How Long Does a Termite Live?

Considering that termites live in soil and are exposed to a multitude of fungi and predators that can break into the colonies, termites are great survivors.

  • Studies show that queen termites can live up to decades under ideal climate conditions.

  • Workers and soldiers live approximately one to two years.

Lifespan & Colonies

Termite colonies can persist for the life of the primary queen and beyond, so by the time the primary queen dies, the colony can have quite an expansive territory.

For subterranean termites, with the number of members of the colony approaching a million in some species, extensive damage can occur in wood. Scientists today are using DNA analyses to map out the size and territories of colonies. One study has concluded that there are over 20 colonies per acre in some areas. This means that the long-living termite queen can die off, but the secondary reproductive termites and the other colony queens will keep reproduction moving forward. Termite infestations can be difficult to identify before they have reached full maturity. Because a queen termite's life can span so many years, populations left unchecked are capable of causing considerable damage to infested structures. These buildings can require extensive repair. Estimates of the termite damage in the U.S. each year exceeds $5 billion.

At the first sign of a termite infestation, arrange for an inspection. Get an estimate for treatment if there is infestation.

Termite Control

How do you know if you have termites?

Learn the signs to look for to determine if you might have a termite infestation.

Why should you be worried?

Termites cost Americans more than $5 billion in damage each year and most insurance plans don’t cover the damage.

Schedule a FREE inspection

We’ll determine whether you actually have termites, then discuss a treatment plan including financing that works for you.

What Orkin does

Learn what to expect from your Orkin Technician.

Resources

Dig Deeper on Termite Life Cycles

Winged Termites & Swarm Photos

Termite Larvae

How Long Does a Termite Live?

Termite Life Cycle

Flying Termites

Termite Eggs

Termite Swarm

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