Harvester termite outbreaks
Harvester termite outbreaks have been reported over the past two months. Areas that are affected by large scale outbreaks are the Northern Cape, Northwest, western Free State and Mpumalanga. In some areas veld and grazing have been damaged very badly by termite outbreaks and it warrants an environmentally sound approach to control and suppress the insects.
Appropriate use of registered termite baits
Termite baits that contain sodium fluosilicate are very effective against harvester termites. The correct application is paramount for effective termite control: the bait must be placed around active burrows and termite mounds. Applied as a broadcast application such as from a fertiliser spreader is not a registered use and is totally ineffective as the termites will only collect bait that is sprinkled directly around the nest. Producers are encouraged to ensure the correct application of sodium fluosilicate termite baits and to refrain from broadcast application.
Off-label use of insecticides
Rumours of off-label use of highly toxic insecticides like parathion is of great concern to CropLife SA. Producers are strongly urged to not engage in such actions and to report any misuse to CropLife SA. Parathion is extremely toxic and will cause damage to the
environment if used to control harvester termites.
For more information please contact:
Dr Gerhard Verdoorn, Operations and Stewardship Manager, CropLife South Africa