The termite life cycle is somewhat more complicated than the life cycle of many other insects. Rather than the four common stages—egg, larva, pupa and adult—that follow one after the other in a linear manner, the termite life cycle has several more variables that can lead a larval termite to develop into one of several different types of mature termite.
In a sense, the termite life cycle starts with a termite colony’s queen. Every colony of termites has a queen that mates with male termites and lays thousands of tiny, white eggs. Those eggs hatch into very small, pale whitish larvae called nymphs; these are the baby termites. If you see what appear to be much smaller and paler versions of termites or ants in or around your home, there’s a good chance you’re actually looking at baby termites. This could indicate that you have a termite infestation on your hands and it’s time to call in a pest control specialist to diagnose the potential problem.
Throughout the larval stage of their life cycle, termite nymphs molt, meaning shedding their exoskeletons, several times as they mature and grow into larger nymphs. Ultimately, the nymphs turn into one of four kinds of adult termites, depending on the specific needs of the colony. Those types are workers, soldiers and primary and secondary reproductive termites.