Termites management practice.
- By incorporating green manures termites are attract to this green matter and prevent them to attack the target crop.
- When the termites start swarming they are exposed to natural predators like, birds, bats, reptiles and amphibian.
- The aardvark is able to dig into mounds and can consume tens of thousands of termites in a single night.
- Increase organic matter of the soil by mulching or applying manure, this will improve food resources for the termites, improve micro bacterial activity and ensure adequate soil aeration.
- Termites live on dried material. Healthy plants are the last food option for termites, maintain healthy plants.
Different control measures could be taken: Prevent termites having access to plants, Reduce termite numbers, provide plants less susceptible to termites.
- Removing the queen, by digging up the mounds and allow chicken to eat them. Light a fire in the mound after queen removal.
- Predatory ants can control termites. These are attracted by meat bones and sugarcane husks.
- Termite damage is relatively low in fields where Gliricidia is planted as a shade tree.
- Cultivating Ricinus communis on the plots attacked by termites. The next cropping season the termite population is reduced considerably. Also castor press cake can be incorporated into the soil.
- Aloe vera cuttings are planted to keep termites away.
- The bark of the Zanthoxylum chalybeum is peeled and soaked in water for three days. Filter the solution and sprinkle it on the area which is attacked by the termites.
- Mulching with Neem bark, wood reduces the survival of termites.
- Soak 50 gr of pounded leaves of Snake bean tree mixed with 1 litre of water for 12 hours. Filter the solution and apply to the termites.
- Tabacco incorporated into the soil controls termites.
- Plant Vitex doniana around the plots as an attractant crop. Termites prefer this above cassave.
- Apply wood ash in the termite mounds.
- Apply wood ash and lime around the plant will help to deter termites.
- Control of seedlings is done by a mixture of ashes and dried Calotropis procera leaves. A handful of powder is put at the feet of the plant and covered with a small handful of earth.
- A 20% water extract of Tephrosia with an extraction time of 2 hours proved to be highly insecticidal to termites.
- Next to a new termite mound dig a strongbar magnet in the soil. This prevents those termites that build their mounds in North-South direction along magnetic lines.
Termite traps :-
Use over mature coconuts and expose them to high heat without burning the coconut, until you get a very strong fragrant smell. Drill a hole into the coconut, 2 cm wide and bury them 15-20 cm deep with 10 m distance between de coconuts.
Dug the coconuts out after 10 – 15 days and the termites can be fed to chickens. Then re-bury the coconuts until the flesh all is consumed.
Harjindra Singh and Dr. S.M. Haldhar*
PhD Scholor, Entomology, College of agriculture, Bikaner
*Scientist) CIAH, Bikaner