Like it or not, termites in your home are an essential evil. They devour on decaying organic cellulose materials and convert them into rich soil. But knowing that they can also literally eat your home, who cares if they are needed in the ecosystem? No wonder, many people are curious to know how long does a termite live.
Generally, termites have a long lifespan. However, their survival rate can also depend on many crucial factors like climate conditions, colony health, specie type, etc. Read on below to find out more how long each member of the colony typically lives.
Worker and soldier termites – Workers and soldiers can only live roughly one to two years. Sometimes even only a few months, as some of them die soon after starting work. Though one year or two may seem very insignificant, it actually is a long time compared to other short-lived insects.
Alates or swarmer termites – These primary reproductives known as alates or swarmers have very poor survival rate. As soon as they leave the colony to look for mates, they often encounter enemies and become food for ants, spiders and birds. They are also terrible flyers, so they are unable to successfully establish a new colony and just eventually die.
Queen – The termite queen is different from the rest of the colony. In some mound-building species, queens are reported to live up to 40-50 years. Given an ideal climate condition, they can perhaps even live decades more. Plus, she continues to reproduce over and over, and has new workers and soldiers to maintain the colony’s welfare. And even if the queen dies, there are other reproducers in the colony who can follow her footsteps.