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

Extension Services

Transfer of technology to the end-users in a user-friendly manner is the ultimate goal of any scientific research and development program. Under the ambit of ICAR National Fellow Project extensive R&D work has been undertaken for termite management in various target places. Outcome of this extensive work has been presented in many ways in various platforms nation-wide for delivering the same to the user community. Research team of the project have participated in many international and national interactive platforms like seminars, conferences, exhibitions, Krishi Melas where the R&D output of this project has been presented and discussed.

Extension Research: educate to eradicate

Climate smart termite management rain-fed agro ecosystem - a case study under Institutional Challenge Program:

Background: Rainfed agro-ecosystems in India present most underprivileged picture of agriculture-based socio-economic depiction incurring lacuna in many fields ranging from institutional development up to research and development. This has drawn attention of policy-makers during 12th Five Year Plan. Scanty data were available on handling termite problems of rainfed agricultural system particularly in termite prone areas. A scientific venture was taken by IARI to combat this problem in termite prone rain-fed land. As such, in rain fed agriculture scarcity of water supply, make situation still worst in termite prone areas. We took up the challenge and chalked out our plan, with timely execution of soil treatment (chlorpyriphos (@3 L/ha), subsequently we have not used chlorpyriphos, but fipronil granules (0.3%G). Granular applications were every-time done apropos available soil moisture regime. Appropriate seed treatments were carried out to the target crops; need-based application: fipronil (0.3%G); agri-horticultural plantation: entire border of the rain fed site was treated with termiticides; and application of compost/FYM was always done after treating with termiticides.

Target site & crops (2011-14) - In the 1 ha rain fed land; crops were laid in to two groups (0.5 ha, rainfed – rural) and (0.5 ha, rain fed – urban). Agri-horti plantation included crops namely Aloe vera, and with border tree crops (Aonla, ber, phalsa, guava, moringa, pomegranate etc). Rabi season, target crops were: mustard, barley, chickpea and lentil. All the crops were harvested termite free for the rabi season entirely.

PRA (Pesticide-residue-analysis) Systematic execution of scientific management program including soil-treatment, seed-treatment and need based application of termiticide in both kharif and rabi season resulted in successful management of termites with pesticide residue free commodities. Based on the Pesticide-residue-analysis (PRA) the module can be advocated for the farmers in rain fed agriculture (for crops – barley, gram, lentil and wheat). Spanning several agro-ecological regions constituting 60% of total cropped area, the rainfed areas represent the geography with the largest concentration of poverty and backwardness. The negligence of the rainfed areas in terms of institutional development, support systems, availability of appropriate agricultural inputs, agricultural research and extension has drawn due attention of the planners and policy makers (12th Five Year Plan). Plant protection is also one such neglected area. Obviously no or little work has been done in tackling termites in rainfed agriculture, particularly in termite-prone areas. In order to bridge this gap an ambitious programme was initiated by CESCRA (Centre for Environment Science and Climate Resilient Agriculture) in 2011-12. In this farmland severe damage by termites (in rain-fed plots only) was there. Besides, irrigated sites were termite free due to our control intervention during 2011-12.

Mostly farmers, even researchers resort to chemo-irrigation, though it is not quite scientific. We always discourage this faulty practice. As such, in rain fed agriculture scarcity of water supply make situation still worst in termite prone areas. We took up the challenge in right spirit and chalked out our plan, with timely execution step by step.


Chlorpyriphos treatment in irrigation water – a crude way of termite control ought to be discouraged 

  1. Soil treatment: The entire target area was soil-treated with chlorpyriphos before sowing in the initial stage (onset of kharif), field was ploughed deep, chlorpyriphos was treated (@3 L/ha). Subsequently we have not used chlorpyriphos, but fipronil granules (0.3%G). Granular applications were always done looking into the soil moisture regime (fig 3).
  2. Seed treatment: Appropriate seed treatments were carried out to the target crops before sowing (pulses mostly).
  3. Need-based application: Fipronil (0.3%G).
  4. Agri-horticultural plantation pits (before planting) were treated suitably. Entire border of the rainfed site was treated with termiticides.
  5. Application of compost/FYM was always done after treating with termiticides.

Target crops in rain fed agriculture (2012-13) In the 1 ha rainfed land; crops were laid in to two groups (0.5 ha, rainfed – rural) and (0.5 ha, rainfed – urban). Agri-horti plantation was included selecting Aloe vera as perennial crop along with border trees (Anola, ber, phalsa, guava, moringa pomegranate etc.). Kharif season: Pearl millet, pigeonpea, moong and castor crops were taken as major crop for sawing.


