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November 2019 after knocking down the black raised this is what it looked like. There's a hole at the top. Son saw an insect run into the hole New occurrence Sept 2020. Also what it looked like last year before knocking it down and bleaching Does anyone know what this is? My best guesses are either some type of mold or something insect related. This is on drywall in a finished basement connected to an exterior wall. I live in Chicago, in case it matters. This wall is also adjacent to, and the "thing" is just below, a venting duct cased in drywall. It also seems that this hapoens at either corner of where the drywall duct intersects with this wall. The back yard water spigot is also in this vicinity of the exterior wall. I bought this frame house with vinyl siding last year and shortly after had mold remediated in this room. A few months later we noticed this on the wall. Knocking off the puffy black substance and treating with bleach seemed to take care of it until now. It's back! Yuck! It seems to appear at this quickly and at this stage. I need an idea of what it is so I'll know who to call; a mold specialist, exterminator or some other specialist.

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  • How long did it take to return? I am wondering if it is condensation on the duct work dribbling down if you have central air this could be a possibility.
    – Ed Beal
    Sep 13 '20 at 15:11
  • It was as long as the original photo last year (November) when my son told me about it (it's in his room). He just alerted me yesterday that it's back (the second picture where it's black and seems to just be starting) Sep 13 '20 at 19:29
  • @Ed Beal It was as long as you see in the photo from last year (November), when my son told me about it (it's in his room). He just alerted me yesterday that it's back (the second picture where it's black and seems to just be starting). Sep 13 '20 at 20:01
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This looks like a termite tube. Termites can't survive in the open air (too dry) so they build tubes to make a high-humidity highway when they explore new areas. See the web for pictures of termite tubes.

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  • I was hoping this wasn't termites but thought it might be. Guess I'll need to call a mold specialist (to check out the condensation angle) AND a termite treatment company??? SIGH! Sep 13 '20 at 20:03
  • The top pic looks like subterranean termite trails which have been removed, and even have evidence of a small hole at the top of the tube. the bottom black crystalline structure does not look to me like a trail unless you have very high mineral content in your dirt making it black.
    – mark f
    Oct 13 '20 at 18:40

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