Effects of Termites on Soil pH and Its Application for Termite Control in Zhejiang Province, China


  • Ying Li Zhejiang University of Technology
  • Zhi-Yong Dong Zhejiang University of Technology
  • Dong-Zi Pan Zhejiang Institute of Hydraulics and Estuary
  • Cun-Hong Pan Zhejiang Institute of Hydraulics and Estuary
  • Lai-Hua Chen Zhejiang Institute of Hydraulics and Estuary




Termite, soil characteristics, pH, termite nest, termite control


Soil dwelling termites dig nests in the ground that have a significant impact on the soil environment. Activities of termites can result in accumulation of organic matter and enrichment of nutrients and minerals in the soil. Samples from the nest/surrounding soils of two termite species (Odontotermes formosanus (Shiraki) and Reticulitermes flaviceps (Oshima)) and termite non-invaded soils in the seawall of the Qiantang River, Zhejiang Province, China were collected and analysed for soil pH. The results show that the observed termites prefer an acidic environment and that their activities elevate the pH of termite mound soil compared with surrounding soil. Considering the differences in the distribution areas, termite species, and properties of termite mounds and surrounding soils, this paper also examines the literature concerning the effects of termites on soil pH. After summarizing the pH of the termite survival soil environment, the feasibility of termite control by modifying the soil pH is addressed. Finally, some topics for future research are discussed.


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Author Biographies

Ying Li, Zhejiang University of Technology

College of Chemical Engineering

Zhi-Yong Dong, Zhejiang University of Technology

College of Civil Engineering and Architecture


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How to Cite

Li, Y., Dong, Z.-Y., Pan, D.-Z., Pan, C.-H., & Chen, L.-H. (2017). Effects of Termites on Soil pH and Its Application for Termite Control in Zhejiang Province, China. Sociobiology, 64(3), 317–326. https://doi.org/10.13102/sociobiology.v64i3.1674



Research Article - Termites