Experiments at Mbaga hills of Siaya County in Kenya were aimed to determine the most effective organic baiting technique for mass harvesting of Macrotermes bellicosus. Around two separate mounds, 5 treatments replicated 3 times, using earthen pot and plastic containers with maize stocks, eucalyptus stems, lantana camara twigs, Napier grass and rice husks, were set up. Termite counts, at 6.00 am and 6.00 pm, and data on temperature and humidity, from a Hobo data logger were collected over the 21 days period. The data were analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) at (p=0.05) and Least Significance Difference (LSD) tests. Substrate preference differed significantly (p< 0.05) with highest being maize (2,919). Mean termite count differed significantly by containers (p< 0.05) with highest being earthen pots (1787). Termite count at 6.00 am (2,021) differed significantly (p< 0.05) with at 6.00 pm (1,952). The count further differed significantly by temperature at night (22.1 0C) and day (30.2±0.13). Finally, count differed by relative humidity (p< 0.05) at night (91.0±0.10) and day (69.1±0.50). Results on the effect of bait type, container type, humidity and temperature on count of termites may have practical, policy and theoretical implications for sustainable agriculture.
Key words: Macrotermes bellicosus, substrate preference, mass trapping.
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