Synthetic Insecticides: The Backbone of Termite Management

  • Bishwajeet PaulEmail author
  • Sharda Singh
  • K. Shankarganesh
  • Md. Aslam Khan
Part of the Sustainability in Plant and Crop Protection book series (SUPP)


Termite management has been a challenge since time immemorial. In good old days, plant products have been used with limited success. With the discovery of organochlorine pesticides, the use of chemicals gained an impetus in management. Due to longer persistence and health hazards, the use of organochlorine pesticides was banned in most countries. However, for several decades, chlordane, heptachlor, lindane, etc. were mainly used for termite management. Subsequently organophosphates and pyrethroids replaced organochlorines in this scenario. Organophosphates and pyrethroids repel termites, but due to their highly toxic nature, ready availability, and relatively inexpensiveness, they are still being used in developing countries for management.

Termite management practices changed dramatically with the advent of newer molecules, viz., neonicotinoid (imidacloprid), phenylpyrazole (fipronil), pyrrole (chlorfenapyr), oxadiazine (indoxacarb), anthranilic diamide (chlorantraniliprole), etc. Majority of these compounds are of the slow-acting and non-repellent type. The termites fail to detect these insecticides and continue to forage in the treated soil for longer period and carry lethal amount of the toxicant to be later transferred to their nestmates. This behavior and the properties of the new molecules prompted research on bait technologies. Termite baiting has developed tremendously and has been commercialized over last three decades. Various bait matrices and bait stations have been developed successfully. The activity of termiticides varies widely depending on the soil characteristics and properties, as soil plays an important role in the success of management practices. With these new termiticides, fairly long-term barriers could be established around wooden structures and buildings. Optimal termite management still remains a challenge and depends widely on the type of termiticides available, soil type, cropping system, expertise available, type of structure/building, and economics of the procedure.


Termites Termiticides Termite baits 


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bishwajeet Paul
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sharda Singh
    • 1
  • K. Shankarganesh
    • 2
  • Md. Aslam Khan
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of EntomologyICAR-Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.ICAR-Central Institute for Cotton Research Regional StationCoimbatoreIndia
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Faculty of ScienceJazan UniversityJazanSaudi Arabia

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