Termites Are Regarded As Crop Pests In Some Parts Of The World
Nobody living in the United States is happy that both native and non-native termites are abundant in North America. However, it could be worse, as the termites that are found in America feed only on dead wood. Of course, the invasive Formosan subterranean termite may be an exception since a few reports have mentioned their taste for living trees. But even most Formosan termites behave much like native termites in that they feed on plant life. This may be bad news for homeowners, especially for those who own timber-framed houses, but at least we do not have to worry about termites causing damage to America’s crops. Unfortunately, there are regions around the world where termites pose serious risks to crop health. One country with a large amount of devastating crop-destroying termites is India.
Not much is known about termite control efforts in India. In fact, experts are not even sure as to which types of termites exist in the country of India. There is not much scientific literature existing that tells about native and non-native termites in India. It has been reported that India is home to one hundred and ninety different types of termites that attack a variety of different crops. Indian crops such as cereals, shrubs, timber, annuals and living trees are all damaged by termites in India, and this is only naming a few of the crops that termites prefer to feed on.
Termites are most at home within tropical regions, but they have invaded subtropical and even temperate regions, and they have made contact with many different crops during these migrations. The crop damage caused by termites in India is estimated at costing several million rupees per year.
One particularly damaging termite found in India is the Odontotermes obesus. Hopefully, this termite species never invades the US since it feeds on wheat, barley, sorghum, cotton, sugarcane, groundnut, coconut, sunhemp, chillies, mango, citrus, grapevine, and peach crops. Two other crop-damaging termite pests are known as O. wallonensis and Microtermes obesi. Sadly, there are not many sophisticated termite control methods available in India, so removing termite mounds is one of the most effective options. In these cases, Indian farmers remove and destroy the queens in order to prevent the growth of more colonies.
Do you know of any crops in America that have been damaged by termites?