Economic activities, pesticides, social insects, Termites
Termites can be found through out the world largely in the tropical and sub-tropical countries. They are social insects, feeding on cellulosic materials and live in colonies. Termites comprise the Order Isoptera with six families, 170 genera and 2600 species, of which six species are present in Nigeria. The most striking aspects of termites is their destructive tendency. They feed on wood indiscriminately, and tend to destroy timber and other wooden materials of importance to man, and this brought them into direct competition with man. However, their beneficial aspect to man is very significant. In most countries, where termites exist in abundance they are edible. Their burrowing within the soil increases the rate of percolation of water into the soil, thereby promoting water absorbent of the soil. Their feeding habit includes decomposition of dead trees, and incorporation into the soil, mineral nutrients of these trees. Man in response to the destructive activities of termites, developed various controlled methods towards them, which include the use of pesticides such as DDT ( Dichloro Diphenyl Trichloroethane), BHC ( Benzene Hexachloride ), Aldrin, Dieldrin, soil barrier termiticides, treated zone termiticides, dust and fumigant, and, non chemical control methods such as mud tube removal, debris removal, pathogenic fungi, mechanical barriers, heat, high voltage electricity or electrocution and wood replacement. The control of termites however, does not seek to totally exterminate them, but to bring their activities to a manageable level. The objective of this paper is to appraise the economic activities of termites.