Dr. Deborah Waller, Old Dominion University

Publication Date

Summer 2022

Document Type







Spices offer an environmentally friendly method of controlling ants (Formicidae) in homes. In this study, I used three bioassays to examine the effect of Turmeric (Curcuma longa) and one bioassay to examine the effect of Chili Powder as repellents for ants. Tests were conducted near active ants outdoors. All bioassays examined paired control and treatment baits along a transect, and control baits consisted of a small sheet of corrugated cardboard (a sterile yet easy to manipulate substrate) with granulated sugar on top. In the first bioassay, treatment baits were similar to controls but with Turmeric covering the sugar. In the second and third bioassays, treatment baits had a ring of Turmeric surrounding the sugar on the substrate. In all Turmeric-focused bioassays, a Sign Test demonstrated that Turmeric holds significant possibility as a repellent for ants but needs further study. Finally, the fourth bioassay was conducted as the first, but with Chili Powder in place of the Turmeric and showed no statistical differences between the control and treatment groups.

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