Termite Dropping – 8 Things to Identify Termites Infestation with them

Termite Dropping – 8 Things to Identify Termites Infestation with them

Termite dropping indicates the presence of termites in the house. It is one of the most common signs that you will see in the house when you have termites. Despite its close resemblance to many other things, you might overlook its presence.

We normally clean up sawdust and sand from the house, but termite dropping is different and we do not have to just wipe it away because it can be termite dropping and a major sign of termites in the house. Therefore, if it looks like termite dropping, do some more investigation or call a professional so you can get rid of termites on time before they do more destruction.

Termite Dropping

The termite dropping is not dangerous to humans as it is non-toxic to humans. Although it is not harmful to health, it can be harmful to wealth. Thus, never ignore termites dropping in the house. If you identify termite dropping, call the termite control company immediately and let them do the inspection and treatment.

Termite dropping is actually the frass of wood that termite consumes. That is why the color of termite dropping looks like the color of wood that they consume. Most of the time termite dropping looks black and yellowish in color.

Identification of Termite Dropping:

As termite dropping resembles many other things and it is confusing for a non-professional to identify termites dropping. Let us give you some termite-dropping examples and compare them with other stuff so you can judge whether the thing that you are seeing is termite-dropping or something else.

  1. What do termite droppings look like?

Termite dropping looks like sawdust and sand. They are the tiny pieces of wooden frass that termites consume. The color of termites dropping will look like the color of wood that they consume. It will be in a six-sided shape. Have a look at the termite dropping picture to have a clear idea how termite dropping actually looks like. The pieces of termite dropping are usually very small, just about a millimeter in size, just like pieces of salt and pepper.

  1. Ant droppings vs termite droppings

Ant dropping also looks like termite dropping. Carpenter ants also use wood to make their nest therefore, their dropping also looks like termite dropping. Drywood termites and carpenter ant dropping look almost the same. Both termite and ant dropping are non-toxic but they are the sign of termites and ants in the house. A major difference between ants and termites is that ants leave their frass around their nest. while termites scatter their droppings. Also, ant dropping is larger and bulky as compared to termites and it also contains bits and pieces of other ants that they consume.

  1. Termite droppings window sill

If you find termite dropping at a windowsill then investigate the area, there is definitely a termite infection. To do the investigation, start inspecting the dropping because it can be something else other than termite dropping. Now check the windowsill if it is damaged or has holes and knock it to check if there is a hollow sound coming from it. Sometimes if a windowsill is damaged because of termites it becomes a little tighter than normal and hard to open and close the window.

If any of these things are there then there is a chance that your window sill has been infected because of termites. Don’t forget to check the nearby area where you find termite dropping. Termites scatter their frass and because of that, there is a possibility that you find termites, not at the same place where you find the dropping. Go through the infected images of windowsill and pictures of termites dropping at window sill to have a clear idea.

Termite Dropping

  1. Termite droppings from the ceiling

If your ceiling is infected then there is a chance that you see termite droppings falling from the ceiling. Termites can infect almost all types of wood. Therefore, they can use ceiling wood as well to feed their larvae. After the identification contact a professional or use a DIY solution to get rid of termites dropping coming from the ceiling. Furthermore, the dropping is non-toxic and can not harm humans but you might hear some sound from the ceiling or walls at night when termites crack the woods.

  1. Subterranean termite dropping

Subterranean termites do not leave dropping visible. They are mostly underneath the ground and do not leave their dropping visible. Most of the time when you see termites dropping in the house, it is from the dry wood termites. To detect subterranean termites, look for the mud tube which they use to travel from one place to another place.

  1. Drywood termite dropping

Drywood termites use wood to feed their larvae. They are very destructive to the wooden stuff of our house. Their dropping can be seen with a human eye and it is one of the major signs to detect dry wood termites in the house. In their dropping, you might see their broken wings as well. Not all termites use their wings to fly, only reproductive termites fly and they break their wings as well when they find their mate. Drywood termites droppings also known as frass and pellets and it resembles sand and sawdust and sometimes coffee grains.

  1. Termite droppings, but no termites

It is a very common question raised when the general public finds termites dropping but not termites in the house. There are several reasons but let’s discuss the 2 most common reasons why it happens. First, most of the people look for the termites near to their dropping which is not a good idea. Termites scatter their dropping and there is the possibility that you find termites dropping but not the termites’ nearby places. When you find termites dropping you must look for the termites at different places such as walls, ceilings, windows, cabinets, etc. Second, because termites dropping looks like many other things, people might consider something else as termite dropping. If you find dropping, see if the dropping has a six-sided shape, or look for the termite droppings pictures to have a clear idea.

  1. How to clean up termite droppings?

There is no specific role to clean termite dropping. It is not harmful to humans so you can clean it just like sawdust. But it is an important sign of termites in the house. Therefore, always plan to get rid of termites after finding their droppings in the house. Termites can consume pounds of wood just in weeks so if you ignore it then there will be termite destruction in your house. Also, cleaning termite dropping does not affect termites. There will be dropping again until you get rid of termites. There are different procedures to exterminate termites such as tenting fumigation, wood treatment, soil treatment, and bait stations.

How to Stop Termite Dropping?

To stop termite dropping you must get rid of termites. Cleaning frass termite dropping is not a solution to get rid of dropping permanently.

There are different extermination processes in the market to kill termites. Also, once you kill termites take precautions as well, so you do not have unwanted guests in your house again. Let us look for termite exterminations to get rid of termite droppings.

