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Aphid alert!

February 4, 2011

Everybody in the Chiang Mai valley (northern Thailand) should pay extra attention to their garden ornamentals right now! This time of the year, aphids tend to attack Gliricidia sepium, Gardenia spp., and even bamboo leaves.

You do not have to buy commercial insecticides. Collect, crush and soak 1.5 kg of fresh neem (Azadirachta indica, Meliaceae) leaves in 3 litres of water over night. Filter the cocktail, at Dokmai Garden we use an old shirt, and pour the extract into a spraying bottle (you can use a large leaf for a temporary funnel). Spray the aphids, which should die in two days. You can not store this neem solution longer than a day, not even in the fridge according to our experience, so spray anything attacked by aphids to limit the damage. The neem tree’s natural insecticide which you have borrowed, degrades quickly, which is why you do not have to fear prolonged poison effects as with many commercial pesticides.

Eric Danell

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