It is a clear sign that your home is full of termite when termite drops from the ceiling. It is a dangerous sign for your house. You’ll learn what to do if you see termite droppings on the ceiling in this guide.
You may endanger your life and the lives of your family if you ignore it for too long. How? The roof may collapse at any moment.
You will learn how to spot termite colonization in ceilings and roofs. Moreover, you will learn what options you have to get rid of termites in the ceiling.
What Do Termite Droppings Look Like
Frass, also known as droppings or frass, is a biodegradable material that is found under wooden structures that are infested with drywood termites.
Droppings from termites resemble tiny oval, hexagonal pebbles with curved edges. Black pepper grains resemble termite droppings. The color of frass is usually similar to the wood they infest.
The presence of termite droppings indicates a dry wood termite infestation in homes and other human dwellings. Swarms of dry wood termites infest homes. Breeding termites, or alates, are responsible for these swarms.
The alates will mate and lose their wings if they invade homes. After mating, they will drill inside the wooden structures.
Due to their ability to fly, they can drill into higher places of a home, such as the ceilings, roofs, and skylights. The termites will also infest the structural wood of the house, such as beams and joists.
After drywood termites have entered wooden structures, they seal the holes through which they entered. They will remain inside the wood, eating it from the inside, chewing it, and breeding and laying eggs.
These termites then create holes in the wood from within to eject their feces (digested wood) from these holes. In your home, you’ll see termite droppings underneath ceilings, window sills, roofs, and other wooden structures.
Remember, however, that the wood they’re using has limited space. The nest cannot accommodate all the new termites.
In order to escape their current nest, many alates drill holes. Upon leaving the nest, they will look for a new place to invade and start a new colony.
Drywood termite infestations can be difficult to detect. The reason is that they remain inside the wood. You cannot tell if there are drywood termites in your home until you see their droppings.
Despite spotting the termite droppings from the ceiling and elsewhere, you would not notice the termites inside the wood.
That’s why many people wonder why they see termite droppings, but no termites are present. The termites are inside the wood, so you cannot see them.
Are there any droppings or frass left by subterranean termites?
You now know that termite drops from the ceiling and elsewhere are a sign of drywood termites in your home. Is there a problem with subterranean termites? Do they leave feces behind?
Ground termites include subterranean termites and Formosan termites. Termites infest homes from beneath the ground.
To infest walls, books, beams, joists, floors and carpets, and furniture, they make mud tubes on the walls from the foundation.
These mud tubes are used to travel from one place to another underground and Formosan termites use their frass or droppings.
Therefore, they do not leave their droppings behind. Are these subterranean termites able to reach the ceiling?
The answer is yes, especially if the home is under attack by Formosan termites. Super termites are also known as Formosan termites.
The reason is that these termites are the most destructive, have a wider range of destruction, and they spread and breed quickly.
Instead of droppings, you would see mud tubes or tunnels on the ceiling. It will look like termite mud tubes are hanging from the ceiling.
Termite droppings are a sign of a termite infestation, which is specific to dry wood termites. As with subterranean termites, damp wood termites do not leave behind droppings.
Moisture-soaked wood is infested by damp wood termites. There is therefore little chance of damp wood termite infestation inside the home.
Thus, you would find dampwood termites only in rotting damp wood in your yard or garden. They would nest inside the rotting wet wood and remain there.
How To Spot Termite Damage In The Ceiling – 9 Signs That You Should Never Ignore
Is it 100% certain that you’ll find termite droppings on your ceiling and other structural lumber?
That’s not possible. This is because you might mistake it for a pile of regular dust and vacuum it off.
Termite droppings are not like fine sawdust left by wood-boring insects like powder post beetles. If you see termite damages on the ceiling, it would help if you’re eagle-eyed.
Unless you are, you are endangering the structural integrity of your home and your safety.
Listed below are eight signs that your ceiling is being damaged by termites.
#1 – Cracks in the ceiling’s timber
Termites, dry wood termites, or subterranean termites cause wood to become hollow from the inside. The wood becomes weak as a result.
