EFFECT OF LOCALLY PREPARED COMPOUNDS ON THE RESISTANCE OF GUM ARABIC WOOD TO TERMITE ATTACK
Alkali, U. U. and Muktar, A.
Journal Title:Journal of Environmental Issues and Agriculture in Developing Countries
The effect of three locally prepared compounds (table salt,potash and tamarind leave extract) and their combinations as preservatives of gum Arabic tree (Acacia senegal) wood against attack by termites was investigated in a 12-week experiment in Yobe State of Nigeria. One hundred and ninety two (192) wood samples of same dimensions were cut from branches of freely growing gum Arabic trees. The samples were carefully debarked to avoid scaring the wood, rinsed in clean water and oven-dried at 105 ± 3 o C until constant weight was achieved. The samples were then weighed and measured for length and diameter and then exposed to three termite mounds of similar size housing the same subterranean termite species (Macrotermes bellicosus) for 12 weeks at 3 different locations using a randomised complete block design. At the end of the 12th week, they were removed, rinsed and oven-dried, weighed and inspected for possible damage. Treated wood samples were heavier, longer and had bigger diameters than the untreated control. Location had no significant effect on the extent of termite attack. It was concluded that the compounds in test could have either toxic, repellent or both effects on the insect, thus suggesting that the compounds have high potential as wood preservatives.