Read with Caution: Extreme Ick Factor
Another reason piles of termite pellets may appear after a successful fumigation is…ants. It’s rare, but sometimes garden ants will move into the termite galleries to feast on the dead termites. In the process they move termite pellets out of the way. If this is the cause of the sudden appearance of termite pellets, nothing needs to be done. The ants will clean up the termite carcasses and move on. They do not typically take up long-term residence.
Knowing this, what is a homeowner to do about termite pellets discovered after the drywood termite fumigation?
First, immediately after the fumigation either the property owner or the termite company needs to remove or mask* (that is, cover up with non-toxic powder) all visible termite pellets, especially those in difficult to access areas, such as the attic or crawlspace. Why? Because it is impossible to tell whether termite pellets are fresh or years old. By removing or masking all visible termite pellets after the fumigation, later on it will be easier to identify any newly deposited pellets associated with a new infestation.
Additionally, termite pellets or frass discovered within a month after fumigation should be cleared away. They are most likely left over from the newly exterminated termite colony. Make a note of the location of the termite pellets.
If the termite pellets were near a door or a window, vibrations from opening and closing the door or window may be causing the pellets to filter out of the now empty termite galleries. In this situation, pellets may filter out for some time.
New piles of termite pellets found in locations not subject to vibrations are more of a concern. Consult with your termite company.
Termite pellets or frass discovered more that a month after fumigation do not necessarily mean a failed fumigation; however, go ahead and call your termite company. They will have valuable insight about your property that can set your fears at ease or they will inspect the area of concern.
*Expect to compensate the termite company for masking the termite pellets. It is dirty, but necessary work to mask pellets in a crawlspace or attic.