I am enclosing an outdoor alcove 120”x 70” and notice brown residue where the studs and drywall meet together- this is on several areas of the room and walls but there does not appear to be any damage to any of the wood.

I live in Northern California

If I touch it it easily falls off

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  • 1
    I'm no expert but that looks like insect scat to me.
    – Matthew
    Nov 9, 2020 at 3:45
  • ... and feeding damage to the drywall surface.
    – isherwood
    Nov 9, 2020 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


Classic, typical termite tunnel. Brush and scrape it away and if you don't see live termites inside, then you don't have to do anything. Follow the tunnel up from the earth and down to see if there is any damage to drywall or structural members. Be careful in probing that you don't damage a water pipe, a drain pipe, or an electrical cable.


looks like termite tunnel. easy to check, just break a bit and see.

  • It just falls away like sand or dirt. House was built in 1969, could this be old and not a worry now???
    – Kris
    Nov 9, 2020 at 7:45
  • @Kris I doubt the age of the home matters much. Hard to say when the termites moved in/out. House could have been treated prior to you and this is just residual. I'd tackle like they are still there. Nov 9, 2020 at 17:37

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