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What Do Termite Droppings Look Like And What To Do?

termite dropping

Termites are clever hiders and excellent at sneaking, as they hide deep inside wood, which allows them to eat the furniture from the inside out.

One way to find out if termites live in your house and destroy your furniture is by spotting termite droppings.

But how could you tell the difference between termite waste and sawdust? Below is all there is to know about termite droppings and what to do with them.

What are termite droppings?

Termite droppings are one of the best examples of termite identification. Dry wood termites make small retraction holes where they live and push pellets out of wood. Drywood termites are typically more likely to leave behind huge quantities of droppings.

Frasses primarily are cut wood from termite openings. To prevent other pests from nesting in your home, you can search through a hole or flashlight to see if any other insects are present.

The absence of water in the pellets helps them retain a long time, making it hard to determine how long they've been removed.

What is Frass?

termite frass“Frass” is a simple phrase for termite snout. Termites are inside timber. They have to find places to deposit their droppings in their tunnels.

To remove this liquid, drywood termites chew holes to create an opening in themselves for the passages.

This frees the tunnels. It also brings frass, which looks like sawdust or tiny piles of salt-and-pepper collected on your floor.

What does termite frass look like?

Frass is a descriptive term that is generally used to describe insect feces. Sometimes critter poop is also called pellets.

The three groups of termites you have found are dampwood drywood, dampwood, and subterranean.

What Do Termite Droppings Look Like?

Recognizing what termite waste looks like is critical to identifying if termites are inhabiting your home. Termite waste is also called frass or pellets, and you can spot them on your bed, wooden window frames, floor (especially inside cracks), or under your carpet.

Termite droppings generally depend on their species. However, they are generally small, oval-shaped, and exhibit the color of the wood they eat.

Because of this, they tend to pile up and look almost similar to either pepper, dirt, or sawdust.

How To Differentiate Termite Droppings From Saw Dust?

For those who see termite droppings for the first time, it isn’t easy to differentiate the two. Still, you can quickly determine which one it is by using a magnifying glass.

Termite droppings have six sides or a hexagonal shape and are similar to granular pellets. In contrast, sawdust appears more like shavings and shiny silver.

What makes it more confusing is that carpenter ants also leave similar feces that look like sawdust. Therefore, it is better to hire a professional to inspect it to precisely determine what it is and how to get rid of this termite infestation.

Where do you find termite droppings?

The placement of termites in frass might vary. The environment in which you find drops will help you identify the kind of type. Feces of Dampwood termite can be found at a nesting center. For dried wood termites, the frases are found near small holes for the termites.

You're unlikely to see the feces of subterranean termites. Because of their excrement, they are liquid, and they are practically always recycled into building materials.

Drywoods termites often find their feces in their nest galleries which infest the nests are tunnels or chambers where termites work to get. If you expose them, you may see brown streaks of termite droppings.

Related: Learn more about natural termite control

Subterranean versus Drywood Termite Frass

Subterranean termites can potentially be worse than the other two species. Drywood termites bream into a dry exudate. Subterraneans prefer to mix up their liquid mud with dirt, debris, and saliva to build a kind of termite highway.

They also construct nests from their drops or use poop-based cement to heal brims in nests deep within wood sources. In the most common house, a fireplace is located behind and between empty walls.

They are super secretive, preferring to enter by placing slender infill areas such as fire zones in concrete flooring areas or expansion joints into building drywood termite droppings in irregular patterns on surfaces and ceilings, where it can be hard to spot them.

Termite droppings are usually found near objects that the termites have been feeding off or next to wood that termite larvae have penetrated.


Drywood termites often build colonies beneath the wall eaves and roof tiles. They may also set up shop between floors and ceilings in homes with more than one floor. Drywood termite droppings can easily accumulate and is a sign of a serious dry wood termite problem.

Swarmer termites (also known as alates) quickly lose their wings after locating a mate, then crawl to a suitable nesting place where they seal themselves to reproduce and start a new colony.

Flying termites are male and female flying birds that fly from nests to find a mate and create a colony. People often mistake termites for ants.


For this reason, it is important to distinguish all drywood termites from one another. When they swarm, the alates shed very quick wings. In cases where the bird is found dead, its wings usually do not stay attached.

Drywood termite soldiers have bigger mouthparts with bigger teeth and wider pronotums that appear wider than the head.

In addition to a larger-than-normal mouth component, soldier size is larger than soldiers working in subterranean termite colonies.

Dry wood termites are a species of termites commonplace in the homes surrounding buildings and houses.

Other Termite Residue

Termite poop isn’t the only excrement or residue left by these pests when there is termite activity in your home. Another key indicator of an infestation is when there are wings that have been discarded or dropped by them.

Once they become adults (or swarmers), they develop these attachments and fly across your home.

When they reach the destination they want to be at or find a mate, they shed them quickly before going inside their new nesting site.

Furthermore, the left and right wings of termites are identical and have an intricate vein-like pattern. You can spot these on your window sills, floors, and possibly, in spiderwebs too.

Does finding Frass mean you have a Termite problem?

A pile of termite pellets may suggest that there are drywood termites. There will be other signs that indicate infestation.

Termites are discrete pests. Therefore it can take months or years before you notice their presence. If you find termites near decayed tree structures, you might have dampwood termites. If you're unable to recognize frass, check the following signs.

Otherwise, insects leave scarred wounds if they are let go by their own hands or found in a house.

Are Termite Droppings Dangerous Or Toxic?

So far, there have been no studies proving that termite waste is toxic or detrimental to one’s health. Interestingly, they are rich in magnesium.

With that, there is no need to worry about getting a disease and passing it on to someone. To further ease your mind, you should know that termites only eat natural materials like cellulose.

On the flip side, similar to sawdust, when someone touches termite droppings, it can potentially cause an allergic reaction or irritation to their skin.

It is also not recommended to be left around if someone in your family has respiratory problems like asthma.

Because of this, the best way to remove termite droppings is not to do it yourself but to call a pest control professional to inspect and handle the situation.

Do subterranean termites leave behind droppings?

Subterranean termites are slightly different from their food because their food choice is different. As its name says, drywood termites prefer dry timber.

Termite poop is dry and often looks like tiny coffee pellets or is confusing with sand and sawdust. Luckily termites are easy-going creatures.

It helps us as homeowners better comprehend, detect and prevent them. So this helps us understand them to understand how to deter and defeat them deter and detect them.

It also makes it worse for us to learn what to do against our ants and mice.

How do I know if a dropping is old or new?

Is there no easy way to determine whether the drops were or had remained 'old' or "new? Termites have been active inside the structures that exist.

The color between older and new droppings usually does not differentiate, but simple detection of the droppings is alarming. The unfortunate owner of the duplex finds termites frass on his nightstand: not surprised to think.

The Solution

Once you find signs of a home infestation, the best response is to call the pest control experts. We know that termites can be tricky to treat, so these pests will not go away quickly because of the free large meals they can get from your home.

It is safe to say that hiring a professional is a more efficient solution than taking the risk with DIY remedies.

24H Pest Pros are pest control professionals who will inspect and assess your termite infestation accurately. Furthermore, they use the appropriate methods and equipment to ensure your termites do not return right away.

About The Author:

Meet Mark Calhoun, a seasoned pest control expert in the realm our pest control company. With over 10 years of dedicated experience and Managing Editor. His primary mission is to furnish you with precise and invaluable DIY insights, ensuring your home remains pest-free while aiding you in distinguishing various household pests.
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