|Environmentally Sound Technologies for Women in Agriculture (IIRR, 1996, 213 p.)|
|Pests and pesticides|
Mosquitoes and sandflies
- Neem oil is more effective against Anopheles mosquitoes (which carry malaria) than Culex mosquitoes (vectors of filaria ).
- Neem oil is also very effective in repelling sandflies.
Mosquitoes are a terrible nuisance, both in urban and rural areas of the country. They also transmit dangerous diseases, such as malaria, filaria, Japanese encephalitis, and dengue fever.
A number of mosquito repellents are used in India. Many of these repellents contain synthetic chemicals which can be harmful with prolonged exposure. Many people are also allergic to the vapours of these chemicals. There is an alternative. Neem oil is an excellent mosquito repellent. It is safe, cheap, and simple to use.
Application on skin-Buy fresh neem oil in the market or press dry neem seed kernels to obtain the oil. Mix 2 ml of neem oil in 100 ml of coconut or mustard oil. Apply about a teaspoon of the mixture on exposed parts of the body such as the face, arms, and legs. One application of neem before going to bed in the evening will repel mosquitoes for 12 hours.
Neem oil in kerosene lamp-Use a tin lamp, 100 ml capacity, without a chimney. Mix 2 ml of neem oil with 100 ml of kerosene. Allow the kerosene to burn all night. Vapours from the lamp will keep mosquitoes away.
Powdered neem in water-Add 10 g of powdered neem cake to 100 litres of stagnant water (for instance, in household water tanks). This will prevent mosquito larvae in the water from developing.
Neem oil on heated mats-Make a 5 percent solution of neem oil in acetone. Apply this to a used mosquito mat for use in a commercially available mat heater. Mats, impregnated with nonneem-based repellent, and heater units are available under the brand name Baygon.
Contributor. Dr. V.P. Sharma