If you’ve found termite droppings in your home but don’t see any termites, don’t panic! While it’s important to take action and get rid of the termites as soon as possible, there are a few things you can do to make sure the problem doesn’t get worse.
Are Termite Droppings Dangerous?
The first thing you’re probably wondering is whether or not termite droppings are dangerous. The answer is yes, they can be. If you have young children or pets in your home, they could come into contact with the droppings and become sick. In some cases, termite droppings can even cause allergic reactions.
The feces of termites are known as frass. They resemble piles of sawdust or tiny wood pellets, but they are actually termite droppings. Because they contain a lot of wood, they appear to be wood shavings. Termites consume cellulose within wood and feed on it. It’s still a strong indication that termites are causing trouble in an unknown area near you even if you don’t see any termite droppings.
The fact that termites are small and can cause a lot of harm is why the majority of homeowners are afraid of them. They create tunnels and chambers as they eat through wood, weakening it over time.
If you’ve ever seen wood that has been destroyed by termites, you’ll know it crumbles apart. It’s hazardous and needs to be fixed if this sort of damage is inflicted on a home, garage, deck, or fence.
Signs of Termites : Sawdust?
Termites do not produce sawdust. Drywood termite excrete pellets that appear to be like sawdust, but are really termite dung. Frass, or termite droppings, may also be found in small mounds outside of the galleries where they are feeding. The pellets may be any color from light brown to nearly black, depending on the type of wood being consumed and the age of the termites.
When drywood termites tunnel through wood, they push the frass out through kickholes. These tiny holes (1/16 – 1/8 inch in diameter) are made by the nymphs as they mature and develop into adults. You may see frass near these kickholes, which are usually located along the grain of wood members such as joists, studs or rafters.
Dampwood Termites : No Sawdust
Dampwood termites do not produce pellets or frass because they do not tunnel through wood. Instead, they feed on already rotted wood.
You may find that there is a lot of moisture in the area where they are feeding, and you may see mold or mildew on the wood. The wood may be soft to the touch and sound hollow when tapped.
What to Do If You Find Termite Droppings
If you find termite droppings in your home, the first thing you should do is call a professional. A trained exterminator will be able to assess the situation and get rid of the termites for you.
In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to prevent the problem from getting worse:
- Vacuum up any droppings you see. This will help to keep them away from children and pets.
- Avoid using any wood furniture that could be infested.
- Do not try to remove the droppings yourself. This could spread the infestation.
Ant Droppings vs Termite Droppings
One of the most apparent signs of an infestation is droppings, whether termite or ant.
- Subterranean termites: If you find large amounts of damage on the wood and other tell-tale signs of a termite infestation, but no droppings, you’re probably dealing with subterranean termites. When generating mud tunnels, subterranean termites utilize their feces as construction material, so you won’t see droppings very often.
- Drywood termites: If you find wood damage and a mound of droppings that resemble grains of salt and pepper, you have drywood termites. Drywood termites do not form mud tunnels, as opposed to subterranean termites. The color of the droppings may vary depending on the color of the wood being consumed by the termites.
Carpenter ants: Ant droppings, on the other hand, appear to be soft, fibrous pieces of wood and fecal matter loosely packed together. Ant frass is made up of particles of wood, feces, tiny bits of dirt, and occasionally dead ants. Ant droppings are generally discovered in nest sites in slits cut into the wood. They’ll use wood crevices as a natural garbage chute to discard their feces.
How Much Does Termite Infestation Treatment Cost?
The costs of termite treatment vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the size of your home. The average cost for termite treatment is between $800 and $2000. If you have a severe infestation, the cost could be closer to $5000.
If you find termite droppings around your home but no actual termites, don’t panic! This could just mean that the termites are nesting somewhere else on your property and have not yet made their way into your home. However, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and call a professional exterminator to come and take a look. They will be able to determine whether or not you have an infestation and, if so, how severe it is.
Exterminators typically use one of two methods to treat termite infestations: chemicals or heat. Chemicals are the most common method of treatment and usually involve injecting a liquid pesticide into the soil around your home. This kills the termites that come in contact with it and, over time, will also help to eliminate the termite colony as a whole. Heat treatment, on the other hand, involves using high-powered fans to circulate hot air throughout your home. This dries out the termites, killing them in the process.
The method of treatment that your exterminator uses will largely depend on the severity of your infestation. If you have a very small infestation, they may be able to get rid of the termites with just a few treatments. However, if you have a larger infestation, they may need to use multiple methods or even fumigate your entire home.
No matter what method they use, though, exterminators will usually start by doing a thorough inspection of your home. This will help them to identify the source of the infestation and determine the best way to treat it. Once they’ve done this, they’ll be able to give you a better idea of how much the treatment will cost.
In most cases, termite treatment is covered by homeowners insurance. However, it’s always best to check with your insurer beforehand to make sure that you’re covered. Some policies have exclusions for termite damage, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re not left paying out of pocket if something goes wrong.
Selling a House With Termites
If you’re selling a house with termites, it’s important to disclose this information to potential buyers. In some states, failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against you.
Termites can cause a lot of damage to a home and, as such, can make it very difficult to sell. If you’re honest about the infestation from the start, though, you’ll be more likely to find a buyer who is willing to take on the task of dealing with the termites. Just be sure to include the cost of treatment in your asking price so that there are no surprises down the line.
If you’re having trouble selling your home because of termites, you may want to consider working with a cash buyer. Cash buyers are investors who purchase homes as-is, meaning that they’re not concerned with things like termites. This could be a good option if you’re struggling to find a traditional buyer and you need to sell your home quickly.
ASAP Cash Offer is a cash buyer that specializes in buying homes as-is. We understand the challenges that come with selling a home with termites and we’re here to help. We’ll make you a fair cash offer for your home, no matter what condition it’s in. And, because we’re not worried about things like repairs or infestations, we can close on your home in as little as 7 days.
If you’re ready to sell your home fast, give us a call today at (805) 427-8312. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and get the process started.