CHAPTER I THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND I. INTRODUCTION Various known plants in the Philippines are considered as weeds. One of which is the Tithonia diversifolia that is commonly known as Wild Sunflower. While it is considered as wild plant, it is also recognized for its significant uses in poultry, agricultural industry and pesticide industry and medicine. The uses and significance of wild sunflower in the Philippines are yet to be introduced and popularized. Wild sunflower, a shrub, can be spotted by the roadside.
Aside from the nutritional components that can be obtained from its leaves, reports indicate that the extract from the leaves contains insecticidal properties. One of the most successful of all insects, ants can be a serious nuisance pest in homes, hospitals, restaurants and other buildings. Their ubiquitous nature and social structure make them particularly difficult to control. Small proportions of ants feed on and contaminate our food stuffs that make us consider them as pest on our homes and buildings.
The most effective way of inhibiting damages caused by household ants is to ward off these pests using suitable methods. II. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM The aim of this study is to utilize these plants for the production of insecticide because of their insecticidal properties. Specifically, it aims to answer the following questions: 1. What is/are the insecticidal component/s of the Tithonia diversifolia leaves extract? 2. How does the aqueous extract solution compare to the commercially-available insecticides in terms of the following: 2. Physical properties 2. 2. 1 Color 2. 2. 2 Odor 2. 2. 3 Density 2. 2 Chemical Properties 2. 3. 4 pH 2. 3. 5 Combustibility 2. 3. 6 Flammability 3. Is there a significant difference between the aqueous extract solution and the commercially-available insecticide in terms of physical and chemical properties? 4. What is/are the effect/s of the solution on the subjects being tested? III. NULL HYPOTHESIS There is no significant difference in the properties of the aqueous extract solution compared to the commercially-available insecticide. IV. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The research involves the use of Tithonia diversifolia leaves extract as control against common household ants. This study can help to define other possible uses for the plant other than being used as ornaments. This study aimed to the lessen dependence on commercially-available insecticides. This study offers an alternative feedstock in the production of insecticide. The expected cost of production will also be significantly less since the source would be easily accessible as it is a widely spread shrub growing on plains and near roadsides.
This study also benefits the members of the community by providing an alternative solution to the problem of ant infestations in the household. This study aimed to provide scientific basis for the wild sunflower leaves in insecticide. It is hoped that this information can be used for the possible exploitation of this species for various research and insecticide purposes. This paper is hoped to serve as reference for future studies relating the same field. V. SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This research focuses on using the extract of Tithonia diversifolia as control for common household ants. This study discusses the insecticidal component of the extract and how it compares to the commercially-available insecticide in the country. This study utilizes processes such as drying, pulverizing, dissolving, settling, filtering, evaporating and mixing to obtain the aqueous solution using the Tithonia diversifolia leaves. This study also examines the possible methods of application of the extract as an ant control.
This experiment is limited to common household ants, which can be seen in most households. The study does not include the percentage mortality of common household ants after treatment with the aqueous extract solution. VI. THEORETICAL/CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK The extraction from the Tithonia diversifolia leaves follows the next steps: Input Process Output Fig1. Research Paradigm of the Study The above paradigm shows the summary of the process. Tithonia diversifolia leaves will be collected and processed.
The process includes: air drying at room temperature for one to two weeks, pulverizing the dry leaves into powder, sieving of fine from coarse particles (60 mesh), dissolving the fine powder using distilled water, settling for 24 hours, filtration of the solvent using filter paper, evaporation of the filtrate by water bath at 40°C until a concentrated solution is obtained and mixing the concentrated solution with distilled water to produce the insecticide. The insecticide will be tested to common household ants. VII. DEFINITION OF TERMS
For better understanding of the study, the following terms were defined operationally. Aqueous Extract. Aqueous extract is an extract prepared by evaporating a watery solution of the soluble principles of a vegetable drug to a semisolid or solid consistency (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). In the study, an aqueous extract is defined as the mixture of water and the liquid obtained from the Wild Sunflower leaves. Ant. Ant is any of a family (Formicidae) of colonial hymenopterous insects with a complex social organization and various castes performing special duties (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012).
In this study, an ant is defined as a black or red insect that can be spotted in most households. Dissolve. Dissolve is to cause to disperse or disappear (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). In the study, dissolve is defined as the act of melting the fine powder into the distilled water. Entomologist. An entomologist is a zoologist who focuses specifically on the study of insects (Wise Geek, 2012). In the study, entomologist is defined as expert who specializes in insects studies. Evaporate. Evaporate is to convert into vapour (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012).
In the study, evaporate is defined as the act of removing the excess moisture of the leaves by applying heat. Filter. Filter is to pass or move through or as if through a filter (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). In the study, filter is defined as the act of separating the liquid water from the suspended leaves. Feedstock. Feedstock is a raw material supplied to a machine or processing plant (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). In this study, a feedstock is defined as a raw material used as an input in a process to produce a particular output or product. Infestation.
Infestation is the state of being infested or being swarmed, overran or swarmed about in (Grolier New Webster Dictionary, 1999). In this study, an infestation is defined as the inhabitation of a large number of pests in a particular place. Insecticide. Insecticide is an agent that destroys insect (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). In this study, an insecticide is defined as a substance which is used to kill pests. Pulverize. Pulverize is to reduce to small particles (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). In the study, pulverize is defined as the act of grinding or crushing the leaves into a powder. Settle.
Settle is to cause to pack down (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). In the study, settle is defined as letting the powder in the solution to stay at the bottom. Shrub. Shrub is a low usually several-stemmed woody plant (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). In this study, a shrub is defined as a relatively low plant. Taxonomist. Taxonomist is a biologist who specializes in the classification of organisms into groups on the basis of their structure and origin and behaviour (English Test, 2012). In the study, taxonomist is defined as a biologist who specializes in the classification of plants and animals.
Tithonia diversifolia. Tithonia diversifolia is a woody herb or succulent shrub 1. 2-3m tall (Agroforestry, 2009). In this study, Tithonia diversifolia is the species of wild sunflower, which are widely grown, in the country. Weed. Weed is a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth; especially: one that tends to overgrow or choke out more desirable plants (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 2012). In this study, a weed is defined as a plant that is considered to be useless and unwanted; a nuisance.