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Is Termite Waste Toxic?

Termite waste or droppings are also called fecal pellets or “frass.” It is found in piles outside holes where termite colonies reside. Termite waste is not toxic, but should be removed.

Termite workers push frass out of holes daily.

Termite waste or droppings are also called fecal pellets or “frass” It is found in piles outside holes where termite colonies reside.  Termite waste is not toxic, but should be removed.


Function

Termite frass is used by termites to feed larvae.  This introduces wood-eating bacteria into the larvae digestive system.

Termite frass is full of decomposing wood fibers that can eventually become soil. 


Extermination

Checking for fresh termite waste is a good way to see if an extermination program has worked.  Removing the frass daily and not finding any for a week is a good indication that the colony is dead.


Types

Subterranean termites, or those that live underground, excrete round pellets.  Drywood termites have frass that resembles sawdust.

Neither is toxic. 

About the Author

Rena Sherwood is a writer and Peter Gabriel fan who has lived in America and England. She has studied animals most of her life through direct observation and maintaining a personal library about pets. She has earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Delaware County Community College and a bachelor's degree in English from Millersville University.

Photo Credits

  • termites image by Christophe Fouquin from Fotolia.com
  • termites image by Christophe Fouquin from Fotolia.com