Biology and control of the live-wood termites of tea.
Tea plants are attacked by the termites Postelectrotermes militaris (Desn.), Neotermes greeni (Desn.) and Glyptotermes dilatatus (Bugnion & Popoff) in Sri Lanka, and observations made on the biology of these species in that country are described, particular attention being drawn to the danger of a spread to new plantations by G. dilatatus. Field tests on control of the termites by spraying the tea plants and the ground round them with organochlorine or organophosphate insecticides, or by injection of such compounds into the plants, gave unsatisfactory results. Good control, however, was obtained when a solid or liquid fumigant was introduced into the galleries in the plants made by the insects, the best results being obtained with phosphine derived from aluminium phosphide (Phostoxin) which, unlike some of the other ten fumigants tested, had no phytotoxic effects.