Why is there sawdust falling from the roof?

Why is there sawdust falling from your roof?  Well, the simple answer is that you likely have bugs.  The problem is which kind. Not all insects create sawdust, but depending on the time of the year it’s likely one of the following.

How many times have you been looking out the kitchen window in May and suddenly see sawdust falling like snow? You go outside and you’ll likely see a neat pile.  What is it? The answer lies in what the sawdust looks like.

Carpenter ants create sawdust

Ants in the ktichen
Carpenter ants in home

When sawdust or frass is created by carpenter ants wood is being excavated to build a nest. The problem is that depending on where the sawdust is falling from it may be difficult to actually see the pest in action.  If you look at the pile closely you’ll find bits and pieces of dead insects. This is a defining characteristic of all carpenter ant frass. The pile, aside from being excavated wood is also the garbage from the nest.  Next, you’ll want to know the location of the nest.  The truth about carpenter ants is that if they’re building a nest and excavating wood there’s most likely moisture.  If this is the case then look at window frames, clogged gutter areas and the sheathing under the shingles on a roof that may have seen better days.

Carpenter bees and sawdust falling from the roof

No discussion of sawdust falling from the roof would be complete without talking about carpenter bees.  In fact, the main culprit of this type of situation is usually related to carpenter bees.  In the spring female carpenter bees excavate voids in wood where they can plant eggs.

The sawdust that they create may look the same as carpenter ants, but upon inspection the sawdust will be clean

Carpenter bee up close

with no dead insect parts in it.  The telltale sign of carpenter bee activity beyond their presence would be the perfectly round holes they drill as well as staining around the area that they are excavating.

Many people in Ct where we are from think seeing sawdust is a sign of termites, it not.  We’ll get into that in anther post.

If you see pile of sawdust, call Envirocare Pest Control at 1-888-879-6481.  We can help.

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