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A. M. Varela, icipe
Is this a Minor Pest?
Minor Pest Title

Termites (Amitermes spp., Pseudacanthotermes spp., Macrotermesspp., Odontotermes spp., Microtermes spp. and Ancistrotermes spp.)

Minor Pest Description

Occasionally termites can be a problem by attacking the seed pieces or the roots and stems of established plants. Yield losses can be very high. In Sudan losses of 18 % have been recorded and in Central Africa losses of 5-10% are common. In Nigeria plant germination failure of up to 28 % has been reported. The most common damage to sugar cane is the destruction of the planting material (setts).

Minor Pest What to do.
  • Deep plough or tillage to expose termites to desiccation and to predators, thus reducing their number in the crops. Pre-planting tillage also destroys the tunnels built by termites and restricts their foraging activities.
  • Dig mounds and destroy the queen.
  • Destroy mounds. Mounds may also be flooded or burnt with straw to suffocate and kill the colony.
  • Spray plant extracts, such as those of neem, wild tobacco and dried chilli.
  • Conserve natural enemies. Ants are important termite predators. Attract ants to the field by placing protein-based baits in the field near the plants.
  • Remove residues of previous cereal crops (sorghum, millet and maize). Plant residues left in the field serve as food for termites, which may infest the new crop.
Minor Pest Position
Minor Pest Firstcontent
Pest Type
Local names; white ants, mchwa (Swahili); Harvester termite ([i]Hodotermes mossambicus[/i]); Bark-eating termites ([i]Macrotermes[/i] spp., [i]Odontotermes[/i] spp.).
Host Plants