grey sand from termites?


I have a home in the Myrtle Beach, SC area that the outer walls and the structural wall of the first floor are built of cinder block. Our clothes dryer was not drying properly so I moved the dryer away from the wall to the dryer vent and noticed a sizeable pile of dark gray/black sand looking material had accumulated in the corner on the concrete floor. Is it possible that this is termite activity or some other type of pest?

This is a tough one for me to say for sure without being able to do a good inspection but I’ll try to help.

With termites, you’ll be able to see “tubes” inside the sand. This part of the dirt will be hollowed out to allow the termites to travel inside the cavity. And if it was used for exiting swarmers (termites with wings), there is a good chance you’ll see little insect wings laying around the area. This would be a sure sign the dirt is from termites.

Now if you don’t see noticeable galleries or “tubes”, the dirt could be from many other insects and maybe even some species of animal. I have seen moles tunnel into homes as well as shrews and mice and in some cases, piles of dirt left around the home where they were active.

I’ve also seen insects leave piles of sand inside homes. A few that could do this would be ants, roaches and mole crickets.

Many species of ant will readily move piles of dirt around and I have seen situations where they’ve brought in piles of dirt, left it inside a home but no one ever sees ants active inside. I’ve also seen mole crickets and roaches “dig” holes around foundations which can lead to dirt piles inside.

In the end, it would be smart to remove the dirt, clean the area and inspect the location every 2-3 days to see if anything new develops. If it does, let me know and I can further advise.

You also may want to set up some INSECT MONITORS along the wall. These will catch most any insect but can handle small animals like mice too. This way if there is anything active, the traps will help identify it sooner rather than later.

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