Learning about Termite Droppings

Learning about Termite Droppings

Termite droppings, or also called frass, actually cannot be distinguished from the nests of termites, because the pests usually make their tunnels and nests with them, along with other substances. The frass resembles very small pieces of wood, so you will probably recognize it easily.

You must already know that the drywood termites live inside the dry wood – this is how they have earned their title. The said droppings are hard and are in all kinds of wood-related colors. The droppings have six concave surfaces and rounded ends. Some types of termites used their droppings for making tunnels and mud tubes, while others use it to build their nests. However, it is hard to distinguish the tunnel from the nest, especially if the nest is hidden somewhere in the wall or hidden behind heavy furniture. They prefer dry wood before moisturized territories, and this is the main reason why they prefer going for window sills and frames.

It is natural for the termites to live completely inside the wood, you will probably be unable to see signs and to find evidence of their infestation in the beginning. However, all you have to do is look closely and check the usual territories they might infest and you will find them very easily. You might find swarms or droppings under damaged wood. Some termites, like the subterranean ones, usually don’t leave frass behind, which can be troubles in many occasions both for you and you home.


When the termites clean their nests, they push fecal pellets, also known as digested wood out of their holes. This would happen when they decide to leave your home and migrate somewhere else. It’s good to examine both the tunnels and their nests when you find them, in order to see which types of termites have made a guest appearance in your home. All types make their nests differently – some make it fully of frass, while others mix it with actual wood. Same goes for their tunnels.

Depending on the time when you spot the frass at your home, you can identify which stage has the infestation reached. If you find it early, you will be able to save your house quickly without much trouble. Many people confuse the frass with sawdust – it’s a common mistake. The biggest difference between the two is their form. You can use a magnifying glass to make sure you are not mistaken as you examine the substance. When looking at sawdust you will come with the conclusion that it looks like tiny shavings and silver – something which you won’t find in a dropping. The termite droppings look like small granules. They are oval and are different shades of brown, unlike the sawdust, in which you don’t usually find two different colors.

Termite droppings can be found around the window sill and other areas, where it would look unnatural and catch your eye. Sometimes it can even be on the ceiling and bits and pieces may start falling on the floor as the time passes by. Such nests and tunnels can be on the floor, where it is not as easy to see as you think, especially if your floor is wooden and if you have a carpet. If you see frass or sawdust, do not vacuum it! You can take a piece of it and take it to pest control so it can be examined. If you are not sure that this is a doing of termites, you might have trouble with something else and you might be having a bigger problem if you destroy pieces of their “hard work”. Even if you take a photo of it and send it to professionals, it’s also a good idea. They will quickly tell you if this is frass or sawdust.


You may also find traces of termites, along with bits of frass, around your trash. It may be garbage to you now, but the termites may find it as a source of magnesium and invade the area around the places where you put your bag of trash, even if you are only leaving it for the night so you can throw it out in the morning as you go out.