The method I plan to use is just a large, plastic coffee can poked with holes large enough for termites to get through.
Using unwaxed newspaper that has been soaked for a few days as a full roll until it's almost ready to fall apart, or you could
even use orchid bark. With pieces of wood such as left over cuts or pulp from a large enough rotting branch in the center
of the container. Pack the softened newspaper around it in a tight fit, leaving some wrinkles left in the folding or crumble
moist orchid bark around it. Put the lid over the container. Bury it in a very shallow hole in the back yard, leaving the
lid visible. After a month open the lid to see if any activity has gathered. If not, make sure it's still somewhat moist and
give it another month. If you don't like the results too much, try adding bran and millet cereals as a tempting snack to draw
more of them in. If you got ants instead, heh, start over. The only ants really worth trying to use are sugar ants.
Too keep termites after I've caught them, if there's enough without actually starting my own colony with flying termites to
make a queen - I'm using a tupperware container. The bottom filled about an inch or two with moist peat moss, dead leaves
and pieces of wood, orchid bark or pulp.
An ideal pulp is a wood pulp bedding that can be found at most pet stores. It's basically just plain, unbleached bits of recycled
paper. I can also make my own by soaking some more unwaxed newspaper with the pages separated so the water will soak through
more quickly, until it has been reduced to pulp. Basically newspaper is fine, they just don't like the ink so much. Soaking
it gets it soft, moist as well as drawing out some of the ink.
Keep the container around 70-80 degrees and when the coffee can outside has termites, place them and the contents of the can
in the container.
The bits of wood can be anything from left over wood cuts from carpenter projects to thick branches stripped of their bark
or buying some boards. Flat boards with grooves run through them would be best, making a three layer sandwich with unbleached,
moist paper in the center of the middle one.
Any wood will do really, even pure cotton, cardboard and/or popsicle sticks soaked over night. They eat anything that has
to do with cellulose and bacteria called protozoa as this is what helps them digest wood. Since only the worker termites are
doing the job of chewing the wood and carrying protozoa's in their gut, they feed the rest of the colony with pre-digested
Things high in cellulose include acorns, wheat bran, oat bran, millet, corn husk. Cellulose fiber itself is basically paper.
If you really want to get into it, grow ordinary bird seed, when the seeds have come to grasses, sunflowers and grains making
seeds, pull them up and let them dry out roots and all, chop it all up in small enough stacks to substitute as wood and just
keep it as a compost until you're ready to gather some for tending termites. This is mainly with protozoa rich fibers in mind
as fresh lumber woods, papers and cereals, veggies won't have any until they decompose, which will also take a while because
most if not all are chemically treated. The recycled pulp bedding and unbleached paper towels may be the only exception of
just getting things straight out of the yard for untreated materials.
Protozoas themselves are valuable to the compost and garden among their many other helpful microorganisms even if you don't
want any of these guys in your own food. They don't eat wood but other bacteria and fungi and their waste makes minerals where
termites also gather their essential vits.