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Effect of Bird's Eye chili(i.e. capsicum frutescen) on Gryllus assimilis (the common black cricket)Featured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science project was conducted to determine if Bird's Eye chili can be used as a form of deterrent against Gryllus assimilis (the common black cricket). The experiment was done by spraying various concentrations of Bird's Eye chili extract on crickets.

Hypothesis

Bird's Eye chili extract will repel and even kill crickets.

Scientific Terms

Natural pesticides, capsicum frutescen, ground water

Background

Natural pesticides

We normally use chemical pesticides in our homes and gardens to kill or deter pests and insects. This is because insects such as mosquitoes are not only a nuisance, they also spread diseases. Other pests like termites can damage our property and caterpillars eat away at the leaves of our plants. Other insects like the cricket make very annoying noises.
Chemical pesticides are very effective but they can also be very harmful to our health.

Young children are especially vulnerable of the side effects of chemical pesticides. When we use a can of pesticide spray, often, a small percentage of its fumes is inhaled. Pesticides used in farms to protect the crops seep into the soil and contaminate our ground water resources.

Natural pesticides are a much safer way to keep pests and insects away without harming our environment. Since natural pesticides are made of natural substances, they will not harm us. Examples of how natural pesticides are used include the use of borax acid to repel termites and cockroaches. Lemon juice, bay leaves and cucumber peel help to keep ants away. Pepper spray can repel and kill crickets.

The Bird's Eye chili

The Bird's Eye chili fruit comes in a few varieties an can be either  red, yellow, purple or black in color. Once upon a time, it was listed in the Guiness Book of World Records as the hottest chili in the world, but today, even hotteer species of chilis have been identified, such as the Habanero chili (Capsicum chinense) which is rated 100,000–350,000 on the Scoville scale. The Bird's Eye chili is a popular condiment use din Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Filipino and south-east Asian Chinese cuisine.
 

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Complexity level:
5
Project cost ($):
20
Time required:
1 day to prepare for this science project, 1 hour for observation
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Avoid letting the chili juice come into contact with your eyes or other sensitive parts of your skin. Wear safety goggles as as precaution. Ensure that you use gloves when handling the chili.