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What is the Life Cycle of a Termite?

After a termite hatches, it lives out a unique lifecycle in which it is assigned to a specialized caste or job for the colony when it matures. A termite goes through many changes in its lifecycle, from egg to young termite larvae or termite nymph, older nymph, and then differentiated into a worker, soldier, or swarmer, and, if needed, a queen.

A termite’s lifecylce consists of the following:

  1. Male and female swarmers, or reproductives, mate and start a new colony.
  2. A female will become queen and begin producing and laying eggs.
  3. Larvae hatch from the eggs and mature into nymphs.
  4. Before they reach maturity, the nymphs can molt up to three times.
  5. After reaching maturity, the termite will be assigned a caste, giving it a specific role within the colony.
termite lifecycle in Cordova, TN |  Allied Termite & Pest Control

The Termite Life Cycle

Once the weather has reached optimal conditions, the reproductive termite caste, also called alates or swarmers, grow wings and leave the nest to form new colonies. After mating, the alates discard their wings, and the king and queen begin excavating a small underground chamber where the queen will begin laying her eggs. A queen termite can lay over 30,000 eggs in a single day. These eggs will eventually hatch into larvae and transition into nymphs. As the nymphs grow, they will molt up to three times before maturing and eventually be assigned as a reproductive, worker or solider.

For How Long Do Termites Live?

A termite’s caste will dictate it’s lifespan. The average lifespan for each caste is as follows:

  • Worker and Soldiers: 1 to 2 years
  • Reproductive termites/swarmers: Up to 4 years
  • Queen: Up to 20 years under optimal conditions

When Do Termites Get Designated Into a Caste?

It is unclear exactly how a nymph termite is sorted into casts. Research suggests a termite’s designation is determined by social and environmental clues based on the needs of the colony. Scientists speculate that a termite may switch castes during their lifespan depending on the colony’s needs. Interrupting a termite’s lifecycle is imperative for effective termite control. If you notice signs of termites around your home, contact the termite extermination experts at Allied Termite & Pest Control immediately.

What is the Life Cycle of a Termite? Serving Cordova & Somerville, TN

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