Mold? Mildew? Fungus? Pod Person?
January 23, 2012 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Name That Infestation-Filter! What's growing on my in-laws' wall?

My in-laws own a lil' vacation home an hour east of L.A. Their L.A. neighbor watches the house for them in their absence. Recently, L.A. Neighbor e-mailed them a photo of SOMETHING which had begun growing on the wall of their kitchen. Photo of the growth can be found here. Do YOU have any idea what it might be? Possibly relevant data:

- The growth is isolated to one patch of wall/carpet.
- The growth apparently crumbles into a powder/dust when touched.
- The growth occurred on a section of wall which covers a water pipe... however, my in-laws are adamant that the pipe in question hasn't been used in several decades.
- The growth happened after the house had been unoccupied for several months.
- The climate in that section of Cali (Riverside County) is pretty warm and arid most of the time.
posted by julthumbscrew to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Best answer: Termite tunnels.
posted by LeanGreen at 11:34 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: That very well may be frass (insect poop). Termites, carpenter ants, etc.?
posted by mr_roboto at 11:35 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I agree -- this is likely frass. Call a pest control service immediately. They'll need to inspect the house's entire foundation and look at the basement joists and so forth to see if there's any potential structural damage.
posted by dhartung at 11:43 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: That is termite damage. Get thee a pest control guy immediately.
posted by bolognius maximus at 12:00 PM on January 23, 2012

Response by poster: Looks like the HiveMind has spoken... and the answer IS "hive"! Thanks for your help, peeps - I will let the in-laws know that they need to consult an exterminator ASAP.
posted by julthumbscrew at 7:18 AM on January 24, 2012

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