Termites are small tiny insects which feed on cellulose commonly found in wood. Termites play a significant role in nature by helping in speeding up the decaying process of fallen trees to create room for new life.
Termites are quite similar in appearance to ants, but their major difference is that they have two body parts while ants have three body parts. Termites typically remain undetected to their natural predators and humans.
They attain this concealment and survival tactic by burrowing the inside of wood and not eating the wood from outside in This offers them natural protection and concealment from any danger and harm from animals who would prey on them.
But on the downside, humans also can’t quite see them, and this makes the wood used to structure houses vulnerable to termite attacks. The only good news is that termites conduct good housekeeping in their colonies, and they do need ample space in the wood.
This subsequently forces the termites to eat a hole through the outside of the wood to excrete their pile of fecal pellets which are commonly known as termite droppings.
The Drywood termites droppings are often referred to as Frass. Drywood termite droppings are usually confused with sawdusts by most people.
However, upon a keen observation and examination and with a vivid idea of what you are looking for, it is quite easy to distinguish termite droppings from sawdusts.
To prevent a situation where a person would confuse termite droppings with sawdust, we need to differentiate the two The noticeable big distinguishment between the two is in shape. Termite droppings have a six sided granular shaped pellets which vary in color from dark coffee color to light coffee color.
While sawdusts on the other hands looks more like tiny shavings and slivers and they tend to be of the same color.
Types of Termites
The Subterranean termites produce termite droppings that are known as mud tubes. Subterranean termites stay underground in free, soggy soil.
Even though subterranean termite species in Africa are broadly forceful and known for the undeniable mounds over their colonies, indications of subterranean termite damage elsewhere in the world are considerably more subtle.
Due to a different choice of food between the Drywood termites and the subterranean termites, the subterranean termites droppings are quite different in appearance. For Drywood termites, given their name ‘dry wood’, consequently, their droppings are dry.
Subterranean termites, alternatively, prefer wood that is underneath the earth surface. They use mud to assist them in creating their colony home hence their droppings are in liquid form. Subterranean termites need dampness to survive, which implies they depend on their soil habitat for the dampness they require.
At the point when subterranean termites go over the ground, they need to bring the soil with them to shield themselves from drying out Subterranean termites construct mud tubes over the ground so termite laborers can travel inside the ensured structure when scavenging between the invaded wood and their home.
The tubes might be difficult to spot when they run along cracks in the foundation or behind siding and baseboards. Nonetheless, the tubes are substantially less unmistakable when they extend over concrete foundations and exposed surfaces.
What To Do In Case You Spot Droppings?
When you come across termite droppings in your home, then you definitely have a termite infestation. It is much worse when you find two or more termite droppings as this indicates a much greater infestation.
The presence of termite droppings means that termites have invaded your wood house structure. They are residing in the wood structure, for the termites to achieve this, they burrow through the inside of the wood. This implies that the wood becomes hollowed. Now imagine your house with a hollowed wooden structure.
What are the risks involved? The most precise answer is that the house structure becomes weak with every hollow wood caused by the termites. Inside damage may not get to be clear until the termite infestations are full-blown.
Termite damage some of the time seems like water damage. Outward indications of termite damage incorporate clasping wood, swollen floors, and roofs, areas that have all the earmarks of being experiencing slight water damage and noticeable mazes inside of furniture or walls. Termite infestations likewise can ooze a fragrance like mold or mildew.
Eventually, the house structure will start giving in to the pressure exerted on it and with less structural support from the hollowed wood, the house will collapse. I imagine no person in this world would love seeing his/her house collapse due to termite infestation.
Houses built fundamentally on wood are not by any means the only structures undermined by termite infestations. Houses structured using different materials might likewise have termite infestations as termites are fit for crossing through mortar, metal siding, and other non-wooden structures.
Termites then eat upon cupboards, floors, roofs and wooden furniture inside of these houses. As long as you know how to identify termite droppings, you can surely learn and know where the termites are and get rid of them.
That sounds easy? Not really, there are certain ways of knowing where exactly the termite infestation is taking place.
Termite droppings are considered to be rich in magnesium prompting some African tribes to use it as food supplements. However, in maintaining proper hygiene and prevent health risks, termite droppings should be removed when found and identified. Termite droppings can cause health uneasiness.
Just like sawdust, when the droppings come into contact with the skin, it causes allergic reactions and skin irritations. Some people have complained and reported about asthmatic attacks which are said to be triggered by termite droppings and dust from their nests inhalations when exposed to the heating and ventilation systems in the house.
