Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Tubes/Tunnels


QUESTION: Noticed a few small tubes coming out from drywall about half way up & was soft & made from something dry that looked like grains of sand & when knocked down reveled tiny pin holes left in the drywall. They have sinced traveled to the opposite wall. There was no bug inside that I could see. We live in Texas where it stays very hot. Any ideas?

ANSWER: Rachel,

Are these exterior or interior walls? This does not look like anything made by an insect. It is too small to be termites or even a wood boring beetle. Is there adobe behind the drywall (I'm trying to figure out where the sand-like material is coming from)? Post a follow up and I'll try to help.

Jack DeAngelis

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: These tunnels was inside my daughters room that had been an add on to our house.
After receiving your answer we finally pulled back the drywall & found that
the room was just added ontop of the old original wood siding of the outside wall of the house.
I'm not for sure what kind of material it is made from though
& there was small dirt/sandlike tunnels made in between the drywall & that wood
were it looked like something had been eating through it.
We did not find any bugs alive inside but could it possible be termites?

I think this may be fungus rather than anything made by an insect. The original exterior wall may be damp and the fungus (mold) is growing through the drywall. This is not typical for termites, in fact termites would make very distinct tubes or galleries. The size is more typical for some kind of fungus. You might want to have a building inspector or carpenter look at it. Sorry I can't be more specific.

Jack DeAngelis  

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects, insects that bite and sting, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Ph.D. in Entomology

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