Something is leaving scars in my drywall and deposits on the outside that I presume to be wood. These deposits are flat, stick out from the wall, an inch or more square, with a gap between the top and bottom layers.

The 1st picture is of a groove about 4 inches long in the drywall.

2nd is of the same area with some drywall removed (showing 1/4" gap between drywall and frame).

3rd photo is of one of the fan-like deposits that stuck out from the groove.

4th is a dead bug that i found nearby, may or may not be related to the damage.

I live in North Texas

Click for full size

Drywall removed Deposit Insect - was nearby - don't know if its related to damage

  • Where do you live? – Danny T. Apr 6 '12 at 23:17
  • can you describe the deposits in more detail? Do they look like sawdust? Is there any sawdust falling to the floor? You may have to remove a small section of the drywall, maybe an inch on either side of the opening to see what is going on inside. You need to see if something is nesting or eating the framing under the drywall. – shirlock homes Apr 7 '12 at 11:36
  • Seconded, you have to remove some drywall to take a good look... then post pictures! Here's an article with some information on bugs that eat drywall: ehow.com/info_8314939_bugs-eat-sheet-rock.html – kavisiegel Apr 7 '12 at 13:36
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    OK - removed a piece of drywall. There's a 1/4" gap between the drywall and framing behind. This gap contained much deposit. There is evidence of frass(?) on the floor below the deposits. Also found this insect nearby! [Have 3 photos but can't see how to upload them.] – Nigel Apr 7 '12 at 15:53
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    @shirlockhomes Not a good idea to post your email address (unless you like spam). To hide it from spam bots, you can use "name [at] gmail dot com". This will hide it from most malicious code, but allow humans to easily read it. – Tester101 Apr 10 '12 at 19:37

Looks like termites.

  • Termites travel in mud tubes and those pictures look like your drywall has lots of mudtubes. They may not be eating the drywall (maybe the paper) but using it as a conduit to get to your wood.
  • That bug is a some sort of fly. It could be a dragonfly with a pair of wings missing or eaten. A dragonfly is a predator of a termite.

But I think after some investigation, it is most likely a robber fly.

Robber Fly Pics and Information

  • Doesn't a dragonfly have 4 wings? – Tester101 Apr 10 '12 at 20:29
  • @Tester - At first glance, looks like a dragonfly, but you are correct, 4 wings. Maybe aft wings missing or eaten? It's definately not a termite or ant, its some sort of fly or possibly a wasp. – Jon Raynor Apr 10 '12 at 20:46
  • The bug has a wingspan of about 1.25" – Nigel Apr 10 '12 at 21:39
  • I've read up on termites (subterranean and drywood) but found nothing that described the grooves being cut in the drywall or the protruding deposits. – Nigel Apr 10 '12 at 21:45

The fly is a crane fly and has nothing to do with eating your drywall. http://www.cirrusimage.com/flies_crane.htm

  • While this is helpful and rules out one culprit, it still doesn't answer the question. – Doresoom Jan 23 '15 at 15:10

Googled this and your post was the first one I saw, I have the same gouges on my wall. After we sprayed it with bug spray stuff started flying out. They were the in ground termites. Perhaps your situation may be the same.

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The second photo is termite damage as Jon has pointed out. They are eating the paper off the back side of the drywall. They also will tunnel through the drywall to get to the paper between the gypsum and paint on the other side.

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