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Drywall Infestation?

Knightdiamond's picture

Hey Everyone,

Got a D/W question. Anyone hear of a bug that eats D/W? My dad has a series of holes about 1/8 inch in diameter, perfectly round, about 4' off the floor. Roughly in a linear pattern and have somewhat associated counter part holes on the other side of the wall. Its an interior wall that has no insulation in it. There is a small pile of D/W about the size of an eraser associated with each hole. Which indicates to me it has been wet. (Bug saliva? Arrrggggh!) It is in S. MS. So it is in bug heaven. (Don't know what zone but its a bug zone!)

Anybody got any ideas? I may have to make a trip down there to do some D/W work if we have to do some eradication. (Although I always enjoy visiting with my dear ole Dad and partaking in adult refeshments!)



(post #76838, reply #1 of 13)

Someone looking for a stud to hold a screw?


(post #76838, reply #2 of 13)

You didnt mention where this is located but it sounds like termites.

As far as I know , there is no drywall eating bug except termites but actually they eat the paper .  





(post #76838, reply #3 of 13)

Find any small wings on the floor?

This sounds like swarming termites coming out searching for a new home.

(post #76838, reply #4 of 13)

"Drywall Infestation?"


I hate drywall infestation ... seems like most everytime I frame something ... an addition or such ... within a week ... Bam!

Infested by drywall.

stuff ends up everywhere ... covers almost all the framing ... walls ... ceiling ....


oh ...

wait a second.


never mind ...

carry on.



    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #76838, reply #5 of 13)


There's something in the DW gypsum (ie mineral) that they need to live. Most common place for them to enter is outside perimeter of the foundation where the soil is closer to the sill than it should be.  Shaded & damp is a good environment for them bastards.  If the soil is not all the way up to the still look for little tunnels of dirt that they build to protect them from the Sun's UV.  Worse case is when they come up through a crack in the slab under the house or up through CMU cores.   

Call the local termite people or whoever is carrying the termite warranty and have them out for a look & chat. 

I'd be surprised if it's anything else. 

(post #76838, reply #6 of 13)

< There is a small pile of D/W about the size of an eraser associated with each hole. Which indicates to me it has been wet. (Bug saliva? Arrrggggh!) >

Huh?  why does a pile of d/w mean it's been wet? I'm assuming the pile is d/w dust.

< Roughly in a linear pattern and have somewhat associated counter part holes on the other side of the wall. >

now how would a bug eat thru both sides of the wall with no means to get from one side to the other? (you say no's an interior wall).

Sounds like another vote for the drywall screw (or some other probe) being used to find a stud,......funny that these holes appear at about 4' off the floor, right around switch box height....hmmm.....


P.S.   there's no bug that I know of that eats gypsum, maybe the paper facing, but not the gypsum core itself, and no termite would eat the d/w instead of the wood frame.

(post #76838, reply #7 of 13)

Hey Everyone,

Thanks for your replies. Boy, I tried to be so careful in my narrative too! LOL! Oh well, Thats why I come here cause you guys ask the right questions. The D/W pile(s) I refered to were still stuck to the wall. Ergo, I assumed they had to be wet sometime in thier recent past. (also, I am asking, having not seen them. I am an intermediary, {did I spell that right?} so my description could be "full of holes" ar, ar, but I digress) But the piles were still stuck to the wall about 4 feet up.

The one answer that really piqued my interst was the one about coming through a crack in the foundation. Now thats is possible. And the comment about an associated hole on the other side of the wall is a good one. I pondered it as well and asked several questions regarding it but his response remained "pat". This why I am asking. I just don't understand it. I live in Tn and we got termites. I also understand termites don't eat D/W. (Gawd, makes my mouth dry just thinkin about it) But he is very concerned, (and I am too cause he's my Dad!) But apparently, there is a pattern. IDK.

Well, I may just go down there with my "Zippy Tool", ("Over application of "zippy" may result in a dynamic zip from which recovery is not possible"), and cut a hole in the D/W and get to the bottom of this once and for all. (Then, I guess I'll be the "SME")

Thank you all for your postings. I'll be steady in checkin in to hear what you guys have to say. I appreciate it. (Makes it easy to be a dutiful son!)


(post #76838, reply #8 of 13)

Termites do come from the ground and make tunnels to protect them going upwards. They drink normally from the ground and eat lunch above . What you described sounds like tunnels they make . If they are exoposed in the open air  they will die.

Poisioning the ground moisture is their Raid effect under slabs and footings. Behind brick pockets and such.





(post #76838, reply #9 of 13)

I agree with Tim and others that the most likely cause is termites. I worked on two houses this past summer and both had active termite infestations and both had what you describe. They ate the paper (which is made from wood) and one did not have any sign of moisture that I could find. They did not touch the wood. The second one did have attacked, wet, as well as rotted wood. On the second one, when I removed the insulation, the back side of the paper was eaten away in a fairly large area. The HO even admitted that they had found where something had came through behind a picture...they just painted over it without realizing it was termites.

My best guess.

(post #76838, reply #11 of 13)

Keep us posted.  Yeah, your right, they don't eat the sheetrock like I posted but they chow their way through to find more paper STFT (Seen That, Fixed That).  I googled sheetrock pinholes for my own edification and the highest hits were termites.  I'd like to know if it's anything other than that since I've done a lot of termite repairs, wondering if there's something else.  It's possible that when you do your exploratory cutting in the SR you won't see anything though (came through from the studs) so still give the foundation perimeter and any place below the house a very close look-see (the gap between the slab & poured wall is an easy path for entry).  It doesn't take much for them to get in, read somewhere as narrow as 1/32". If they are coming up from below the slab the cure may seem worse than the problem. 

Found this: check out the pics with the Termite Inspector.  If you find anything like that we need pictures! 

(post #76838, reply #13 of 13)

Pull the staples out, on the back of his chair.

(post #76838, reply #10 of 13)

I've done quite a bit of termite repair work for both subterranean and swarming termites, and I can't recall ever seeing indications of termites eating drywall. 

Last week, I ripped and replaced some damaged framing around a bathroom door and saw lots of termite "tracks" on the back of the drywall, but all they had eaten was the wood - and they had done a fine job of that!! - lol

(post #76838, reply #12 of 13)

A 12 yr old target practicing with his pellet gun maybe, chasing a fly across the wall at four ft. off the floor?

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