive at their intended destination. If their destination is your home, you will find fallen wings. The wings are tiny, but you can quickly identify them, especially if there is a significant infestation. Look for them on window sills, hardwood floors, and spider webs that may be in your house.

How To Remove Termite Excrement

Removing termite droppings from your house should be an easy task. Since the faeces are usually dry, you can either sweep or vacuum them up. But this only applies to drywood termite frass. Subterranean termite excrement is used to build mud tunnels. Therefore, make sure you destroy and discard the tunnels. Note that removing termite frass is not the ultimate solution to termite invasion. Completely getting rid of the termites on your property is. Given the challenges involved in eliminating termites, it is advisable to enlist the services of a professional termite controller for the inspection, detection, eradication, and prevention of termite infestation. Once the termite colony gets eradicated, you will no longer find termite faeces in your home.

For help with termites as well as any other pests, get in touch with Pest Aid Adelaide or Pest Aid Gold Coast. Book an inspection online or call us on 139 007 to discuss.

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