Nut Grass and Bignay Bark Extracts as Effective Termite Killer

Topics: Cyperus rotundus, Cyperus, Fruit Pages: 16 (4361 words) Published: August 24, 2013
Chapter I


A. Background of Study

 Termite is a common name for numerous species of social insects that can damage wooden structures such as furniture or houses. Of about 2000 known species, most are distributed in tropical countries and some inhabit the temperate regions of North and South America; two have become established in southern Europe. Termites are known also as white ants, a misnomer based on superficial similarities in the appearance and habits of these two insect groups. True ants belong to a more advanced insect order that includes also the bees and the wasps. Termites are relatively primitive; they have thick waists and soft bodies and undergo incomplete metamorphosis (see Insect: Metamorphosis). Nevertheless, they have developed remarkable patterns of social behavior that are almost as elaborate as those of the ants.

To prevent damage by termites, building foundations should be built of materials other than wood. Because cracks may develop in such foundations and provide passageways to the wooden parts of the structure, the soil should be treated first with an insecticide to discourage termitic incursions. Control is obtained also by using wood treated with creosote or some other poisonous chemical. Because most worker termites cannot live without moisture, the termitaries should be exposed to dry air.

Meanwhile, Nut Grass (Cyperus rotundus (coco-grass, purple nut sedge, red nut sedge) is a species of sedge (Cyperaceae) native to Africa, southern and central Europe (north to France and Austria), and southern Asia. Also, found throughout the Philippines; a common weed in gardens, lawns and wastelands.

Cyperus rotundus is a perennial plant, that may reach a height of up to 40 cm. The names "nut grass" and "nut sedge" (shared with the related species Cyperus esculentus) are derived from its tubers, that somewhat resemble nuts, although botanically they have nothing to do with nuts.

The root system of a young plant initially forms white, fleshy rhizomes. Some rhizomes grow upward in the soil, then form a bulb-like structure from which new shoots and roots grow, and from the new roots, new rhizomes grow. Other rhizomes grow horizontally or downward, and form dark reddish-brown tubers or chains of tubers. Plants like Nut Grass excrete essential oils and have been identified as significant organic insect repellents. Experts call such plants are Terpetenoids.

On the other hand. Bignay (Antidesma bunius) is a species of fruit tree in the Phyllanthaceae. It is native to Southeast Asia and northern Australia. Its common Philippine name and other names include bignay,[1] bugnay or bignai, Chinese-laurel,[1] Herbert River-cherry,[1] Queensland-cherry,[1] salamander-tree,[1] wild cherry,[1] and currant tree.[1] This is a variable plant which may be short and shrubby or tall and erect, approaching 30 meters in height. It has large oval shaped leathery evergreen leaves up to about 20 centimeters long and seven wide. They are attached to the twigs of the tree with short petioles, creating a dense canopy.

The species is dioecious, with male and female flowers growing on separate trees. The flowers have a strong, somewhat unpleasant scent. The staminate flowers are arranged in small bunches and the pistillate flowers grow on long racemes which will become the long strands of fruit. The fruits are spherical and just under a centimeter wide, hanging singly or paired in long, heavy bunches. They are white when immature and gradually turn red, then black.

Each bunch of fruits ripens unevenly, so the fruits in a bunch are all different colors. The skin of the fruit has red juice, while the white pulp has colorless juice. The fruit contains a light-colored stone. The fruit has a sour taste similar to that of the cranberry when immature, and a tart but sweet taste when ripe. This tree is cultivated across its native range and the fruits are most often used for making jam. It is...
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