Birds Do It, Bees Do It, Even Termites?


I’m referring to crap, of course. While I was rearranging my laundry room this weekend I came across debris on the top shelf. This sh*t is never a good sign, since it means there are termites nearby chewing away on the wooden parts of my house.

Thankfully, the damage is relegated to a small area and I have a termite contract with a pest control company. The main reason I wanted to share this with you is because termite feces has the cutest term: frass. It’s just a darn fun word to say. Try it, I’ll wait.

As a self-professed scatologist, I spend a lot of time looking at and pondering wildlife doo-doo. Poop is fascinating because it holds clues that can help you piece together an animal’s behavior. Dung can tell you how recently an animal passed by, what animal deposited it, and what the animal last ate. Like I said, fascinating.

While there are many terms for excrement, frass is my all-time favorite. My only complaint is that the word is wasted on termites (and other wood-boring insects). Of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, shouldn’t otters be the ones who get a cute name for their manure?

Categories: Nature Notes

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