oa Journal of the Entomological Society of Southern Africa - Die Grasdraertermiet, Hodotermes mossambicus (Hagen), as Plaag van Natuurlike Weiveld
The harvester termite is regarded as one of the most serious pests of natural pasture in the inland areas of South Africa. In the Central Orange Free State, complete resting of the natural pasture for three years, resulted in a significant increase in the basal cover in spite of the presence of the termites. There was also a marked decrease in the plant injury. Virtually all the damage to plants was done during winter. For example, more damage was done during June, 1965 than in the preceding seven months together. A positive correlation was demonstrated between plant injury and the number of foraging holes while there was a negative correlation between basal cover and plant injury. Spraying small plots with Dieldrin to keep them termite free resulted in no significant increase in yield compared with unsprayed control plots. It is concluded that the damage done by harvester termites in South Africa is often over-emphasised.
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