Impact of African Traditional Termite Control Methods on Conservation of Biodiversity: A Review

Paulyne, A. Agutu, Mary, C. Imbo, Timothy, O. Makori, Richard K. Rotich


Termites cause a wide array of damages to plantations, trees and manmade structures. Both industrial and food crops as well as forest trees are attacked by termite. Reports on economic losses caused by termite infestations have been made worldwide. Consequently, need to eliminate and control termites have risen especially by farmers and property owners as a measure to secure their produce and property respectively. Poverty prevalence in Africa limits accessibility to chemical control methods which are expensive and requires expertise to use hence unaffordable. In response, African communities have devised and applied traditional methods in order to eliminate and or control termites in farmlands and homes. However, these methods have not been scientifically proven and the extent of their efficiency is still questionable. On the other hand, there is a feeling that these methods are environmentally friendly and safer for biodiversity conservation as compared to the conventional methods of termite control.  In order to curb loss of biodiversity experienced globally sustainable methods of termite control should be employed. Usually this loss is accelerated by continuous clearing of natural vegetation to accommodate the ever growing population particularly in Africa.  Depending on the methods used biodiversity can either be conserved or lost in the process. This review therefore explores the traditional uses of termites in Africa, elaborate on the common traditional methods used to control them.  It also details the advantages of these methods over conventional methods on biodiversity and environmental conservation.

Key words: Termites, Biodiversity, Africa, Traditional

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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