Drywood termites typically leave few signs of activity in homes. When two drywood termites establish a small nest in wood, they seal the hole they used to enter the wood and do not leave the nest. Besides swarmers that need to exit the nest to start new colonies, drywood termites can find all of the conditions they need inside the wood – including food, water, shelter and an optimal temperature.
The only condition drywood termites do not have inside their nest is unlimited space. As termites consume wood, they create kick out holes that are used to push frass (termite droppings or pellets) out of the nest.
What Do Termite Pellets Look Like?
Drywood termite pellets are tiny, oval-shaped capsules with six concave sides and rounded ends. These pellets, which are about 1 millimeter in length, can form small mounds beneath kick out holes. The mounds may look like small piles of salt or pepper.
Since drywood termites are completely contained within the wood they consume and have limited moisture sources, they have adapted to conserve the water typically excreted with feces. This process results in the dry, distinctively-shaped fecal pellets.
Disposing of Termite Pellets
Drywood termite droppings can be a warning sign for activity. Do not clean up frass until after your inspector has identified it.
After your pest control professional completes drywood termite treatment – direct wood treatment, fumigation or heat treatment – he or she may help remove or repair signs of termite activity, including frass.