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Pest Control/Finding bug/termite droppings can you help identify please.


Inside of utensil drawer
Inside of utensil draw  

Close up of shelf droppings
Close up of shelf drop  
I live in North Dakota and recently found some small black dropping in our kitchen cupboard and utensil drawers.
They take on the appearance of pepper flakes or coffee grounds, but a closer inspection shows they are clearly neither.
We have a 1960's house with original, solid wood cabinetry, though I'm not sure precisely the wood.  We have Cedar vaulted ceilings throughout the house, but the cabinetry would be appear to be different type of wood.

Internet searches led me to think initially that it was German cockroach droppings, but I have found nothing else to corroborate this, no sightings etc.

I am also concerned that it could be some kind of wood termite, particularly due to the presence (in the drawers) of wood colour type 'stuff'.

I'll attach some photos.  Unfortunately my skin starts to crawl at the sight of bugs and I cleaned the area up before placing a coin next to the droppings for size comparison.  Hopefully the picture and description will suffice.

The day after wiping the cupboard shelf, only a few more black specs have appeared.... This cupboard only houses pots and pans, no food.  The adjacent cupboard some oils.  And the drawers next to it, utensils and towels etc.  none of the places with the stuff spotted houses food.

Thank you sir in advance for any help you can offer.


These particles are not from termites and I think your second guess is the correct one, cockroaches. See for some general information about these insects. You might try putting out some sticky traps for cockroaches to confirm if you can stand to find them! Otherwise go ahead and place cockroach bait ( or boric acid powder. Boric acid powder is very effective against low-level infestations.

Jack DeAngelis

Pest Control

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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions about the control of pest insects, spiders, mites and related arthropods. These household pests include termites, carpenter ants, powderpost beetles, nuisance ants, bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, wasps, and many others. I can also answer questions about using pesticides and other pest control tools such as baits and traps.


I am a retired university extension entomologist. I've taught and conducted research in urban and agricultural entomology. I've published over 70 extension publications, 20 research publications and several books about insects.

Ph.D. in Entomology

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