African Journal of Insects ISSN 3257-7856 Vol. 4 (4), pp. 131-137, April, 2017. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Indigenous knowledge of termite control: A case study of five farming communities in Gushegu District of Northern Ghana

Dokurugu Maayiem1, Baatuuwie Nuoleyeng Bernard1* and Aalangdong Oscar Irunuoh2

1University for Development Studies, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, Department of Forestry and Forest Resources Management, P.O. Box Tl 1882, Tamale

2University for Development Studies, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, Department of Range and Wildlife Management, P.O. Box Tl 1882, Tamale

*Corresponding author. E-mail: tuuwiebernard@yahoo.com.

Accepted 04 September, 2012

Abstract

The study was conducted in five communities selected at random in the Gushegu-Karaga district of northern region of Ghana. The objective was to identify suitable and sustainable indigenous methods adopted by resource poor farmers for termite control. Semi-structured questionnaires were administered to 20 farmers in each of the selected communities who practiced indigenous termite control methods. A total of 100 farmers were interviewed. There was one female and the remaining 99 were males who had applied various indigenous treatments on their crop fields against termite infestation. The study recorded a total of 24 termite species, which varied in presence at each locality, with a few serious pest species damaging agricultural products such as maize, yam, millet, and other natural resources in the area. Five termite prevention and control methods were identified: (i) burial of plant and animal materials, (ii) application of wood ash, (iii) application of a mixture of salt and Shea butter residue, (iv) planting of elephant grass and (v) ‘banchi’ methods. Planting of elephant grass was found to be the most common method used by the farmers, while burial of plant and animal materials was found to be the most effective method of termite control in the area. Despite their well known role as pests, termites are considered important in the area because they provide necessary ecosystem services.

Key words: Infestation, pest species, damage, banchi’ methods, elephant grass, wood ash.