Kharif season (2012) 



Demonstration of viable technologies for profit maximization under rainfed conditions through cropping system approach – termite control module 

Rabi season: Mustard, barley, chickpea and lentil were selected as experimental crops during rabi season.


a)                                      b)
Rabi Season (2012-13)
(a) Barely crop-harvested, termite free, (b) Mustard crop – harvested, termite free

Chickpea crop infested with termites – on the other side of the road

Chickpeacrop–termite-free throughout the season (rabi 2012-13) 

Terminating termites using climate- smart techniques:

Our termite control team took care of it from the very beginning i.e., land preparation itself. Termiticides were used in the land preparation time, and in the standing crop just before the forecasted rainfalls. The trick worked good in tackling termites. There was no termite infestation for the whole kharif season (2012) and rabi season (2012-13). Chickpea was a target crop by termites. In the rain fed agriculture, our termite management module could successfully keep them away, whereas on the other-side of the road, chickpea plots are having termite infestation.
Results of pesticide risk analysis advocated that the termite management module followed was full proof and safe. Thus it can be advised for the farmers in rain fed agriculture (for crops viz. barley, gram, lentil and wheat). Using multiple termiticides viz. synthetics, botanicals and various biopesticides already proved useful for termite control in Delhi region (Mahapatro et al, 2013) in case of wheat and a few insecticides were found effective for seed treatment in the same crop (Shukla, 2010). Application of fipronil reported better in management of termites in wheat (Henderson and Forschler, 1996). In present study the efficacy of termite management module also was supported by these findings.


  • Henderson, G. and Forschler, B. T. 1996. Louisiana Agriculture 40(3): 9-11.
  • Mahapatro GK, Das TK, Irani M and Gajbhiye VT .2013. Indian J. Ent. 75(4): 336-337.
  • Mahapatro, G.K. and Sachin Kumar 2013. Indian Forester 139(12): 1151-1153Shukla, A. 2010. Journal of Insect Science 23(4): 426-429.

Termite infestation in the seed spice crops

As per the assessment of termite infestation in seed spices in collaboration with ICAR-NRCSS (National Research Centre, Seed Spices) (credit: Dr Krishna Kant, PS), black-cumin (kalonji) Nigella sativa is the most effected crop among the seed-spices crops surveyed (Ajwain, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek and Nigella). Mostly in sandy soil this problem occurs. Termites cut the root and stem, eventually plant dies in the immature stage itself. Photo-documentation was done.

In-campus termite management measures
As Nodal Officer of Termite Control, for IARI campus, I had carried large-scale termite control campaigns in the IARI campus. Most of the avenue trees in the campus were treated for termite control. Central IARI Museum, Libraries, Pusa Sale Centre, Directorate Office, Divisional Laboratories, Students & Guest Houses were treated for termite control. Large scale soil treatment programmes were done in various research plots by tract-mount sprayers (IARI divisions and Centers: Agronomy, Genetics, Microbiology, Agril. Chemicals, WTC, Soil Science, Seed Science & Technology etc.); and vegetable Science.

Tree-trunk lime treatment with done for termite control termiticides 
and precautions for labourers 

Explaining farmers on termite management at Palwal village (5-12-2016)

Termite control in mango orchard
A perennial termite mound at mango orchard of IARI farm was eliminated successfully.


Exterminating termitaria – manual digging/detoppping and pouring chlorpyriphos-water into the mound by tractamount applicators in mango orchard of IARI

Free identification service
Most people, who are new in this field, are lacking the proper identification techniques. So, we are trying to provide a simple identification technique and support. A manual was prepared on this issue, we wrote 36 universities (inclusive SAUs) calling for sample submission for identification.
It is provided to academician/students/researchers to some universities/institutions viz., NBAIR, Bangaluru, Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel University of Agriculture and Technology, Meerut, UP, Swami Keshwanand Rajasthan Agriculture University and Bikaner, Mysore University, Mysore, Karnataka etc. A booklet (A Manual: Collection, Preservation and Identification of Termites) is published and sent to all the State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and many ICAR research institutes (inclusive of All India Network Project on White grubs and Other Soil Arthropods-AIPWOSA) inviting termite samples for free identification.

Mass campaign measures:

  • Pusa Horticulture Show/Exhinition 2016.
  • Stall and poster presentation at “National Symposium on New horizons in Pest Management for Sustainable Developmental Goals” in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, 23rd & 24th December, 2016.
  • Pusa Krishi Mela 2015, ICAR - IARI - Separate Stall for Termite RnD was installed.
  • Pusa Horticulture Show/Exhibition 2015.

Pusa Push Pull Startegy for Termites

Last Updated: 27-03-2024

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