Ant Genocide!

It's a good thing! By: Hayden De Voe

Purpose

The purpose of this expirement is to find a more effective way of killing ants faster and not putting Raid into the ground or in harms way of any one else.

Problem

What kills ants the fastest out of lemon juice, orange juice, vinegar water, soap water, and Raid?

Research

In this experiment many aspects must be researched. Three main parts was one, the actual test subject which is the ant specimen. The second part was actually what was being tested for and how it was happening. That would be the fatality rate of the poison and what it is actually doing to kill the ant. The final part was what is doing all this. This composes of all the elements used in

home remedies as well as name brand.


In this experiment many aspects must be researched. Three main parts was one, the actual test subject which is the ant specimen. The second part was actually what was being tested for and how it was happening. That would be the fatality rate of the poison and what it is actually doing to kill the ant. The final part was what is doing all this. This composes of all the elements used in home remedies as well as name brand.


Ants are small insects that come in brown, black, red, and yellow. They organize themselves in colonies and are very social insects that rely on each other. They are in the same order as bees and wasps. Ant size can vary from one inch the one twenty fifth of an inch. Ant colony sizes can come in dozens, hundreds, thousands, and sometimes even millions. There are one or more queen(s) whose main job is to lay eggs to populate for the colony. The queen is often larger than the workers. The rest of the colony consists of workers who are females that build the nest, find food, or care for the queen and young. Makes with wings come a at certain times during the year to mate with the queen. The larvae are the ant young. Worker ants can be found outside the nest. There are over ten thousand ant species but an estimated twenty to thirty thousand in total. Ants live everywhere but areas where it is cold. Ants live in tunnels, mounds, and hollows of trees as well as other places. Ants have an exoskeleton on the outside of their body to serve as protection. The body consists of a head, thorax, and abdomen. The head consists of the antennae, eyes, and the mouth parts. The mouth has the mandibles and the maxillae. The mandible is sideways and only opens left and right. It is what is used to grab food and transport or pick up certain items. The maxillae are in the back and are smaller. They are used to chew the food into smaller particles. In the mouth all the liquid in food is squeezed out and digested while the solid parts are spit back up in the form of pellets. In this case in the experiment a liquid poison would be far more effective than solid poison. The thorax is the middle of the body. This is where the wings are attached if the ant has them. Six legs are attached under the thorax. Two claws are on each leg that is used when walking, climbing, also upside down. The abdomen consists of two parts. The first is the narrow waist part or the pedicel and then the bulb like end or the gaster. One or two segments attaches the gaster to the thorax called the petiole and the post petiole. Some ants have a venomous sting at the end of their gaster. Ants have simple internal organ system. They have a nerve cord running from the brain throughout the body with extra cords running throughout the body. The heart is a long tube going from the head to the gaster. Muscle contractions push blood up to the head. Once at the brain it empties out into the body cavity and comes back down, out side of the tube, and covers the organs in blood. Then once at the end the blood re enters the tube through special valves that only let blood in and not leak out. Ants have no lungs but rather air tubes throughout the body. Oxygen enters the body through openings called spiracles. Carbon dioxide also exits through the spiracles also. The digestive system is also a tube like system. When food goes through the mouth it enters the crop also know as the social stomach. Here food is stored but not digested. In some cases the ant will regurgitate the food and share with others. When the ant is hungry it will move the food to its second stomach for digestion. So if the ant isn't hungry, the rate of poison entering the digestive system is going to be less effective. Ants also have many sense organs crucial to its survival. The chief sense organ is their antennae. This is crucial of touch, taste, and smell. Ants are constantly moving thier antennae. They have two compound eyes, one in each side of the head. Each eye has six to a thousand lenses that turn vision into a picture composed of tiny bits. Ants have chordontal organs used for sensing vibrations. Finally ants have stridulatory organs used to make a buzzing sound to help with communication.


The effect of ph on enzyme activity could possibly be the reason certain home remedies kill ants so effectively. Acidic amino acids consist of carboxyl functional groups. Basic amino acids consist of amine functional groups. If the state of ionization (ph) is changed then the ionic bonds are changed. Those ionic bonds are the hydrogen bonds that make the folds in the amino acids that gives it it's special 3D shape. This shape determines it's function. If a certain acid or base is given to an ant it could change the ph therefore changing the shape of the enzymes in the body important or the ants survival. If the shape is changed the enzyme loses its crucial function and then becomes denatured.


One acid used as a home remedy to kill ants is lemon juice, or more specifically, citric acid. Lemon juice contains citric acid which is actually about 5-8%. It's used for alkyd resins, plasticizers, inks, and mordant. Citric acid is also used to clean and polish steel as well as serve as a preservative for color and flavor in canned fruit and fish. Fermentation of sugar and extraction of citric acid form lemon juice and commercial citric acid. Pure citric acids is crystallized, colorless, odorless, and has a pleasant, sour taste. It is soluble in water and melts at 153 degree Celsius. Citric acids combines with metals to form citrate salts.