It is a very effective extermination procedure to eliminate termites. Tenting fumigation is the fastest procedure to get rid of termites. In that procedure, the house owner must leave their house for a while, and in that time; the exterminators will cover the house with a tent and fumigate the structure. That procedure usually takes 2 to 3 days for a normal size structure. After the tenting, you will get rid of termites. Remember, not all types of infestations need tenting to exterminate termites. If the infestation is not severe then there are other treatments as well.

The bait station is a little slow as compared to tents, but it is a very effective procedure to prevent termites. In that procedure, the company will install bait stations around the structure and fill it with termiticides that prevent and kill termites. After the first-time installation, you will just need to refill the station. It works effectively and remains active for a long time.

  • Soil and wood treatment

Soil treatment is specifically for subterranean termites and wood treatment is for dry wood termites. In these procedures, termite control companies inject termiticides in the soil and wood that kill termites and prevent termites from infesting again for a long time. For the soil, treatment professionals drill deep and inject termiticide in it and wood treatment professionals make little holes in wood and put termiticide in it. It not only kills termites inside but also keeps termites away from the treated wood and soil.

Termite Dropping

People Also Asks:

  • What to do when you find termite droppings?

Termite dropping is one of the signs that you have termites in your house. If you find termite dropping then call a pest control company and let them do the proper inspection for you. After the inspection, they will give you a clear idea of whether you have termites or not. Also, if you have termites the company will guide you about the treatment and its cost. In our recommendation, if you have termites go for the treatment immediately because if you let them free they will grow their colonies and destroy your house gradually.

  • Are termite droppings dangerous?

Termite dropping is not harmful as it is non-toxic just like termites. You can have a look and touch it as well but we do not recommend tasting it or inhale it. But yes, for the inspection you can touch it and have a closer look it will not give you any harm or diseases. Termite dropping is actually the frass of wood that termites consume. That is why it looks like a wooden color.

  • How do you know if you have termite droppings?

You might have seen termites dropping in your house and you just ignore it as it looks like sand or dust. Usually, you can find it near the window, and on the floor. It looks like the color of wood that termite consumes. Normally, it is black and yellowish in color. If you have a close look, you will see that it has a six-sided shape. If it is the dropping of subterranean termite, it will be a little wet as well.

  • Do termite droppings look like sand?

The termite droppings can look like sand to anyone. Termite dropping usually looks like sand because it is actually frass of wood that termites consume and it resembles sand. For the difference, look for the termite dropping and sand image to have a clear idea of whether the thing that you are seeing is sand or termite dropping.

  • What kills termites instantly?

Boric acid is one of the fastest termite killers. There are different termiticides available in the market, some are very fast to kill termites and some are a little slow but all are very effective. For example, fumigation gas that pest control companies use while tenting kills termites just in 1 or 2 days but their effect remains for a short time period. Some termiticides that are used in bait stations are usually slow but their effect remains for a long time.

  • Can I spray for termites myself?

Yes, there are different termiticides available in the market that may help you to get rid of termites. But, if you have a severe infestation of termites in your house then always contact a professional to help you get rid of termites as they are one of the hardest pests to get rid of and very destructive as well.

  • Can you sleep in a room with termites?

Because termites are not toxic to humans, you can sleep in a room with them. You may hear some sounds while they are cutting wood from your wooden structure. Additionally, it is not a good idea to leave termites in your house for a long time because they can slowly ruin your house and wooden stuff. So, take treatment for termites as soon as possible.

  • Can you live in a house with termites?

Termites are non-toxic to humans, so you can live in a house with them. However, you should remove them as soon as possible instead of living with them. Furthermore, they are not harmful to your health but they can be very harmful to your wealth because of their destruction. US citizens spend billions of dollars to cover the termite’s damage. Therefore, adopt any treatment for termites and save your structure from destruction.

  • What attracts termites to a home?

A structure with no proper ventilation is a perfect place for termites to build and grow their colonies. Therefore, always repair the water pipe if there is any leakage, and do not leave your windows, doors, and cabinets closed for a long time. Additionally, if your home is full of wooden structures with no proper precautions against termites then it is a paradise for termites. The best way to prevent termites is to install bait stations around the structure. This is the safest and one of the best options to help your house be free from termites.

  • Are termites hard to get rid of?

Termites indeed are one of the most difficult pests to get rid of. However, there are treatments that if you follow properly and take precautions, you can get rid of them. Further, Termites are destructive to your house, so you must get rid of them otherwise they can destroy your house in months as some can consume pounds of wood in just a few weeks.


Termites dropping in the house are the major sign of termite infestation. Therefore, all of us need to identify termite dropping and have knowledge about its look and appearance so we can do further treatment. The dropping looks like much other stuff and most of the time ignored. If you want to save your house from termite destruction and get rid of termite dropping, you must do the treatment after the identification of termites. For the treatment, there are pest control companies that also offer free inspection as well. Contact them and let them do the inspection and plan for the treatment or at least apply DIY solutions so the infection of termites cannot be worse. Share the knowledge you get with your friends and family so they can determine termites infestation and do the treatment if needed and save their houses as well.

Megan K Carroll

Dr. Megan K Carroll is a doctoral candidate. Researcher and expert in Pests and Pest Control, as well as their effects on our surroundings. The audience of this blog will receive insight and knowledge from Megan K Carroll. This blog greatly appreciates your support.

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