How Do Termite Larvae Look Like?

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Termites are insects that typically build their nests underground. Termite larvae look different than the adults, and they are known for their bright colors. Some of the most distinguishing features of termite larvae include their large heads and jaws, as well as their spindly body.

What are termite larvae?

Termite larvae

Termite larvae are newly-hatched termites that have not yet gone through a metamorphosis. They are in the development stage of termites and will eventually become either workers or soldiers. They are white in color and can be found in the nest.

Termites go through a growth process where they molt several times. During this time, they will shed their skins, or exoskeleton, every molting period. This happens until they reach their adult form.

Termite larvae are very important for the colony because they are the ones who will become the new workers and soldiers.

As termite larvae grow and develop, they reach a nymph stage where they can become workers, soldiers, or reproductive termites. This depends on the needs of their colony; if the colony needs more soldiers, for example, then some of the larvae will become soldiers.

What do termite larvae look like?

Termite larvae are the babies of termites. They are small, translucent, and usually white. They have a segmented, distinctive head, a pair of very small, straight antennae, and six legs. They go through several molts before they become adults.

Termites, being a very important part of the ecosystem, go through different stages of development. However, their appearance changes drastically during these different stages.

Interestingly, only the reproductive termites (kings and queens) have eyes- which they use to find food. The larvae are blind and rely on their sense of smell to navigate their way around.

In terms of size, termite larvae grow to about two and a half millimeters long. As they develop into alates, they grow almost four to seven millimeters longer!

Do termite larvae look similar to maggots?

Termite larvae look similar to maggots

Yes, termite larvae do look similar to maggots. Termite larvae and maggots are both white and have soft bodies. They are both legless and have no outer shells. Maggots are fly larvae, while termite larvae come from the eggs of termites.

The most important distinction between termite larvae and maggots is that maggots are the larvae of flies, while termite larvae are the young of termites. Maggots feast on rotting flesh, while termite larvae consume wood.

Another key difference between maggots and termite larvae is that maggot heads are small and almost invisible, while termite larvae have a segmented head.

Where can you generally find termite larvae?

The fact is that termite larvae are often found in a motley of places in your house or in nature. But, the most common places where termite larvae are found will differ based on what species or type of termite larvae they are.

I’ve given you a brief understanding of where you can generally find termite larvae based on the different types below!

Subterranean termite larvae are generally found under the soil.

Subterranean termites

Subterranean termite larvae, as their name suggests, are generally found under the soil, where they build their nests out of saliva, feces, and mud. Now, termite larvae can be difficult to spot, as they look very similar to earthworms.

Interestingly, subterranean termites build their nests underground. The nests can be 18 – 20 feet (5.5 – 6 meters) deep and serve as protection against predators, extreme weather, and moisture reservoir for their colony.

Drywood termite larvae are generally found in dry wood.

Drywood termites

Drywood termite larvae are the immature form of the drywood termite. They are generally found in sound, dry wood above the ground. This is where they nest and take care of their young.

Drywood termites are a bit different from subterranean termites in that they don’t live in the soil. Instead, they live inside wooden structures where they can feast on the cellulose found in the wood.

Drywood termite larvae are generally found within damaged wood, where they are protected from the elements.

How fast do termite larvae move?

Termite larvae move slowly because they are still too young and have not yet developed their wings. They will grow faster as they mature and will eventually be able to fly.

Termites go through various developmental stages, with the most important one being the transition from larvae to a worker.

The larger and faster workers are responsible for crushing food for the smaller larvae. This is an important process as the larvae need to eat constantly in order to grow and develop into adult termites.

How long do termite larvae live as termite larvae before developing?

Termite larvae live for about 6 to 12 months before developing into adults. During this time, they will undergo a series of molts and will eventually become adult termites.

Termite larvae develop over an extended period of time, and the length of their development depends on a variety of environmental factors. Most termites will become workers, soldiers, or reproductives, but the queen termite can live up to 25 years and produce millions of eggs.

There are different termite species with different life stages, so the best way to get rid of them depends on their location.

For example, subterranean termites have a three-stage life cycle: eggs, larvae, and adults. If you see evidence of an infestation, it is important to call a professional to determine the species and develop a plan to get rid of them.

What can you do if you find termite larvae in your house?

Termite pests can be found in different parts of the house, but they are most common near wood. If you find termite larvae in your house, it is important to take action quickly.

If you find termite larvae in your house, there are a few things you can do. You can either put them outside in direct sunlight or heat, or you can call a professional to take care of them for you.

Keep in mind that termites will die if they are exposed to these elements, so it is a good solution for getting rid of them.

If you find termite larvae in your house, you can also use moistened cardboard to trap them. Afterward, burn the cardboard so that the termites die. You can also contact a professional to take care of the problem for you.

How can you get rid of termite larvae?

Pesticides work well against termites.

There are three types of subterranean termites: drywood, black wood, and mound-building. To kill or get rid of subterranean termites, use a different method than is used to eliminate drywood or black wood termites.

Termite larvae can be killed or eliminated using a variety of methods. There are a number of methods and ways to get rid of termite larvae depending on the location where they are located.

Use liquid termiticide or pesticide.

Liquid termiticide or pesticide is a chemical that is effective in repelling and eliminating subterranean termites. The termiticide can be applied to the soil around your home, as well as to the foundation of your home.

In order to apply a liquid termiticide or pesticide, it’s best to drill or trench around the perimeter of your home. This will help you reach the termites in their underground nests and exterminate them.

Because you will be applying the termiticide directly onto the soil, this method is typically most effective against subterranean termites.

Use a termite bait system.

Termite bait systems are a common and effective way to eliminate termite larvae and alates from the soil.

The systems work by placing a baiting material in the soil that the termites will consume. Once they do, they will spread the poison throughout the colony, killing off all of the termites.

If you are dealing with a fairly limited case of termites, using a bait system may be the best solution. However, it is important to note that these systems may not be as effective when used alone and should be paired with professional help.

What are some natural pest control methods for termite larvae and termite infestations?

There are a number of ways to control and get rid of termite larvae, including both chemical and natural methods.

Some common chemical methods include baiting with liquid insecticide, placing boards with bait on them near the entrance of the colony, using termiticides that are applied to soil or water, and fumigation.

Some common natural pest control methods include boiling water, borate sprays/boric acid, diatomaceous earth (DE), essential oils, and sand barriers.

Some natural pest control methods that can be used to get rid of termite larvae are beneficial nematodes, boiling water, boric acid, and DE. Beneficial nematodes may be effective in structures but not always effective against termites.

Boiling water is one of the most common methods used to kill termite larvae and adults. It also kills any food that termites might have cached nearby.

Boric acid is a strong destroyer of cellulose which is the main material termites use to build their nests and shelters.

DE, or diatomaceous earth, can be applied as a dust or liquid solution. It’s a natural sedimentary pollutant found in many aquatic environments. It helps bind particles together, making it difficult for insects to breathe while also drying the bodies of pests out entirely.


Termite larvae are devilish little termite babies that will grow up to be adult termites. And I don’t need to tell you, yet again, what kind of damage termite larvae can cause to your home and how much you might have to spend on repairing that damage!

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.