A Progress Report on the Formulation of Basil and Aridan as Organic Toxicants
The most common insects associated with urban living include ants, mosquitoes, termites, houseflies, cockroaches, and wasps. Urban insects can never be eradicated entirely and reducing its populations and or contact with food is very important. Food vendors attract insects both at night or day which should be a concern for the spread of diseases vectored by these organisms. The use of synthetic pesticides to manage pest problems is a common practice by street vendors. Fish mongers are known to sprinkle field pesticides on fish or use burning kerosene lamps to repel flies. Repeated use of these chemicals may cause environmental hazards and various biochemical changes in non-target animals and may result in insects developing resistance against these chemistries. There is therefore the need to develop cheaper and safer alternative measures including plant-based products against urban insect pests. This study examined the need to pursue organic insecticides for use by street vendors and
also tested the formulation of a home-made bio-fumigant containing two spice crops: basil (akokobԑsa) and aridan (prԑkԑsԑ). The survey results from the 72 selected vendors who sold cooked food, vegetables/fruits, fish/meat, processed items, bread/savories and others (snail, mushroom, etc.) indicated that they all had challenges with insects. of the 72 respondents, 32 sold items during the day, 9 sold at night and 31 sold all day. Their insect control choices included: physical control (net, clothes), aerosol, fire/heat, fumigant, and others (creams). The vendors complained of the scent from burning fumigants (mosquito coil) which diffused into the commodity on sale making them unpleasant hence were willing to try alternatives. The homemade bio-fumigant made of cassava starch, sawdust and the active plant material had burning times between 142.6 ± 5.1 minutes (basil) and 241.6 ± 20.02 minutes (aridan) whilst the blank without an active plant material was 273.6 ± 5.12. The burning time was
inverse plant material density related. We have succeeded in formulating a bio-fumigant using cassava starch and two well cited bioactive plant materials but has to be tested on insects. The burning time also needs to be extended to at least the recommended 8 hours for most household self-burning insect fumigants.