In addition, the wood is misaligned from its original position. Cracks in the wood of the ceiling are caused by both of these factors.
The cracks don’t appear to be normal cracks. There’s a pulpy edge to them that will tell you that the reason for the damage is different.
There would also be sagging areas on the ceiling.
#2 – The ceiling appears to be damaged by excessive moisture
It will appear damp on the ceiling. Discoloration would be visible on the surface. There would also be bubbles in various parts of the lumber.
This is the same sign you’ll see when termites get inside the walls. There will be erosion on the wall and peeling of paint from the wall.
What causes this to happen?
When termites hollow out wood, they release the moisture trapped in it. This causes dampness both on the wall’s surface and on the wood’s surface. The result is discoloration, bubble formation, and flaking.
The ceiling made a hollow sound when you tapped it.
#3 – Wobbly Roof Shingles
The roof shingles become unstable due to termites in the roof and ceiling. As a result, the roof shingles become loose.
What’s the reason?
The reason is that the roof of your house is also made of wood.
Even if the roof tiles are installed, termites can reach the roof and cause damage. That will also lead to roof tiles that are unstable.
#4 – Mud Tubes On The Ceiling And On The Walls
Especially if the subterranean termites have infested the ceiling, it will be apparent. On the ceiling, the ceiling’s lumber, as well as the walls adjacent to the roof, you’ll see mud tubes or tunnels.
To reach new wood sources, termites create these mud tubes with their fecal pellets.
#5 – Faint Sounds From The Ceiling
When the room is silent, you might hear a head-banging noise from the ceiling. It is also a sign of termites in the ceiling and structural wood.
A faint head-banging sound can be heard when termites chew through wood. When you tap on the wood or drill into it, you can also hear this sound.
This is because it alerts the solider termites within the wood. They believe that their nest or colony inside the wood is under attack.
#6 – Tiny Pinholes On The Ceiling’s Wood
You will not be able to see tiny pinholes unless you are close to the ceiling or structural lumber. Termites make these pinholes either to exit their current nest as swarms or eject frass from their nests.
These pinholes would appear at random distances from each other without any specific pattern.
It is these pinholes that pest controllers drill into in order to inject insecticides into the wood.
#7 – Broken Wings And Dead Winged Termites On The Floor
Termites with wings or alates leave their nests to search for new places to infest. From the pinholes, these alates will emerge. They can easily be found near the places where they are found.
Don’t give up, though. Winged insects can also be winged ants. It’s because ants also have alates. What’s the best way to determine if they are winged ants or termites?
The process is pretty straightforward. It would require close observation. The wings of these birds are beautiful. The wings should cover the entire abdomen of a winged termite.
Flying termites and flying ants have four wings each. Winged ants, on the other hand, look like moths with two large wings at the front and two small ones at the back.
Termite wings, on the other hand, are the same length. The abdomen of the flying ants is fatter and rounder than the abdomen of the flying termites.
Another difference is the shape of the antennae, which can be overlooked. Ants with wings have L-shaped antennae. Flying termites have straight antennae.
The post will also explain the differences between ant droppings and termite droppings. Regarding the topic, you will also notice broken wings lying on the ground.
It is possible that these wings were broken by a dead winged termite. It is possible to find both dead and alive winged termites on the floor.
#8 – Termites In Ceiling Drywall
The ceilings of many buildings are covered with drywall. The plaster panels on drywalls, also known as sheetrock, are encased in thick sheets of paperboard.
Paperboards contain cellulose, which termites consume. The termites will quickly move on to the drywall from the ceiling.
It is common for termites to attack the drywall first before they move to the ceiling. Drywalls that have been attacked by subterranean termites will show mud tubes.
In the case of drywood termite infestation, the drywall would have tiny pinholes. When termites are present in the ceiling, the drywall that covers it is the first to give in or break.
It’s because the drywall is thin and weak.
#9 – And Finally, Termite Droppings From The Ceiling
Droppings from your ceiling indicate drywood termite infestation in your ceiling, roof, and even in other areas of your home.
