Ryles Richards brought in a sample of a very tiny, mostly pelleted material from a home in Groveland. A small pile of this material has been accumulating slowly at one spot in the house, next to a baseboard. The pellets are extremely small. In the photos that have a ruler, for size estimation, that is the millimeter scale, so the pellets are approximately 1/10 of a millimeter wide.
Examination of the material shows that some have a hair-like structure sticking out of them. We have included a number of pictures of the round pellets that have a hair-like structure.
There is an occasional, more typical-looking, probable fecal pellet.
I presume this is frass from some kind of beetle living in that one spot. But what?
WDO inspector David Katosic bought an antique cabinet. A drawer had a fine powdery residue that appeared to be beetle frass. There were no boreholes in the furniture, and no dead beetles. It is possible that any dead beetles were consumed by carpet beetles. We deduce that there once may have been something in the drawer that had a beetle infestation. 9-25-19
Pictures of the frass:
On 7 May 2016, I retrieved a large caterpillar from a valley oak tree. I attempted to raise it, but the caterpillar died in the cocoon stage. Dr. Lynn Kimsey (thanks!) identified it as a Pacific tent caterpillar, Malacosoma constricta. It was a solo individual, and no netting or tenting was seen. Below are photos of the frass and the caterpillar. For image of moth, see this page.
Distribution of the Pacific Tent Caterpillar
Collected by David Katosic, 16 March 2017. Apple Valley Estates, coming from behind exterior window trim.
Then, on 17 April 2017, David Katosic retrieved samples from within the window casing, and it was quite interesting. See below, IN THE NEST.
IN THE NEST
The nest was accessed. It appears we have solitary bee nest. The interior of the nest itself had a mixture of pollen, larval frass, minerals used to construct the nest, and mites. We videoed the mites, and the link is at the bottom of this post.