Two strong scented and tasting foods are also used as remedies. One of them is cinnamon. Cinnamon is a popular spice in candies and preserves. It comes from the inner bark of cinnamon trees. A the bark dries it's browns and curls up and then is sold as a stick. Cassia oil is similar to cinnamon and is used just as much. Since the oil is liquid form it can effect ants much faster. The second remedies is peppermint. Peppermint is a very strong perennial herb of the mint family. It is grown for the fragrance from its leaves. It is used to flavor candies, medicine, mouthwashes, and toothpaste. It is also great as a medicine for toothaches and colic. Menthol is also made to form peppermint.

Hypothesis

If the solution contains and item that either denatures the ants proteins or inhibits breathing it will then kill faster than the raid spray.

Materials

30 ants (for killing test)

30 ants (for repellant test)

Two glass pans

Non-Scented Cooking grease

Stirring Sticks

Peppermint (candied form)

Cinnamon (powder form)

Lemon Juice (pure, no additives)

Orange Juice

Spray Bottle (2)

Common Store Brand Ant Repellant and Killer (Raid)

Timer

Procedures

Take one glass pan and the non scented cooking grease. Coat the edges thoroughly so that no ants will be able to climb up the sides.

Take lemon juice and pour into spray bottle as well as the orange juice in the other spray bottle

Place 5 ants in the pan

Spray them with approx. 5 sprays of the lemon juice

After spraying time the ants until the time at which they stop moving (considering the are unable to move and be active they are function less and dead)

In a data table record the time it took for each individual ant to become motionless

Clean the pan and repeat steps 1,3,4,5,6

Average out the average time it took to kill all the ants with lemon juice

Clean out the pan

Repeat steps 1,3,4,5,6,7 but this time use the orange juice

After testing those 10 ants in their 2 sets of 5 average out the average time it took to kill them all with orange juice.

Repeat steps 1,3,4,5,6,7 but this time use the store bought common an killer (Raid)

After testing those 10 ants in their 2 sets of 5 average out the average time it took to kill them all with the store bought common an killer (Raid)

Repeat the same way you did with Raid with soap water and vinegar water.

Make two separate graphs. One including all 30 ants results and another graph showing only the groups averages.

Variables

Dependent variable- Time taken to kill ants in minutes and seconds

Independent variable – Soultion used to kill ant

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Analysis

In the experiment it was noticed that all substance other than raid spray proved effective in killing ants. However, a substance such as soap water is best for killing ants because of its ability for quick suffocation. Lemon juice, orange juice, and vinegar water is also very effective just not as fast. Based on the data not one of the solutions used was ineffective. All 5 proved very good in killing ants in a short matter of time. The average of all 5 substance was 2 minutes and 4 seconds in killing ants.However it came down to which substance could do it the fastest. Soap water was most effective in killing ants with a mean time of 26 seconds. The next best was the raid spray with a mean of 40 seconds, which is a 14 second difference. Orange juice has a mean of 2 minutes and 46 seconds, vinegar water with a mean of 2 minutes and 9 seconds, and lemon juice with a mean of 4 minutes and 11 seconds. All substances killed very fast but soap water was the fastest. This shows that suffocation kills more effectively than harsh chemicals used in the commercial spray raid and the acidity in the other 3 substances.

A major reason soap water was so effective in killing ants was its ability to suffocate the ants. Ants breathe from their body rather than a normal human circulatory system. The soap clogs their pores connecting to their blood vessels and capallaries restricting oxygen to pass into their blood stream. This results in quick death. Raid also proved effective because it's chemical content. Harsh chemicals give variations of effects in the ant for a well rounded kill. The acidic substances also gave a fair fight because their ability to denature the ants proteins. The acidic levels rose when sprayed and soaked causing normal body function enzymes to denature and change their shape and stop working overall causing the ants to die, but not that quickly. Soap however was the quickest and luckily is the cleanest of all the substance and less harsh on the environment, water systems and human contact making the best, well rounded ant killer.

Conclusion

In the experiment it was noticed that all substance other than raid spray proved effective in killing ants. However, a substance such as soap water is best for killing ants because of its ability for quick suffocation. Lemon juice, orange juice, and vinegar water is also very effective just not as fast. The hypothesis was supported about half way. The soap water did kill faster than the raid by suffocation but the acidic levels in the other substances did not kill faster than the raid but still achieved agreat time.

Sources of Error

Big sources of error were included in the ants evnviorment. The bucket was ridged at the bottom so substance collected in those areas resulting in some ants getting a little more soaked than the others which could have resulted in different times of death. Another problem was when the ants were shipped some were weaker and not all of them were in the same physically and metal shape which could have meant some were already close to death. Some corrections would be to be live ants from a pet store rather than online and to the expirement withing hours ofgetting the live ants. Also, getting a level container to contain the ants would result in less collecting of substance and more effect.

Improvements

Improvements to the design itself would include changing the number of trials. Testing on time can be very tricking and having at least 100 more trials would give more exact data. Also, testing more than just the 5 substancie such as a total of 10 substances could give a broader spectrum of effects. Continuing this project with ideas of actually making a soultion or two of your own and testing it to get more effect and more friendly use.

Application

This matters because Raid spray can be harming to the evnviorment, watersystems, and or human contact such as children. Discovering that soap water kills faster than raid it can be used in place of raid in a commercial use. Considering soap is not as dangerous it will be a lot more environmental friendly as well as too humans. Even though the other substances such as lemon juice, orange juice, and vinegar water are more eviormentally friendly but still did not kill faster than raid but still should be used in the place of it.