Termites as Structural Pest: Status in Indian Scenario

  • G. K. MahapatroEmail author
  • Debajyoti Chatterjee
Research Article


In this status paper, impact of termites as serious structural insect-pests is highlighted with relevant information in Indian context. Worldwide, more than $40 billion was estimated towards the termite damage. Study revealed at least thirteen species of termites belonging to three families are closely associated with structural damage in India. Heterotermes indicola (Rhinotermitidae: Isoptera) was discussed as the key termite species causing structural damage with substantial impact (even with astounding cases of abandoning houses by victimized villagers). Swarming, the most important sign of termite infestation in and around buildings/structures is discussed. A nation-wide scenario of termite damage in various buildings, public places, dams and dykes, agri-horticultural constructions and timber-in-service are presented. Sustainable termite control in the light of present and upcoming eco-technologies is identified as the major focal point. Use of termiticides as recognized and recommended by Indian Standards, Insecticide Act (1968) and United Nation Environment Program for management of termites in pre- and post-construction stages of various buildings and other structures are recorded with relevance of application and dose. Termite management technologies like use of borate, bait and barrier (3B) are briefed; with pest-control industry-invented devices such as termatrac are brought into focus along with indigenous traditional knowledge of termite control. Status of termite R&D in India is discussed in various institutional and web-based levels along with recognizing research gaps. The present study is a pioneer approach in its kind which can be a platform to formulate compact eco-friendly, environmentally sustainable and economic module of termite control interventions indoor.


Bait Barrier Construction Heterotermes indicola Termiticides 



This research was supported by the National Fellow ICAR Project.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The National Academy of Sciences, India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of EntomologyICAR - Indian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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