Isolated termite signs?

Old 02-02-18, 03:22 PM
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Isolated termite signs?

Back in early December, we bought a small reindeer (about 8" tall) made out of tree branches at the local Christmas tree lot. We all liked it so we kept it displayed on a front table even after we packed up the Christmas stuff.

Today, we noticed a small pile of wood shavings mixed dark drops in it. One Google image search later and it looked pretty darn close to termite shavings.

A few questions:

-This wood reindeer is basically a buffet of yummy goodness for termites, right? As opposed to the sea of plastic and metal in our modern world?
-Could this have been dormant larvae in the reindeer all this time and they're finally snacking their way out?
-Or is this a sign of a bigger problem? I inspected the home's foundation and didn't see any signs of termite tunnels.

We had some work done in our attic crawlspace about 6 weeks ago and he said that he saw no signs of termites, mice, or other pests in the crawlspace. We did, however, have a neighbor about 1/4 mile away have signs of it (Terminex did an external spray but deemed that they didn't need tenting).

Also, there was a plywood box on the same table as the reindeer and it had no shavings or droppings on it.

Basically, I wanted to see if this points to an isolated incident (we bagged the reindeer and threw it away) or if we should be concerned about anything else. Thanks!
Old 02-03-18, 04:17 AM
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While I would keep an eye on things I'm not sure that I'd be overly concerned. How prevalent are termites in your area? Here in the southeast it's common for folks to have yearly treatments.
Old 02-03-18, 04:40 AM
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Not sure what type of wood you were dealing with but just a guess I doubt it was termites. I'm thinking something more along the line of carpenter bees that do bore into wood and lay eggs. Not impossible but whatever might have been in there is probably out now but inside your home is a poor place for them to live.

Worry level, same as for all critters that come through the front door, zero.

Old 02-03-18, 07:26 AM
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I agree that itís not going to be anything to worry about. In all likelihood it is/was a beetle, adult or larvae. that lives inside a tree and gestates. The frass could have been the emergence hole for the adult beetles or from the larvae in preparation for gestation. They like to gestate near the surface of the wood as the adult usually isnít as strong of a chewer as the larvae. The larvae makes an emergence hole and then closes it with chewings making an almost glue like substance which is easier for the adult to chew through when ready. Look to see if there is an actual hole or a lighter colored patch. Makes no difference which, just curious.

Re-infestation should not be an issue as tree/bark beetles arenít attracted to kiln dried and/or processed wood. If you want to do something in the event that there are more in there, you could put it in a zip loc bag and put it in the deep freeze for several weeks. Deep freezers usually are ten below zero.

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