- Termites damage the crop soon after sowing and sometimes near maturity.
- They feed on roots, stems of growing plants, even dead tissues of plant-feeding on cellulose.
- The damaged plants dry up completely and are easily pulled out.
- The plants damaged at later stages give rise to white ears.
- Infestation is heavy under unirrigated conditions and in the fields where un-decomposed farmyard manure is applied before sowing.