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3 methods to harvest termites

3 methods to harvest termites

3 methods to harvest termites


First Method: the soldier’s attack


In South Africa, Limpopo province, soldier termites are really appreciated ! Every morning a small group of elders go to collect them on the edge of termite mounds and then fry them for their family or dry them to sell them on the market.


soldier termites mound

How to harvest soldier termites?


1- Find a wide termite mound less than one meter tall.


Trick : do not try to approach termite mounds that are very high since the termites living there are too small !



how to harvest soldier termites

2- Dig with a shovel on the edge of the termite mound so as to find a small access hole. That’s where termites are coming from during the night.


3- In the rib of a palm leaf , or in a cactus leaf , cut a thin slice one meter long. Press it inside a hole and turn at the bottom of the hole.


4-Slowly pull back the slice from the hole. Dozens of termites-soldiers will bite in it as they try to protect their termite mounds !


5-With a sharp move run the fingers along the slice from top to bottom to make the termites fall into the bucket. Gloves should be worn in order to avoid any bite.


All is left to do is cooking them with a stove in a bit of water then dry them under the sun if needed. Enjoy your meal !


Trick : Termites do not survive outside their termite mound more than six hours under the sun ; that’s why it’s important to kill them quickly to prevent them to get rotten.




Second method: the magic light!




Winged termites are part of the reproductive caste of termites. After some heavy rain they massively fly off from the termite mound to mate while flying. Then impregnated females fall to the ground, lose their wings and develop their own termite mound. These winged termites, also called ephemeral, are eaten in almost all subsaharan Africa countries: Kenya, South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ghana etc…



How to harvest winged termites?


termites flying during the night, how to collect them, in water

1- Gather a light source and a bassin full of water.

2- Just after the first rains of the wet season set the light at a height close to a termite mound. It is also possible to set the light right in the city since at the start of the season the termites are so numerous you can find them everywhere, even inside houses!

3-When the termites are flying around the light source they bump into one another and fall into the water bassin. Now you just have to collect and cook them !




Third method : the night trap


This last method is largely used to collect small-sized termites (living in very high termite mounds) which are then given to young chickens, hens and other farming birds. The termites contain so much proteins they actually speed up their growth !


trap to catch termites to feed chickens

1- Fill a bucket with pounded stalks of maize, dried cow dung and earth.

2- At the end of the day turn the bucket upside down five meters away from a termite mound.

3 – At dawn right before the sun rises take back the bucket. The termites will have built a thin slice of earth on the edge of the bucket. If you empty the bucket and break this thin slice you will see a large number of termites that will delight your hens !!




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