Something like sawdust near the front door ?

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Aena1
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Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by Aena1 »

I have cleaned it a few times but see it coming back. I am suspecting it is either some kind of ants or god forbid, termites. Any idea how to make sure if I need to call a pest treatment company ?

don’t want to call anybody for inspection as I am sure they would want to sell me something
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Feldman
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by Feldman »

Sounds like some kind of ants or termites.

Carpenter ants excavate wood and deposit the shavings and dust outside. Termites consume wood and deposit their fecal pellets outside.
rockstar
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by rockstar »

Maybe bees.

Lots of possibilities.
z3r0c00l
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by z3r0c00l »

Could also be a woodworm, the larval stage of a beetle. Either way, probably no big deal. Just find the source of the dust (likely a soft, punk wood) and look for any signs of life. May be wood already undermined by water damage. Post a picture or two here once you find the source.
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toddthebod
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by toddthebod »

Aena1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:37 pm I have cleaned it a few times but see it coming back. I am suspecting it is either some kind of ants or god forbid, termites. Any idea how to make sure if I need to call a pest treatment company ?

don’t want to call anybody for inspection as I am sure they would want to sell me something
The word you are looking for is frass. Google ant frass and termite frass and compare.
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AerialP
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by AerialP »

Look above, at your eaves and jambs and casings and such. I'd wager it's a couple of carpenter bees making some holes above in some wood and it's dropping down.
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Darwin
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by Darwin »

AerialP wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:03 pm Look above, at your eaves and jambs and casings and such. I'd wager it's a couple of carpenter bees making some holes above in some wood and it's dropping down.
Sounds likely. And if it is, just go to the hardware store and buy some 000 fine steel wool, pack it into the hole as far as you can with a chopstick or something, then plug it with wood patch. Once it dries, daub it with paint/stain. DIY magic.
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icrf
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by icrf »

AerialP wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:03 pm Look above, at your eaves and jambs and casings and such. I'd wager it's a couple of carpenter bees making some holes above in some wood and it's dropping down.
I second this. I see it all the time here. Straight above the sawdust pile will be a half inch diameter hole maybe an inch deep. Pain to deal with.
Darwin
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by Darwin »

icrf wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:50 pm
AerialP wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:03 pm Look above, at your eaves and jambs and casings and such. I'd wager it's a couple of carpenter bees making some holes above in some wood and it's dropping down.
I second this. I see it all the time here. Straight above the sawdust pile will be a half inch diameter hole maybe an inch deep. Pain to deal with.
Might yan inch deep, but the surprise is how far the chambers can go sideways. Still, doable if taken care of. Prevention-wise, carpenter bees don't like chewing through stain or paint, so prevention is possible... I've successfully dealt with hundreds of holes when I first bought my property.
No planet, no business. Earth bats last.
RetiOpening
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by RetiOpening »

When you say near the front door, what is directly above the sawdust? If it’s cedar siding or anything with small gaps that allows for nesting, it could be mason bees. See if it persists for more than a few weeks. If it goes away, it’s probably no harm, no foul.
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FreddieFIRE
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by FreddieFIRE »

Aena1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:37 pm don’t want to call anybody for inspection as I am sure they would want to sell me something
So your strategy is instead to ask a bunch of non-professionals on the internet? I'm just not following along here.
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ClaycordJCA
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by ClaycordJCA »

This topic is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (home maintenance, pest control).
Normchad
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by Normchad »

icrf wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:50 pm
AerialP wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:03 pm Look above, at your eaves and jambs and casings and such. I'd wager it's a couple of carpenter bees making some holes above in some wood and it's dropping down.
I second this. I see it all the time here. Straight above the sawdust pile will be a half inch diameter hole maybe an inch deep. Pain to deal with.
Yep. It’s a perfectly round hole too. So perfect you’ll think somebody used a drill to make it.

Carpenter bees aren’t mean or aggressive, so you don’t need to fear them. But you need to keep up with them and their holes.
popoki
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by popoki »

FreddieFIRE wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:15 am
Aena1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:37 pm don’t want to call anybody for inspection as I am sure they would want to sell me something
So your strategy is instead to ask a bunch of non-professionals on the internet? I'm just not following along here.
Agreed. Hire a pro. Lots of questionable advice being given here.
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Big Dog
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by Big Dog »

if SoCal, most likely termites of the flying variety.

This stuff works ok (and is approved in CA so not very toxic). Spray the foam in the holes, let dry, patch with wood putty, prime, paint.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Spectracide ... /100062166
PoorPlumber
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by PoorPlumber »

Only thing I've ever seen that makes what looks like actual sawdust is carpenter bees.
bombcar
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by bombcar »

FreddieFIRE wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:15 am
Aena1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:37 pm don’t want to call anybody for inspection as I am sure they would want to sell me something
So your strategy is instead to ask a bunch of non-professionals on the internet? I'm just not following along here.
It's a website dedicated to the idea that financial professionals are out to sell you something you don't need, and the information to learn about it is simple and actionable.

Of course you're going to ask around before you hire a pest-control company, because if you call one they're very likely to tell you that you need their services.
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icrf
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by icrf »

The real destruction with carpenter bees is when the woodpeckers come destroy your trim getting at the larva.

I've had very mild success with carpenter bee traps. I got some, but not packed full like I've seen elsewhere. My best luck was getting an insecticide spray and going out after dark when they're in there working. You can actually hear them nibbling away if it's quiet.
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FreddieFIRE
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Re: Something like sawdust near the front door ?

Post by FreddieFIRE »

bombcar wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 9:43 am
FreddieFIRE wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:15 am
Aena1 wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 8:37 pm don’t want to call anybody for inspection as I am sure they would want to sell me something
So your strategy is instead to ask a bunch of non-professionals on the internet? I'm just not following along here.
It's a website dedicated to the idea that financial professionals are out to sell you something you don't need, and the information to learn about it is simple and actionable.

Of course you're going to ask around before you hire a pest-control company, because if you call one they're very likely to tell you that you need their services.
Well that seems to be a HUGE reach! I'm not suggesting that you ask a barber if you need a haircut here. Infestations, left (properly) untreated, can lead to huge problems. But, do what you think is best. Me? I rent! 8-)

disclaimer: I have owned homes and had to hire a company to treat termites several times. Ain't no question that it was needed. The only thing they try to "sell" is the ongoing maintenance warranty, which is basically a subscription to have them come back pre-paid in five years or so.
A house and a job. Once the American dream. Two things I'll never again have. Life is simple (and good).
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