Termite colonies need four conditions to survive: food, water, shelter and the optimal temperature. If these conditions are met, termite colonies can mature in two to four years.
Termite Colony Size
Termite colony size varies based on the termite species and the colony’s maturity.
- Drywood termite colonies are located inside wood and are typically much smaller than subterranean termite colonies. The maximum drywood termite colony size is approximately 4,800 termites.
- Subterranean termite colonies are built in the soil below ground. In the U.S., a subterranean termite colony typically contains between 60,000 and 1 million termites.
- Formosan termites, a species of subterranean termite, can create colonies containing 350,000 to 2 million workers. Formosan termites are extremely destructive, in part because their colony size is much larger than termite species native to the U.S.
Colony inside Wood Beam:
To date, the largest known Formosan termite colony found in the U.S. contained an estimated 70 million termites and weighed 600 pounds. This Formosan termite colony was located in a public library in Algiers, La., near New Orleans.