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It’s the first day of spring, and cleaning out the basement is on your to-do list for spring cleaning. However, when you are piling all of your old junk into boxes, you notice something strange in your basement wood beam.
Upon closer inspection, the little tubes and holes in your beam are termites and worse of all termite droppings, or frass. You have been down in your basement a hundred times before and never noticed the frass until now.
Amongst other signs, like dropped wings which usually occur when termites swarm in the area, termite droppings or frass are a tell-tale sign of an infestation. Different species of termites can leave different droppings. Formosan subterranean termite frass, for example, use their own droppings to form tubes in basements or any other ground space where there is a lot of wood around.
Drywood termites abandon their frass from their nesting area. This makes termites even more difficult to find with an untrained eye, as most frass will look like wood shavings.
Most frass is very small, about one millimeter long, and can look like sawdust or wood shavings. While the frass can be in obvious places like in wood beams in a basement, the frass can also appear in higher floors like the kitchen or in door entryways.
The color can vary depending on the type of wood that the termites forage in, some can take on the color of salt and pepper. It is important to not get termite frass mixed up with carpenter ant frass as most carpenter ant frass will also look similar to termite frass. The main difference is that carpenter ants have their frass around the openings of their nest, or galleries, while termites tend to scatter their frass.
Termite feces itself is not harmful, but should not be handled without consulting a professional. While drywood termite droppings do not pose any real health or complication risks, cleaning it up should not be done alone, or without the help of a professional technician. Those with chemical allergies would be better off in the long run if they could spot the droppings as soon as possible. Professionals are likely to use fewer chemicals if the infestation is spotted early.
If you are seeing termite droppings in your home, please contact Ehrlich Pest Control today for an inspection. The professionals at Ehrlich Pest Control can not only clean up the droppings but can also find the source of the infestation and eradicate the termites.
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