Trials for the control of soil pests, particularly of termites (Isoptera: Termiti-dae), in groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea) in India and Sudan used chlorpyrifos and isofenphos granules, chlorpyrifos, phorate, carbosulfan and carbofuran in controlled release formulations, and chlorpyrifos seed dressing. Their effects on foliar pests were also noted. Chlorpyrifos controlled release pellets were as effective as aldrin, used as a standard, in reducing root and pod attack and, like aldrin, doubled yields. Isofenphos and chlorpyrifos granules increased yields and reduced pod damage, but to a lesser extent. Other treatments were less effective. Carbosulfan and phorate controlled release and isofenphos granules reduced leaf miner attack. These trials establish the efficacy of controlling termites and other soil pests with controlled release formulations of otherwise non-persistent insecticides. However, the expensive formulation is unlikely to be cost-effective for rural farmers in developing countries and, in the case of chlorpyrifos, residue levels in kernels may be unacceptable. Future work should investigate other insecticides in the formulation and development of cheaper controlled release matrices.