In regards to this, health risks are further implicated by the termite eradication as you might get some illness from the chemicals used in the termite treatment procedures. All these health risks associated with termite droppings can be eliminated by detecting termite infestation much sooner by knowing where to look for termite droppings.
There are certain places in your house that are more susceptible to termite infestations. Most of the times people notice termite droppings lying on a window sill or some other places where it appears to be out of place and so it catches the eye.
Unfortunately, if termite droppings are pushed out of a termite burrow in the ceiling or some other areas where it falls onto the floor where it is not likely to ever be detected. Especially for people who do not have a clue of detecting termite droppings, but you do now, and you should be more efficient in detecting this sign of termite infestation sooner.
For quick and fast detection of termite droppings, keep particular attention to these areas which are common to find termite droppings; In or around wooden porches, door and window sills. If you ever see something that looks like sawdust when sweeping or vacuum cleaning your house, please stop and take a closer look cause it may be termite droppings.
Keep note of the place where you saw the termite droppings, even take a picture with your camera or phone. If you are not sure whether they are termite droppings or not, you can place them in a small plastic bag and take them to a termite control professional for identification at a later time
For the Drywood termites, once you have identified their droppings: Take a screwdriver, either standard or Philips, and using its end, tap along the wood which is around the area where you identified and found the termite droppings.
If the Drywood termites are present inside the wood that you are tapping and have been eating away the inside of the wood for a considerable amount of time, then you will hear a hollow type of noise when you tap over the previously infested areas.
This sound will sound different when you tap the wood that is solid, which is not infested by the Drywood termites. Also in determining Drywood termite infestation, exit openings ought to be found.
Drywood termites settle and flourish inside the wood on which they have infested, developing elaborate labyrinths and display chambers inside the walls, roofs, ceiling, and furniture. At the point when a colony develops and delivers reproductive termites, worker termites make little openings to permit them to exit.
Finding these holes can help with recognizing the area of a termite infestation. This is just a quick do it yourself, if you can not effectively and efficiently determine the infested areas, it is highly advised you get professional assistance.
In the case of Subterranean termites, on coming across their droppings: You can easily follow their mud tunnels while tapping the wood with a screwdriver just like you did in detecting Drywood termite infestation.
In order to get rid of termite droppings for good, we have to treat and prevent current and future termite infestations. Once you have identified the termite droppings and detected the termite infested areas, the job is not yet complete.
Should You Call for Professional Help?
Now we have to treat and repair the termite infested areas. If you’re a person who enjoys doing handy works, then you can do the termite extermination yourself and fix the affected areas if you’re good in woodwork.
For the extermination of termites, you’ll need a termite exterminator. Following the extermination guidelines on the exterminator, you’ll be able to get rid of all the termites in the infested areas. After you’re done getting rid of all the termites in the infested areas, you now need to repair the damaged wooden structures.
Whether it’s the roof or ceiling, you replace all the affected wooden beams and plywoods. If the wooden structures affected are the cupboards, dressing cabins and the likes, depending on the severity of damage inflicted by the termites, it is highly advisable to replace them with new ones. On doing all that, taking precautionary measures against future infestations should be your main priority.
This is achieved by utilizing and applying termite repellants on the wooden structures. The termite repellants may come in the form of a spray where you spray all your wooden structures. Others are in the form of liquid oil where you have to apply manually all around the wooden structures.
In the case of cupboards, cabinets and the likes, you can always buy the ones that are already explicitly made to repel termites. In this modern world, you can find a lot of these around, even the house building beams these days are already made with termite repellants.
If all that is too much work for you, you can always let the professionals do the job for you. These professionals are specifically trained to undertake such tasks and do them effectively and with efficiency.
First you contact a termite inspector who will inspect your home to identify termite infestation. In the presence of an infestation, the termite inspector will offer the services to treat the termite infestation and come up with preventive measures for future infestations.
When this is all done, and you’ve ensured that house is termite free, and there are no risks of future infestations, then current termite damages should be repaired. This is done by contacting the local contractors who deal with the damaged structures for repair.
To refresh your memory and sum it all up: Termite droppings look more like saw dusts but should not be mistaken as sawdust. The termite droppings are indicators that inform you that your house is infested by termites.
Termite infestation should not be taken lightly, and immediate treatment, repair, and preventative actions should be conducted. Termite infestation brings about collapsing of houses and damages to cupboards, tables, desks and any other wooden structure in the house.
The treatment, repair and preventive actions can either be carried out by yourself if you are knowledgeable enough and well equipped.
Or you are highly recommended to and can always call in a professional who is more conversant and with vast knowledge regarding termite infestations. With an expert by your side, we can all be rest assured that nothing is going to go wrong.