What Does Termite Larvae Look Like? Spot the Signs!

Understanding ‘What does termite larvae look like‘ can be a game-changer in pest control.

Our blog offers a detailed exploration of these tiny, wood-feeding insects.

What Does Termite Larvae Look Like
What Does Termite Larvae Look Like? Spot the Signs!

1. What does Termite Larvae look like?

In terms of size, termite larvae are quite tiny, almost matching the size of termite eggs. Most of these larvae measure less than 2.5 mm, which is less than a tenth of an inch.

When it comes to their color, termite larvae are almost see-through or white. This pale coloring is also seen in adult nymphs and worker termites, so color alone isn’t enough to distinguish a larva.

As for their shape, baby termites resemble smaller versions of worker termites. Unlike workers, they have a soft body instead of a hard shell. Additionally, they possess six legs, a distinct head, and straight antennae, which are characteristic features of their early stage of development.

2. Termite Larvae compared to other insect larvae

Termite larvae are often compared to other insect larvae, such as maggots and juvenile ants, due to some similarities in appearance.

Characteristic Termite Larvae Maggots Carpenter Ant Larvae
Appearance White, soft-bodied White, soft-bodied Similar to termite larvae
Size Smaller compared to maggots Generally larger Similar size to termite larvae
Development Grow into larger termites Transform into flies after a pupal state Grow into larger ants
Wings,Legs, Eyes Lack wings, but have legs and eyes Lack wings, legs, and eyes Lack wings initially, but retain them as they mature
Resemblance to Other Insects Similar to carpenter ant larvae, with noticeable abdomen, head, and thorax Not particularly similar to termite larvae Very similar to termite larvae
Maturity Features Wings break off as they mature Transform into flies Retain their wings as they mature
Damage Pattern Create rougher paths in wood Do not cause structural damage Create smoother tunnels in wood

3. How long do Termites Larvae live?

Termite larvae have a fascinating lifecycle. They live as larvae until they undergo a transformation into alates, or winged termites, a process that typically takes about 3 to 4 months.

Once they have matured into worker termites, they usually reach full maturity within a year and can live for a period ranging from 3 to 5 years.

Similarly, termite soldiers, which also usually mature within a year, can have a lifespan of up to 5 years. This longevity allows them to play a crucial role in protecting the colony.

What Does Termite Larvae Look Like
How long do Termites Larvae live?

4. What to do if you find Termite Larvae in your house?

If you discover termite larvae in your house, it’s important to approach the situation thoughtfully and calmly. Here’s a guide on what you should and shouldn’t do:

  • Stay Calm: It’s crucial to stay calm and assess the situation thoroughly before acting. Disturbing the termites might cause them to scatter and relocate to another part of your house, making the problem harder to resolve.
  • Use Heat: Termites are vulnerable to extreme heat. If you find them in wooden furniture and there’s no widespread infestation, carefully move the furniture outside. Leaving it in direct sunlight for 2 to 3 days can effectively kill the termites.
  • Cardboard Trap: A simple method is to use moistened corrugated cardboard to trap termites. They are attracted to the cellulose in the cardboard. Once they gather on it, you can safely burn the cardboard. However, be aware that this might not capture all the termites.
  • Essential Oils: In cases where heat treatment isn’t feasible, certain essential oils, like orange oil and wintergreen oil, can be effective against drywood termites. But be cautious, as these oils can potentially damage your furniture.
  • DIY Limitations: While DIY strategies can be effective for small termite populations, they are often insufficient for larger infestations. In such scenarios, it’s advisable to seek assistance from professional termite control experts.

Remember, early detection and appropriate measures are key to preventing a minor termite problem from becoming a major infestation.

What Does Termite Larvae Look Like
What to do if you find Termite Larvae in your house?

5. How do you kill Termite Larvae in soil?

To kill termite larvae in soil, specific strategies are required, given the significant threat these pests pose to structures. Here are two effective methods:

1. Applying a Liquid Pesticide

Liquid pesticides are designed to repel and eliminate subterranean termites, including larvae, that might attempt to invade your house.

These chemicals are usually applied around the perimeter of your home. However, the process can be extensive, often involving drilling or trenching to ensure the pesticide penetrates deep enough into the soil.

It’s important to note that the use of termiticides is restricted in some states due to their high toxicity levels.

2. Installing Termite Bait System

This method involves a combination of cellulose and a slow-acting insecticide, used as bait to target subterranean termite larvae and alates.

The aim is for termite workers to consume the bait and then distribute it among other colony members.

While effective, it’s worth noting that not all termites may encounter the bait, and multiple bait systems might be necessary for comprehensive coverage.

What Does Termite Larvae Look Like
How do you kill Termite Larvae in soil?


In summary, understanding “What does termite larvae look like” is a crucial step in protecting your home from potential termite damage.

For more insightful and practical advice on pest control, be sure to explore other blogs from Pestweek.

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