Wheat Termites, Microtermes obesi are one of the most damaging pests of wheat fields worldwide, belonging to the Family Termitidae of the Order Isoptera. Termites feed on organic matter, including wheat plants’ roots, stems, leaves, and grains. They can quickly destroy a field, leaving behind large patches of dead and dying plants. The most common type of termite in wheat fields is the soil-dwelling subterranean termite.
These termites live in the soil, feeding on organic matter found there. They are particularly attracted to the roots of wheat plants, which they can easily access by tunneling through the soil. Subterranean termites can quickly spread throughout a field, causing extensive damage. Other types of termites, such as dry wood and damp wood termites, are also found in wheat fields.
To effectively manage this pest, it is important to understand its life cycle, its preferred habitats, and the best methods for controlling it. This article will provide an overview and discussion of the Termites Pest in wheat crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Wheat Termites Pest Management in Wheat
Life Cycle of Termites Pest in Wheat Crop
Egg: The egg stage is the first stage of the termite life cycle. In this stage, the female termite will lay her eggs in a moist, protected area, usually in soil or a rotting log. The eggs take about two weeks to hatch.
Nymph: The nymph stage is the second stage of the termite life cycle. After hatching from their eggs, the termites will enter the nymph stage. During this stage, the termites will feed on the plant material around them, such as the leaves and stems of the wheat crop. They will also molt up to 10 times before reaching their adult stage.
Adult: The adult stage is the third stage of the termite life cycle. During this stage, the adult termites will feed on the woody parts of the wheat crop, such as the stems and roots. They will also form colonies and create tunnels in the soil to protect themselves from predators.
Reproductive: The reproductive stage is the fourth and final stage of the termite life cycle. During this stage, the reproductive termites will mate and lay their eggs in the same moist, protected area. The eggs will then hatch, and the cycle will start again. Overall, termites have a life cycle closely linked to the wheat crop they are infesting.
Occurrence of Termites Pest in Wheat Field
- Location of Wheat Termite: Wheat termite is a major pest of wheat in India, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, France, Italy, China, Brazil, Australia, and Africa.
- Host Range: Wheat termites feed on the starch and other components of wheat, rice, millets, oats, barley, rye, corn, sorghum, and other grains. They can also feed on grasses, weeds, and other plants.
Factors Favoring Population Increase of Termites Pest in Wheat Fields
- Availability of food sources – Termites are attracted to wheat fields because they provide an abundant source of food, mainly the cellulose found in the stems, leaves, and roots of the wheat plants.
- Soil moisture – Termites need moisture to survive and reproduce, and moist soil provides an ideal environment for them to do so.
- Shelter – Termites build nests and colonies to protect themselves from predators. If there is a large amount of vegetation in the field, it can serve as a shelter for termites.
- Presence of predators – If the wheat field is not populated