Many people understand the damage that adult termites cause to your home’s structure and foundation. Estimates show that Americans spend billions annually to repair termite damage. 

The presence of termite larvae is a clear sign that you have a termite problem. In the unfortunate circumstance that you have a termite problem, you may ask, ‘what do termite larvae look like?’. It helps to familiarize yourself with the signs that you have termites and how to eliminate them. 

What Are Termite Larvae? 

Termite larvae are elongated and oval-shaped, similar to termite eggs. They are a translucent yellow-white color and have soft bodies, about 1/10-inch long. Worker termites bring them food during the incubation period. 

Worker termites are the foragers and make up between 90% to 98% of a termite colony. Termite larvae live in the “nest” or “mound” of the termite colony. We rarely see them since they remain deep inside the structure.

Termite Larvae Life Cycle

Close-up of three worker termites on decaying wood

Termites start as eggs, then hatch into nymphs, many of which develop wings. Then, they either grow into soldiers, workers, or reproductives over several months. Soldiers in a termite colony protect their community from any invaders, like ants. Between 2% and 10% of termites are soldiers. 

Reproductives develop sexual organs and either mate and start a separate colony or replace the king or queen when they die. However, over 90% of reproductives die during their journey due to predators.

A nymph’s role in the colony depends on food, temperature, colony size, and demands. Once a termite has aged into adulthood, their role is usually permanent, unless they are pseudergates or “false workers.” Pseudergates can morph into a different role should the colony need it. For example, a soldier can develop into a worker if there is a shortage.

Termite Larvae vs. Other Insects

Close-up of book lice

  • Booklice are tiny brown bugs that are even smaller than termite larvae. Booklice like to gather in books, paper, and wallpaper.  Termite larvae do not behave in this way, preferring to stay in their colony.
  • Although maggots and termite larvae look similar, the latter have defined heads and legs.
  • Ant larvae are similar to maggots in that they lack many distinct features. Termite larvae look more similar to a developed termite. 
  • Beetles are easily distinguishable from termite larvae since they have a hard shell. They are also dark and more rotund.

Did You Know?

  • There are parasites named nematodes that are harmless to humans but feed on termite larvae.
  • Termite larvae need termite workers to feed them, or else they will starve. 
  • Spotting adult termites means there is a high chance of termite larvae hidden in the colony.
  • A queen can live as long as 50 years and lay thousands of eggs a day. 

How to Check if You Have Termite Larvae

A queen termite surrounded by smaller worker termites

  • Look around your home to see if you have any mud tubes. Mud tubes look like hardened, vertical tubes that start at the ground and travel up your home’s foundation. You can carefully break these open to see if there are any termites. 
  • Termites like to travel in swarms, so if you see any flying near your home, it means a termite habitat is nearby. Moreover, if you notice adult termites in your home, there are probably larvae in your home.
  • Termite nests also look like dirt mounds around or under your home. Look for nests in your crawl space and near areas where the wood has a lot of moisture or looks damaged.
  • Hearing hollow and rustling sounds from your walls is a good sign that termites have destroyed the wood inside.
  • Talk to your local pest control professional.

Dependable Termite Treatment, Control, and Prevention

Termite damages can go unnoticed for a long time and can lead to costly, extensive damage. Unfortunately, as practice shows, DIY termite extermination methods are not very effective. Since termites thrive off of rotting, exposed, or decaying wood, there are some things you can do to prevent an infestation. One way is to treat wooden areas with a 0.1% solution of permethrin. Also, when painting or constructing, add a 0.1% solution of permethrin to the varnish or paint. However, the ideal and only way to guarantee that your home will be protected is by hiring a licensed termite control company. 

If you suspect that you have a termite infestation, contact us right away. From inspection to extermination, Stampede handles it all and we guarantee our termite treatments. Reach out today and let us handle the rest.