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Termite Larvae

Understanding the lifecycle of termites is key to understanding the development of termite colonies in man-made structures. After the queen termite lays her eggs, termite larvae hatch and are cared for by their nest mates. 

Immature termites can be categorized into three categories: 

  • Larvae (young instars) 
  • Nymphs (immature termites with wings) 
  • Workers (immature termites without wings)

Termite larvae eventually grow into one of two roles in colony: reproductives or workers. 

However, immature termites do have a pre-destined role. The larvae through a molting process will develop into reproductives or workers depending on the needs of the colony. A pheromone is sent throughout the colony communicating if more workers or reproductives are needed. Larvae can actually reverse their molting process if it is needed for them to take on a different role. 

The presence of termite larvae in a property is cause for concern as it's a sign that there is an active colony growing. Identifying termites (both larvae and adults) is a difficult undertaking without professional training and tools. 

If you are concerned you've uncovered termites in your home or business, contact your local Ehrlich office by calling 1-800-837-5520 or filling out a contact form online

Pictures: What do baby termites look like?

Young termite larvae

Young Termite Larvae

Termite larvae are very small and white in color. The larvae are nurtured by other termites until they've grown into a role in the colony. Termite larvae are also sometimes referred to as "immatures." 

Long-winged termite nymph

Long-winged Termite Nymph

The long-winged termite nymphs grow wing buds that eventually develop into full wings. These nymphs become termite swarmers which leave the colony to mate and find new colonies. 

Short-winged termite nymph

Short-winged Termite Nymph

A small percentage of termite larvae develop into short-winged termite nymphs that do NOT grow full grown wings like long-winged termite nymphs. However, short-winged termite nymphs do have the ability to produce eggs inside the colony.  

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