Information on this subject area was requested by DCFRN Participants in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Sierra Leone, and Swaziland.
Presenter: George Atkins
Interviewee: Dr. Allen T. Knight
Before using the information in this item, please read Note 1 at the end of this item.
We at this radio station are part of a worldwide information network that gathers farming information from developing countries all over the world. It’s the Developing Countries Farm Radio Network, sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency, Massey Ferguson, and the University of Guelph.
Through this Network, we bring you information on ways to increase food supplies for your family, or to sell—ways that other farmers have used successfully.
Today we have information on a very lowcost method of controlling aphids in your crops. Here’s George Atkins.
They do a lot of damage to garden vegetable plants and young fruit trees.
You’ll find aphids on the young shoots or stalks and on the underside of the tender young leaves of these plants.
These insects don’t chew, bite, or sting—they suck the juice or sap from the tender parts of your plants. This makes the plants weak and unproductive.
Now Dr. Allen Knight has worked in Angola and Zaire for 34 years and he has a very inexpensive way of getting rid of aphids. He doesn’t need a sprayer and he doesn’t have to buy any insecticide—he prepares it himself. Here’s what it is.
Just take some laundry soap, cut it up into thin slices, and put it into 3 litres (quarts) of water; put it on the fire, bring it to the boiling point, and stir it up to get the soap completely dissolved—don’t let it overflow. Remove it from the fire—that’s very important, George. For safety’s sake, you must move it away from the fire about a metre (a yard) or two.
Then you put in diesel fuel. Stir it vigorously to make this white, bubbly mixture or emulsion. If you find there’s a layer of oil on top, that means that you haven’t stirred it enough. Then allow it to cool, add cold water to what you have prepared, and you can apply that to your plants. Of course it must be cool before it is applied.
It’s important to note, George, that soap that’s made from palm oil is not good for this purpose—it’s not at all effective. So don’t give up if you find that the first kind of soap that you try doesn’t give you results; try another kind.
In a moment, we’ll hear how much soap and diesel fuel Dr. Knight uses—but first, here, once again, is how he makes the insecticide.
- cut the soap into thin slices
- put it in 3 litres (3 quarts) of water
- boil it over the fire and stir it so the soap dissolves in the water
- take it well away from the fire and pour in the diesel fuel
- stir it vigorously so the diesel fuel totally disappears in the soapy water
- add cold water and stir again
- make sure it’s cool before you use it on the aphids on your plants
Now the quantities. I asked Dr. Knight how much soap to put into the water.
Slice up a piece of soap about the size of an egg. That’s how much soap you dissolve in 3 litres (3 quarts) of boiling water. To the soapy water, you add about 1/4 to 1/2 a litre, (1/4 to 1/2 a quart) of diesel fuel—or kerosene would do. After mixing that in vigorously and very thoroughly until it looks whitish, you add 7 litres (7 quarts) of cold water and mix again.
I must say here that it’s most important that the diesel fuel or kerosene be totally mixed or emulsified in the soapy water. If you don’t do this, the insecticide can damage your plants.
But now, see what you have—a good 10 litres (10 quarts) of insecticide for preventing the aphids from attacking your plants.
On our next program, Dr. Knight will give us some tips on how to do this. Here then are his final words for today.
Serving Agriculture, the Basic Industry, this is George Atkins.
1. Information in the next item in this Package, Item 7, Aphid Control at Little Cost (Part 2 Applying Your Homemade Aphid Insecticide), should be used following this one. It deals with other important aspects of the use of soap/diesel fuel insecticide described in this item.
2. Also in association with this item, you might wish to use information from:
Preventing Insect Pest Damage to Crops DCFRN Package 10, Item 9