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Using natural pesticides to control termitesFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was conducted to determine the effectiveness of using natural pesticides to control termites. The science fair project was carried out using boric acid, lemon juice, tomato juice and vinegar.

Hypothesis

Boric acid and vinegar will keep the termites away.

Scientific Terms

Natural pesticides, chemical, contaminate, ground water

Background

Natural pesticides

Pesticides are used in homes, gardens and farms to kill or deter pests and insects. Insects and pests need to be kept away because they cause diseases and cause damage to property. Some pests like the cockroach  are also very unhygienic.
Household pesticides are usually made of chemicals that are harmful to our health,   especially to children. When a spray-can of insecticide is emptied,  the fumes and chemicals spread everywhere and are inhaled. Farmers also used pesticides to protect their crops and increase yield. However, these pesticides seep into the soil, contaminate ground water and hence,  adversely affect the food chain.

Natural pesticides are products made of only naturally occuring substances. They do not contain any chemicals in them and are not harmful to our health or the environment. Examples of natural pesticides are lemon juice, cucumber peel and bay leaves which help to keep ants away. Research indicates that tTermites and cockroaches may be kept away with borax (or boric acid). Honey is very useful in attracting flies and used as fly traps. This experiment will help us ascertain whether termites are indeed repelled by borax and vinegar (acetic acid).
 

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Complexity level:
5
Project cost ($):
10
Time required:
1 day to prepare, 1 hour for observation
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

The termites used in the experiment should be destroyed and disposed of.  An adult is required to help handle the termites, and the acid.