If you put the bamboo into the ground, it will last up to 2 years, then it will rot off at the ground level. Above the ground the bamboo will last many, many years. If outdoors in the elements it will likely last more than 10 years. It is naturally rot and pest resistant. I've never heard of termites eating bamboo. If you do not treat the bamboo with a water sealer or urethane outdoors the bamboo will naturally lose its tan appearance and become a grayish color over time. Indoors, bamboo will last forever. You do not have to treat bamboo if you do not wish to. Treating it won't necessarily prevent it from cracking either.