A Contribution of ICAR National Fellow Project

A Web-portal exclusively on Termite R&D Crossed One Million Mark Covering 81 Countries Across the WorldITMM in IYoM 2023: Integrated Termite Management in Millets

Crop Specific ITK

ITKS for termite management in Rice

This is a part of a paper lectured by National Fellow, in 21-days Summer School Programme, Title: New horizons in biotic stress management in rice under changing climate scenario, Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, Odisha (16-09-2013).

Some indigenous methods used to eliminate the termite mounds

in India and African region

S. N.


Methods of application used by farmers

*Implementable status


African ITK’s


Human urine

Mixed fermented urine (stored for 1 to 2 weeks) with carbon and used to spray or pour directly into the mounds. Sometimes, only matured urine is used for this purpose. It is claimed to have killing (toxic) and repellent effect on the termites.



Toads, Intestines of Rat or fish, dead animals or shell/ scallop of tortoise

Killed toads inserted directly into the mounds. Intestines of rat or other dead animals and the shell / scallop of tortoise can also be used in the same way. These have repellent effects on termites which will leave the mounds some days after the application.


(wild species of toads, snakes are supposed to be protected)


Water in which fresh

fish is dissected

Water in which fresh fish is washed or dissected is poured directly into the mound by breaking the top of the mound. After at least one week of this application, termites will leave the mound. After this, destroy the mound.



Wood ash

Wood ash is used to control termites by putting it inside the mounds or sprinkling around it.




Pouring the sand inside the initial new mound, termites will immediately abandon the mound.



Dry cell

10 used dry cells material (flashlight batteries), mix with 10 litres of water and pour into mound through a hole made on the top.




Dig hole on top of mound, insert wood and grass and set fire to it, then seal to confine the smoke and heat. OR fill hole with dry cow dung, set it on fire and leave to burn slowly.



Trenching around


Dig trench about 2 ft deep around mound.



Opium or tobacco

When alates emerge, blow smoke of opium or tobacco into the mound through the alates exit holes. A lot of alates come out and the remaining castes (queen, workers and soldiers) all die.




Insert dead snake into mound through a vent and seal the vent.



Cow dung

Dig hole on top of mound, put in 1 basin of cow dung and pour 20 litres of boiling water through the same hole.



Used engine oil

Dig hole on top of mound and pour 0.5 litre of oil into mound. Do not seal hole.


(may not be economic)

Indian ITK’s



Salt, juice of lemon and castor cake

Salt, juice of lemon and castor cake added to hot water is poured into termite mound after digging them up to some depth.



Wild animals

Presence of termitaria, offer shelter to venomous snakes - dead enemies of rats. Farmers prefer to destroy the mounds. In many areas of Chhattisgarh wild bear (Bhalu) is a big problem and termites are favourite food for them. According to them, the presence of termite mounds around the fields force the bear to visit the area and after eating termites, they attack on crops also.




Smoking termitaria to suffocate and kill the colony. Lighting a fire after queen removal is also known by few farmers.



Mechanical/ organic practice

Cow dung cakes are effectively put inside the termitaria for control.



Phyto-chemical (repellent)

Aloe vera planted at termitaria can repel the termite population (noted in Jharkhand state).



Not applicable in the Delhi,proved scientifically.

* Implementation feasibility is decided based on the wisdom, scientific arguments and past experiences.

--Not recommended

+ Scientific but needs validation

++ Scientific and based on validation/past experience.

Points to ponder

Effective traditional practices against termites include:

  • Smoking the termite nest, use of salt, and flooding of termite nests with water.
  • Biopesticides such as neem oil, neem powder and powdered tobacco are effective against termites because they serve as potential replacement for persistent chemical pesticides, such as endosulfan/carbofuran which has already been banned in several nations.
  • The application of red palm oil mixed with papaya is an indigenous biological control practice. The mixture attracts soldier ants that attack and drive away the termites.
  • Research needs for validation of relevant ITKs must be given due importance.

ITK in coconut termite control

A traditional method of termite control in Srilanka is noted by P A Henry. At the onset of rainy season farmers remove the aerial part of termite colony, a basin like depression is made covering entire area of the colony. Rain water is facilitated to be collected in this depression during rainy season. Entire colony may be wiped out by this method.

Husain and Sundaramari (2011) documented 129 traditional practices on coconut cultivation in Kerala. Aspects such as collection and storage of seed nuts (20.15%), cultural operations (14.73%), manuring (13.95%) and nursery management (13.18%) constituted the dominant categories of indigenous knowledge. Of the 129 practices, 30 were analysed for their scientific rationality and awareness and adoption among farmers and 19 practices studied for their perceived effectiveness. Of the 30 practices, 24 were found to be rational, while the rest six were adjudged as irrational. The scientific rationale/operational principles behind 24 rational ITKs were also elucidated in their study. Twelve practices were adopted by 57.5 to 82.5% farmers. Of the 19 ITK studied for effectiveness, 17 were perceived as effective by the farmers, implying that many indigenous practices were both rational as well as effective. This calls for more scientific intervention to validate the indigenous knowledge, which in turn would enrich our agricultural technology. They reported nut sowing procedure that is, with 50% of the nut size above the nursery bed for better rooting and reduced termite attack. They reasoned out, lower planting depth promotes rooting and germination and positioning the point of attachment of fruit stalk above soil reduces termite attack. They recommended pre-transplanting applicat

Last Updated: 27-03-2024

Total Visit: 01501517

Visitors' statistics