How Quickly Do Termites Spread?

How quickly can termites spread and destroy a house?

Termite presence in a property is usually considered highly risky due to the level of havoc they can cause and also the little time it takes for an infestation to spread. The best time to tackle a termite problem is at its earliest stage.

However, the problem is, these pests can be difficult to detect.

How Fast Do Termites Spread?

In this article, we take a look at how quick termite infestations can spread. You need to have an idea of the extent of the spread in order to take appropriate measures to protect your property.

Having this knowledge enables you to take appropriate actions to combat these pests and contain their spread.

The Colony Starts from the Queen

Before we get into specifics on the rate of termite spread, it’s important to take a look at the queen who’s responsible for starting the colony. A mature termite queen lives for about 2 decades or more.

During her lifetime, the queen is estimated to lay around 1.5 million eggs!

This is one scary reality people find really disturbing. Now, a termite queen will typically produce within a matter of days. Thousands of eggs are laid each year and some colonies can be a million members strong.

The problem with termite colonies is their ability to split into more colonies.

In other words, new colonies are created or established in any direction these pests choose.

The distance from one termite colony to the next is about 100 ft. this can be devastating if your property is located around an infested area. Your home could be overrun within a short period of time.

  • Queen Termites Can Reproduce Independently

One of the things that make termite issues difficult to contain is the fact that queens can reproduce both sexually and asexually.

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This creates a problem for property owners because extermination that’s not comprehensive enough to kill the queen is simply a disaster waiting to happen.

The types of offspring queen termites want will determine the type of reproduction they go for. Two main types of offspring include workers and queens.

This situation, coupled with the thousands of eggs laid each year makes termites one of the difficult pest problems to deal with.

How Fast Can Termites Spread?

To fully understand the rate of spread of termites, we’ll need to consider the time it takes for them to establish a colony, as well as the time it takes for termite infestation.

Other areas relevant to the rate of spread include the rate of damage to a home and the lifespan of these pests.

These points combined give an idea of what to expect when faced with a termite problem. To proceed, let’s give you an idea of what each of the points mentioned means.

  • The time it Takes to Establish a Termite Colony

Termite colonies don’t suddenly appear from thin air. Termite queens are usually busy producing offspring for the colony. Before your home is invaded, such a colony must be sizeable enough with sufficient members.

It takes about 5 years or more for a termite colony to be large enough for full functionality.

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So, how many members will such a colony typically have? The termite population could range from around 50,000 and higher. The longer such colony remains, the more members it has.

We earlier mentioned some termite colonies as having over a million members.

  • The time it Takes for Termite Infestation

It’s one thing for termites to establish a colony and another for them to infest a home or property. Now, the level of infestation has a lot to do with the size of the colony.

Here, larger colonies tend to inflict the most damage to property. It takes around 3 to 8 years before termite damage begins to become obvious.

These pests can remain unnoticed for long with the problem only revealing itself when it’s worse. However, there are telltale signs left behind from their activity.

By watching out for such, you’re able to figure out termite presence early enough.

  • Rate of Damage to a Home

How quickly can termites damage a home?

This is closely tied to the topic because it has to do with termite spread too. As mentioned earlier, the rate of termite damage largely depends on the size of the colony.

At maximum capacity (around 2 million termites), termites can cause irreversible damage to a home within a year or two.

For a young colony, it may take anywhere from 5 to 10 years before the property is completely damaged. This is why it’s best to be on the lookout for signs of termite presence in your home.

The earlier they’re treated the better it gets.

  • Termite Lifespan

The lifespan of these pests has a lot to do with their level of spread. As new offspring are reproduced, some others age and die off. Termite queens have the longest lifespan of around 2 decades or higher.

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Soldiers and worker termites live for about one to two years.

It’s Risky to Avoid Termite Issues

Based on facts provided regarding termite spread, it’s vital to understand that significant damage can be caused when appropriate responses aren’t implemented quickly enough.

A full-blown infestation involving a major colony may result in the quick destruction of your home.

That is why any form of delay will be bad. It’s best to have a professional pest technician perform your termite treatment as they’re skilled enough and have a better understanding of termite behavior.

King Termites Play a Vital Role

When it comes to the spreading of termites, such discussion won’t be complete without mentioning the king termites. So far, we’ve focused mainly on the queens.

Despite these queens having both sexual and asexual reproductive capacity, king termites play a significant role in populating the colony.

These male termites procreate with the queen to give birth to new offspring, thus sustaining the colony. By eliminating these two (queen and king termites), the spread of a termite colony is stalled.

Its members begin to gradually die out, thus depleting the termite population.

These are the answers to the rate of spread of termites. With these, you’re able to seek urgent help once symptoms of termite presence are identified.