It only takes two to three years to produce a termite swarm, which may consist of as many as 60,000 termites.1
Nature has made termites durable and hardy. They have survived millions of years by feeding on dead trees and other plant debris found on forest floors. That is invaluable for nature, but when termites look to your home for food, it can be devastating.
Termite queens generally live 15-to-20 years, while some live up to 50 years. If conditions are right, they will stay at your home and repeatedly reproduce. It only takes two to three years to produce a swarm, which may consist of as many as 60,000 termites.
At this size, a colony can devour a foot of 2x4 in only six months.2
And since termites often go undetected, entire support beams can be destroyed before they are discovered.
1 Potter, M. (2011). Handbook of pest control. (10th ed., pp. 300-301).
2 Michigan State University