Something growing inside drywall?


I just noticed on my bedroom drywall (exterior wall) some dark spots. At first I thought it was dust. Upon closer examination, it appears to be a kind of a brown particle like thing sticking to the drywall. It scraped off easily, and I noticed some small holes in the drywall.
The next day, the particles grow back, and that's when I realized something bad is probably growing inside. I spray some bug spray around that spot, and the particles did not grow back. But I also noticed there are multiple dark spots on the same side of the wall about a foot or two away.
Anyone know what these things are? Termite? I am in Bay-Area California and it's fairly dry during the day, temperature is about 60-80.
How do I get rid of it? I called a local pest control company and they are going to come out to take a look. In the mean time, I hope to find out more so I can ask the guy some good questions...
Thanks!
Raymond
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Hi Raymond,
I don't know if this is what you have, but a friend of mine had dirt dobbers and wasps start building nests in his walls due to some openings he didn't know about under a window seal. At first he heard some scratching every so often then he saw similar things to what you're describing. It wasn't until he started seeing 2-3 wasps and dobbers a day that he started putting the pieces together.
Putting your ear to his wall you could hear the buzzing and sounds of the critters, and just pushing the wall with a finger it went through exposing a massive nest in several places inside the wall. He ended up removing the drywall and after an exterminator found the spot they were coming in, he fixed the hole and all was good.
Just a thought... walk around your house and see if you see massive accumulations of flying bugs (dirt dobbers, wasps, yellow jackets, anything) flying to a point where you see no nest. Chances are they might be going inside the brick or walls and nesting. In my house I saw hornets starting to do this.. coming in and out a spot in my brick, and I used some mortar and a little caulk to seal the hole.
HTH,
Sam
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Hi Alex, thanks for the tip. I'll take a look. At night, I do hear some very subtle knocking noise in the middle of the night. Sometimes I thought it was my bed/head-board making strange noise...
Would it be mice? It doesn't sound like something's chewing on wood, more like subtle knocking noise...
Raymond
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termites. they don't like the light, so when they tunnel through the drywall, they stop.
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Sounds like mold.
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This is Turtle.
Raymond , Here in Louisiana we have a problem with roaches eating sheet rock or what you call dry wall. they like the glue in the paper coating of the dry wall and will eat through to get both sides to eat on. You have roaches inside the wall and eat your wall from the inside out.
TURTLE
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-> I just noticed on my bedroom drywall (exterior wall) some dark spots. -> At first I thought it was dust. Upon closer examination, it appears to -> be a kind of a brown particle like thing sticking to the drywall. It -> scraped off easily, and I noticed some small holes in the drywall. -> -> The next day, the particles grow back, and that's when I realized -> something bad is probably growing inside. I spray some bug spray -> around that spot, and the particles did not grow back. But I also -> noticed there are multiple dark spots on the same side of the wall -> about a foot or two away. -> -> Anyone know what these things are? Termite? I am in Bay-Area -> California and it's fairly dry during the day, temperature is about -> 60-80. -> -> How do I get rid of it? I called a local pest control company and they -> are going to come out to take a look. In the mean time, I hope to find -> out more so I can ask the guy some good questions... -> -> Thanks! -> -> Raymond
If they're real small spots, then my vote is for termites, too.
--
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail)
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Thanks everyone.
I had a guy from Okins come out this morning. He looked at it and said it was Termites.
Since it's just on that side of the wall, he said he could spot treat for about $1200 (foam, and treat the wood from attic and craw space)...
He could also fumigate the whole house for about $4700. The house is about 1500 sqft.
I was hoping for some several hundred dollar repair. Both options are expensive. Although only one wall is showing symptons, it might be safer to fumigate the whole house. I don't know when the last time the house was fumigated, but I'd estimate it was more than 10 years ago...
Are there any foam like thing I could buy from HD? Ie, a tube would punch a tiny hole on the wall and I just spray the foam inside the area?
Would fumigate the whole house really kill everything? even those between drywalls? Do they need to punch holes in drywalls?
Thanks.
Raymond
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I've used the spray can to spot treat termites with success but felt like an ostridge (SP?) with my head in the sand doing it. Our 1600SF house was tented in So. Calif. coast several years ago for about $1900 and we've not seen any sign since.
On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 17:20:13 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

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snipped-for-privacy@none.com wrote:

First, if the "dust" is dry, you should be able to vacuum it off the wall. Try it, and you might get some bugs in the process.
If you have termites, you should see blistering of the surface of the drywall because they eat the paper coating. They do not chew through paint or drywall. You would very likely have baseboards in the same area (or window frames) that sound hollow if you tap on them. Wood would also likely - not always - have a blistery or wavy surface because they have eaten away just TO the surface. Also look for shed wings in the same area. All signs most common around entries - doors and windows - but also can come up through small cracks in slab, plumbing openings, inside or outside of foundation or crawl space.
Now, since you have holes in the wall, dig out a little bit to see if you can find bugs. Termites that do the chewing are immature white or light brown things that do not like light and will move away from it when exposed. If you find a critter, take one to your county extension service. Extension websites are also a good place to get termite info.
If you have a roach problem, you might find the same droppings in or around electrical receptacles or places you store food/paper. We had an infestation in our camper that was out of hand before discovery - they chewed up rubber flipflops, chewed through unopened wax paper packets of Ritz crackers, etc. Lots of egg cases which look sort of like a dry, shiny brown tape worm. Good luck.
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Termite treatments are not DIY jobs. It would be wise to study up on termites for your area and the most reliable extermination methods. Baits are big sellers for subterranean termites, but unproven when I last checked about 4 years ago. Your extension website should have good info about inspecting home for termites and the steps you can take to avoid them.
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