You learned earlier where to find termite droppings and how to identify them in this post. You will find termite frass under the ceiling if there are drywood termites in the ceiling.
Termite frass will also be found underneath the tall structural lumber of your home. No matter where you find termite droppings in the house, your home is infested with termites.
How To Get Rid Of Termites In The Ceiling
Honestly, you can’t get rid of termites in your ceiling and in your home by yourself. Termite nests can be destroyed using DIY methods, but they have limitations since they don’t have a deep enough reach.
There is no doubt that termites are tough pests to eliminate. If you notice signs of termites in the ceiling, you should hire a pest controller as soon as possible.
That’s because these termites have spread throughout your home. If they’ve infested your ceiling, then they’ve also infested the structural lumber that holds your home together.
When termites invade a house of such enormity, the consequences can be disastrous. Fumigating your home may be necessary.
You can, however, take some preventive measures to deal with the infestation. You’ll at least slow the spread of the infestation in your home’s roof and ceiling if you do that.
What should you do if you see termite droppings?
Right now, you can take the following five steps:
#1 – Seal The Cracks And Pinholes On The Ceiling
Sealing the cracks and pinholes will prevent termite droppings from falling from the ceiling and winged termites from emerging from the holes.
Use a silicon-based sealant to get the best results. Termites and other bugs cannot chew through these sealants.
#2 – Fix Any Water Leakages
Your home’s moisture level will be reduced by repairing leaks near the roof and the foundation. Termites require moisture in order to survive.
Dampness in your home’s walls and foundation can lead to termite infestations.
Although drywood termites aren’t highly dependent on moisture, fixing leaks will prevent subterranean termites from taking up residence in your home.
#3 – Clean The Gutters
When gutters are cleaned, water flows more freely. The gutters would not become clogged with water.
The roof becomes damp due to waterlogging. It will also make the wood in the subroof and the main roof moist, making it easier for termites to eat.
All types of bugs, including ants, will use the cracks and gaps in the roof to enter your home when gutters are clogged with organic debris.
#4 – Use Window Screens On The Windows Of Your Home
Swarms of drywood termites occur in late summer and early fall.
During this period, they become active and start looking for new homes to invade. They are attracted to light, so install window screens with fine mesh.
This will prevent them from entering your house.
You should also install these screens on your attic and foundation vents. Winged termites can also get into your home from these places.
#5 – Deter subterranean termites with the right mulch
Mulch and wood chips are favorites of subterranean termites.
When you use regular mulch, especially near the foundation of your home, you invite subterranean termites close to your house.
It’s only a matter of time before they build mud tubes to enter your house once they’re there. If there is mulch close to the external walls of your home or near the foundation, remove it.
If you want to use mulch, choose mulches that are resistant to termites. You should also remove any overgrown vegetation around your home’s foundation.
Your home might be infested by termites using these as a bridge.
Comparing Ant Droppings and Termite Droppings
Just as flying ants mislead you into thinking they are drywood winged termites, droppings can do the same. There are a few minute differences between ant droppings and termite droppings.
Termite droppings resemble tiny grains of black pepper, and they’re hard.
The droppings of ants, on the other hand, are soft, have thread-like wooden particles, and most importantly, lack the hexagonal shape with curly edges.
Other ants’ body parts may sometimes be found in ant droppings as well. You might not see the difference as clearly as others.
Even so, an expert pest control company can tell based on droppings whether you have ants or termites infesting your home.
Are termite droppings harmful to humans?
No, termite droppings are not harmful. There is no disease transmitted by them.
It can, however, cause some allergic reactions to children, people sensitive to dust, and the elderly.
Termite Drops From The Ceiling are an ominous sign that your home is infested with drywood termites. Your home can collapse if you have termites in the ceiling.
There are termites not only on the ceiling of your home but also in the walls and the structural wood of your home. Termite droppings in your home should not be ignored, as you learned in this article.
You’ll also find a list of 8 signs that should raise your alarm about termites in the ceiling. The post also explains why getting rid of termites in your ceiling on your own may not be a good idea.
There are also some preventive measures you can take right away to stop termite infestations from spreading.