Termite Droppings but No Termites {What To Do Next}

Do you see termite poop that looks like sawdust, coffee grounds or tiny little ovals? What does it mean when you see termite droppings but no termites?

Does this mean that there aren’t any termites in your home anymore? Have they disappeared or are they hiding deep inside the walls?

In this article, we will find out why you are seeing termite droppings but no termites.

Termite Droppings but No Termites

Unfortunately, termites known as drywood termites infest homes by hiding deep inside the walls. They eject their droppings through small holes that they create at the surface of the wood or exterior wall.

This is why you are seeing termite droppings in small piles below the wall or infested wood. The termites themselves are still present.

Seeing their droppings, but not noticing any colonies of termites is still a tell-tale sign that you are a victim of a drywood termite infestation.

How Do I Make Sure I Have No Termites?

Making sure that you have no termites also means that you should not be noticing any termite droppings. There are a few steps you can take right now to protect your home against termites.

  1. Do not let wood make contact with the ground.
  2. Make sure moisture does not accumulate near the foundation.
  3. Dry out the moisture and humidity in crawl spaces.
  4. Don’t place firewood, wood debris or tree stumps against the foundation.

1. Wood contacting the ground

Wood material should never make contact with the ground if possible.

This would allow termites to easily create pathways that lead inside the walls that connect the ground by way of the wood and cellulose food sources termites are looking for.

If the ground does not contain wood, termites will not stop at this location. They will not leave their droppings behind. They will not pass go and they will not collect $200.

2. Accumulating moisture

When moisture accumulates near the foundation of your home, you are attracting termites. Termites enjoy dark, moist and humid spaces.

If these spaces also connect them to their food source, which is cellulose, then you are making matters worse if moisture near the foundation of your home is present.

3. Moisture and humidity in crawl spaces

Crawl spaces are our least used areas of our home. We use them to store away items that we forget all about. These areas need to be dried out from time to time.

Open the crawlspace and allow the air to escape. If you have a portable dehumidifier, Place one in your crawl space once a week and dry it out.

We use a dehumidifier in our home crawl spaces once a week and we are surprised at how fast it fills up with water. In a matter of hours the dehumidifier is full and we dump out all the water.

4. No wood near your home

Leave firewood, lumber in any other wood debris at least 20 feet away from your home. If you have rotting wood or even tree stumps next to your home, consider removing them as soon as possible.

You may have termites occupying these wood materials and natural cellulose rich areas without you noticing for weeks or months.

When the cellulose runs out in these locations, your house is a quick hop ,skip and a jump for these termites to enter your home and continue feasting.

Which Termites Leave Droppings?

If you are noticing droppings but no termites, you are most likely the victim of a drywood termite infestation. This is because subterranean termites excrete their feces in liquid form.

They use it mixed with their saliva to create expansive mud tubes and tunnels. Drywood termites like to expel or kick out their feces through tiny holes they create in the walls.

This is why you might see mounds of their droppings. It is called termite frass. Formosan termites or dampwood termites also do not leave behind the droppings that you are noticing in your home.

Drywood termites leave dry droppings that resemble coffee grounds or pellets.

YouTube video

What Do Drywood Termite Droppings Look Like?

Drywood droppings are what you are probably noticing when there are no termites present but something is not right.

They may look like sawdust or tiny little oval shaped particles. Here are some comparisons to termite droppings:

  • crushed pepper
  • wood shavings
  • coffee grounds
  • ant droppings

Drywood termites eject frass out of holes that they create when they are feasting on wood structures. It’s very easy to overlook these droppings and consider them to be just shavings or sawdust.

When you notice droppings but do not see any termites, you must act immediately. You do have a problem with termites and they are hiding very deep inside the structure of your home without you noticing.

What Happens If I See Sawdust but No Termites?

If you are seeing sawdust in its finest powder form, this is not a sign of drywood termite droppings. Wood shavings is a better way to describe their droppings or coffee grounds.

If you are noticing real sawdust, you are probably looking at the effect of wood-boring beetles. These beetles can effect joint,  beans and other wood structures by boring into them, hence their name.

What Are the Risks of Termite Droppings?

Termite frass or droppings:

  • are non-toxic
  • may casue allergies
  • help spread mold
  • may harm the structural integrity of home

Termite droppings are not toxic, but they do mean that you have a problem with the structure of your home. Some people have allergic reactions to termite droppings, but in most cases they are not poisonous or harmful.

Another factor to consider is the mold that can spread through termites creating tunnels out of wood and keeping areas moist where mold can thrive. Termites can actually spread the spores that create more mold throughout the home.

The structure of your home is now at risk. It could be structurally unsound. The integrity of the foundation may be at risk. Drywood termites are hard to eliminate if you do not see them and only see their droppings.

Where Are Dry Wood Termites If I Only See Their Droppings?

Drywood termites don’t enter your home from under the ground. They are not subterranean termite. They enter the home during the early stages and their reproductive state when they still have wings.

At this point, the winged termites known as as alates, fly in swarms and look for a new place to infest. Once they enter your home through open doors or windows, they will shed their wings.

These drywood termites end up creating holes inside structures like beams, joint, or roof eaves. They will enter inside your home without you noticing them.

They can create tiny holes in your wall to expel their droppings.  What are are seeing is caused by drywood termites. They are eating the wood from inside and making it hollow.

Tap on the wood gently and you will hear a hollow sound. Drywood termites are deep inside your home. This is a problem. I

t could take years before you even notice that you have an infestation of drywood termites. This is why it’s crucial to get annual termite inspections.

Is My Home at Risk If I See Termite Droppings?

Yes, your home is at risk if you are noticing the piles of termite droppings. That means that they are eating the wood inside your home to be able to create this excrement.

They are spreading wider, deeper and higher into your home. The termites in question are drywood termites. They can infest the ceilings, joint or beams that support the roof or the structure of your home.

They may leave your home unsound and the integrity of it could come into question leading you with possible issues with the foundation, joints and beams of your home.

This nightmare can cost a lot of money down the road. Some homes have crumbled due to an infestation of drywood termites.

Is It Hard to Get Rid of Drywood Termites?

If you are not seeing drywood termites,  but only noticing their excrement, that means they are deep inside your home and hard to find. You will not be able to eliminate them on contact with a product such as orange oil.

You will need to tent the entire home and fumigate. Considering the difficulty of finding drywood termites and eliminating the entire colony on your own, we do not recommend that you purchase your own chemicals and sprays. You will be fighting a losing battle.

The damage to your home could be irreparable if you continue trying to find them in localized areas. It’s time to call the professional experts and consider the options that they provide you.

More often than not, if you have not seen termites,  but you continuously notice their droppings, you will need to fumigate the entire home by tenting it up first.


Termite droppings indicate that a swarm of winged termites were located near your home and some of them got through any available openings.

They shed their wings and started a colony of drywood termites. They poked holes and dropped their feces in areas where it is easy to find.

You see the droppings, but you don’t see potentially hundreds or thousands of drywood termites deep in your home. It’s time to call in for some help from a professional termite control expert.


Thanks for visiting ThePestManagement.com for the best information to help you to make the pest control process easy, safe & affordable.

Jason Barrett

Hello, I'm Jason. I have 11 years of experience in dealing with pests. I try to provide you the best information that'll help you to make the pest control process easy & affordable