Is Termite Waste Toxic?

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Termite workers push frass out of holes daily.
Termite workers push frass out of holes daily. (Image: termites image by Christophe Fouquin from Fotolia.com)

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.

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