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Natural pesticides and antsFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This science fair project was conducted to find out the effectiveness of using natural pesticides to control ants around the house. The science fair project was done using lemon juice, apple juice, tomato juice and carrot juice.

Hypothesis

Lemon juice is more effective as a pesticide, than apple, tomato or carrot juice, against ants.

Scientific Terms

Natural pesticides, chemical pesticides, nicotine, toxic

Background

Natural pesticides

Pesticides are substances used to kill or to keep insects and pests at bay, away from our homes, gardens and farms. These insects are a nuisance as they damage property and cause diseases. These pests are also unhygienic. Most commercially available pesticides contain chemicals that are harmful to our health. When we empty a can of insecticide spray, some of these fumes are inevitably inhaled and enter our lungs. The pesticide used by farmers also seep into the soil and contaminate our food chain and drinking water.

An alternative to using chemical pesticides is natural pesticides. These are naturally produced substances in plants. These natural pesticides are usually very safe for use and cause no harrm to the environment. However not all natural pesticides are completely safe. Nicotine which is derived from tobacco is very addictive and to some extent, even more toxic than many chemical pesticides.

Examples of natural pesticides are lemon juice, bay leaves or cucumber peel. Borax, a salt crystal, can be used in powder form to keep termites and cockroaches away. Honey can be used to attract flies and trap flies – once they flies land on the honey, the honey sticks to their feet and prevents them from escaping.

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

Handle ants carefully. They bite! Adult supervision or assistance required