Termite Larvae: Identification, Behaviour & Control | Pestclue

Termite Larvae: Identification, Behaviour & Control

Termite larvae are even smaller than the eggs they hatch from. They resemble worker termites in size and shape but are softer and whiter in appearance. This is due to the immaturity of the larvae.

Some stages of termite development are referred to as “larvae,” although they should not be confused with the larvae of insects that undergo a complete metamorphosis, such as flies.

Keep reading to find out more!


What Does the Termite Larvae Look Like?

Termite Larvae
Picture of the Termite Larvae

Termite larvae are the immature insects that have recently emerged from their eggs. Termite eggs can develop into larvae in as little as 26 days in ideal conditions.

Termite larvae undergo many periods of moulting and shedding of their skins (exoskeleton) during their development.

Depending on the demands of the colony, nymph-stage termite larvae will either become workers, soldiers, or reproductive termites (called alates).

But most of them (both sexes) will continue to be employees. However, when they mature, some of them will learn to fly.


Read also: What are the Main Causes of Termites in Your Home?


What is the Termite Larvae Size?

Termite larvae are an average of 1/10 inch (2.54 mm) in length but can be as tiny as the termite eggs from which they hatch.

As a result, your eyes could have trouble making out their details. However, once they develop into mature termites called alates, these infants can grow to a length of between 1/4 inch (6.35 mm) and 3/8 inch (9.5 mm).


Where is the Termite Larvae Habitat?

Larvae of subterranean termites are often located underground, where the workers have constructed a nest and the queen has laid her eggs. Saliva, excrement, and dirt are used to construct the nest.

Termites construct elaborate underground nests, which can be as much as 18 to 20 feet (5.5 to 6 metres) below the surface, to provide shelter from predators, escape harsh weather, and store water for the colony.

In addition, among the 2,750 different types of termites, subterranean termites are by far the most destructive. However, dry wood termite larvae live in structurally sound, dry wood that is located above ground.

All wood products, such as trees, utility poles, fences, crates, and furniture, fall under this category. Drywood termites, in contrast to their subterranean cousins, do not require soil to survive.

Termite mounds are tall nests built by some termite species in hot regions. These regions include Africa and Australia.

The maximum height that they can reach is 20 feet. Mounds built by termites are a rare sight in the United States.


What is the Lifespan of the Termite Larvae?

The shift from termite larva to alate might take three to four months. Termite workers typically reach maturity within a year and can live for up to five years.

Termite soldiers, meanwhile, can reach adulthood in a single year and can live for up to five. Queen termites, however, have been shown to survive for up to 25 years.


Read also: What You Did Not Know About Termites With Wings


What To Do If You Find Termite Larvae in the House?

The underground life of subterranean termite larvae continues until they emerge as winged alates. On the other hand, dry wood termite larvae may be concealed within your home’s wooden framing.

Workers and troops, both living and dead, may also be present. Here are some things you should and should not do if you find termite larvae in your home:

  • Consider the situation thoroughly before acting. The termites can quickly flee if you upset them. They may temporarily disappear, only to reappear at a later time or relocate to a different room in your home.
  • Bring any wooden furniture that has been exposed to termites but is not yet infested neatly outside. Termites will perish after being exposed to sunlight for two or three days.
  • Use wet corrugated cardboard to catch the termites. Burn the cardboard once they’ve been drawn to it. There is no assurance that all termites will be caught using this method, despite appearances to the contrary.
  • Essential oils, such as orange oil and wintergreen oil, can be used to kill termites when high temperatures don’t work. But they can destroy your furniture and only function against dry wood termites.


How To Get Rid of Termite Larvae in the Soil?

  • Termite Bait System:

Subterranean termite larvae and alates can be eradicated with a termite bait system, which uses a mixture of cellulose and a slow-acting insecticide as bait.

The termite workers are supposed to eat the bait and then pass it around to the other termites in the colony. A large number of bait systems may be required, however, because not all termites will find the bait.

  • Liquid Pesticide:

Liquid insecticides, also known as termiticides, are an excellent means of preventing and removing subterranean termites from invading your home.

However, you’ll need a lot of them to secure the exterior of your home. Drilling or trenching is typically required. Furthermore, due to its high toxicity, termiticide is prohibited in some areas.


Read also: Termite Worker: Facts, Infestation, and How to Get Rid



Humans are not at risk from termite larvae, yet these pests can cause a lot of damage.

These juvenile termites will eventually develop into destructive adults that feed on cellulose or wood pulp and inflict extensive property damage.

Except for their size, termite larvae are similar to their adult counterparts. However, unlike mature termites, they lack protective shells.

Thank you for reading!

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