Lorene1951's picture

Debris 001

Observed: 10th July 2011 By: Lorene1951
debris 001

This material is a sandy type consistency. I found it on the floor of the laundry cabinet as well as in the rear corner of the outside of the cabinet. At first I vacuumed most of it up. Within a few days it was back again. Obviously it is being brought to the cabinet by something...but what?? There are no signs of any insect or critter except the odd ant. Has anyone seen any thing like this before??

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which an ant (Formicidae) interacts


anonymous spotter's picture

The "by what" question -

is the big one, but I suspect the material is coming from inside the house. Something is excavation inside the wall or under the floor covering.
Try putting some PVA (water-based) adhesive around the area: you could pick up some paw- or footprints which might give a clue.

wolvobirder's picture

That's a good suggestion

That's a good suggestion, or something else that is equally as sticky but easy to wash away. However, my first instinct would be to say that this material is being dug up by the ants. If you look closely at the photo you can see various discarded body parts from ants in the material. Also the material is quite fine and loose - not clumpy. Ants tend to excavate their nests a grain or two at a time, but given how any workers can be in a single colony it doesn't take them long to move the stuff.

anonymous spotter's picture

In the UK -

I'd have said "ants" quite confidently. But I don't know what strange and possibly mythical beasts inhabit the Pacific coast of the Americas...
If it is ants, and you want to remove them, go to the chemist and buy some borax (sodium tetraborate). Mix a little with sugar or honey and water to a syrup. Place drops around where the ants are active. It disrupts reproduction and eliminates them.
There are commercial products based on this mix.

wolvobirder's picture


I was thinking this was Exeter UK, I need to zoom out of the map more next time.

Refugee's picture

Syopping it

If it is ants most of the stuff they sell in the UK does not work. I tip about a tea cup of white spirit down the hole and plug it with clay or putty to keep the vapor in until they suffocate. Look for other entrances and do the same to them at the same time.