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


Zea mays L. occupies an important place in world agriculture. Maize in India ranks fifth in total area and third in total production and productivity. This level of production has to be substantially raised to meet growing demand of maize for human food, animal and poultry feed, as well as industrial processing by the wet and dry millers to produce value added products. Maize can be successfully grown in rainy (kharif), winter(rabi) and summer spring (zaid) seasons. Among the factors adversely affecting productivity, ubiquitous prevalence of diseases and insect pests in the pre harvest stage are prominent. The total economic loss of the crop in India due to insect pests and diseases has been estimated to be about 13%.

Major Insect Pests of Regional Significance

White grub, Cut Worm, Hairy caterpillar, Aphid , Army worm, Pyrilla, Thrips, Chafer beetle; and Termites (Microtermes obesi) 

Fungus-growing termite, Microtermes, and Odontotermes species are the predominant pests of maize. Lodging is regarded as the most severe symptom of damage by termites in maize. According to a recent survey in maize growing areas of the Punjab (Pakistan), termites are posing a threat to maize but it is not known when and how control should be adopted?


Seed treatment of maize seeds with imidacloprid@ 1.5-5; fipronil @ 5 ml/kg seeds is advocated which acts as a good protectant of maize seedlings against the termite attack. Chlorpyriphos is not recommended. Side dressing of maize with fipronil granules or chlorpyriphos granules/dust 4 weeks after planting reduces termite infestation.

High density sowing: Sow seeds at higher rate than the recommended dose as compensatory to termite damage. Surviving plants later may be thinned to the appropriate number/stand.

Maize crop damaged in IARI-WTC research plots

 Maize stubbles harbouring termites inside stem with soil

Last Updated: 27-03-2024

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