Skip to content

What is the Life Cycle of a Termite?

Termites follow a very unique life cycle. Termite nymphs will molt several times before maturing into a designated caste or work role.

Termites typically follow this life cycle:

  1. Male and female reproductives will mate and establish a new colony.
  2. The queen termite lays the eggs she has been producing.
  3. Larvae will hatch from the eggs and become nymphs.
  4. The nymphs will continually molt up to three times before reaching maturity.
  5. When mature, the termite will be assigned a caste, which is a specific role within a colony.
What is the life cycle of a termite in Albuquerque NM - Pest Defense Solutions

Termite Life Stages in New Mexico

At the beginning of the termite life cycle, reproductive termites (also known as alates or swarmers) swarm to form new colonies. After a male and female alate mate, the reproductives will shed their wings and the new king and queen excavate a small chamber in the soil underground, where the queen begins to lay her eggs. The queen termite can lay up to 30,000 eggs in a day. Her eggs hatch into larvae and the nymph termites will molt three times before being assigned as a reproductive, worker, or soldier.

Termite Lifespan

Termites can live several years depending on their caste and species The average lifespans of different termites are as follows:

  • Worker and soldier termites live for one to two years. 
  • Reproductive termites, also known as alates or swarmers, can live for nearly 4 years.
  • Under optimal conditions, queen termites can live for more than a decade.

How Are Termites Designated a Caste?

As of now, there is no real evidence as to how termites are designated their caste, or role within the colony. Scientists have concluded that it is likely determined by social and environmental cues based on the needs of the colony at that time. Further research has suggested that the specific caste each termite is assigned isn’t always set in stone. Depending on the needs of the colony, termites are able to transform into a different caste entirely.

What is The Life Cycle Of a Termite? in Albuquerque NM

Serving Albuquerque & Santa Fe New Mexico

Albuquerque | Los Lunas | Santa Fe | Tijeras | Edgewood | Moriarty | South Valley | Belen

Estancia | Rio Rancho | Bosque Farms | Bosque | Mesita | Bernalillo | San Felipe Pueblo