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Managing tomato pests using Lantana camara and papaya leaves

Dear members,

Today I bring to you a technology from a farmer using Lanatan camara and Pawpaw leaves to control tomato pests. Please enjoy the reading and share any feedback.

Tomato is one of the crops that are profitable both on large and small scale. The crop however has a wide range of pest and diseases to the level that growing it without measure to control them is almost impossible in most places. Most farmers therefore indiscriminately apply large amounts of synthetic chemicals to control them. This poses a risk to the consumers and the environment on top of increasing production costs. Eresi, a farmer from Masindi now uses Latana camara and pawpaw leaves to control pests in tomato.

The process

She grinds 1kg of fresh lantana camara and 1kg of fresh pawpaw leaves. She then dissolves a piece of washing soap equal to the size of a match box in four litres of water and adds this soapy water to the pounded leaves. After this, she filters the mixture through a cloth and sprays it on the crop one a week.  

Please kindly share with us your experience and/or comments about this technology 


I thank the farmer for being so creative that she is able to come up with a solution to the problem It is easy to formulate, use and has no after effects.

Thank you so much Possiano for sharing this insightful piece of farmer's local knowledge. I just have some observations; which specific pests does the farmer control using this concoction? when does the farmer start spraying and for how long? you mentioned " spray on crop one a week" at the end of the farmer's process; what does this mean?. In case I want to preserve this concoction or even recommend it to my fellow farmers (in which case, they may request me to prepare for them-which is definately a source of income for me and my family), how can I preserve it and for how long?

I my village, we use lantana camara leaves to control cassava (chips) storage pests especially the larger grain borer (which is common under poor cassava drying conditions). Though this pest is not of much economic importance, they cause serous losses under negligence.

Dear Tonny,

Thanks for your interest in knowing more about the Lantana camara and pawpaw leaf concoction. I managed to get in touch with the farmer and here are some more insights she shared. She starts spraying after seeing pests or their damage on the crop and there after, spraying continues once a week irrespective of the presence or absence of the pest on the crop. The farmer has not taken note of the specific pests the concoction controls. However, she knows that before she started using this concoction, she had to spray with pesticides once or twice in two weeks. The use of this concoction has helped her do away with the pesticide use. She therefore thinks the concoction controls most common tomato pests. The farmer has not tried preserving the concoction as she prepares a new concoction every time she has to spray.

Thanks again Tonny and everyone for your contribution

Emmanuel Ngolobe's picture

Thanks dear team
Lantana camara, the herbaceous flower lantana is a common weed in our communities and has become a garden staple problem at some point. Usually orange with clusters of yellow, this shrub-like perennial can become invasive where not controlled. Also found in pinks and reds, it is a sun lover but is very tolerant of a variety of conditions. its oil or liquid is aroma-therapeutic and has insecticidal properties.


The maize grain weevil can cause widespread damage to stored corn crops. Lantana camara has been shown to be effective in preventing these insects from destroying grain. The liquid or oil distilled from the plant is a recommended insecticide for silo storage to prevent both beetles and their larva from infesting grain. Similarly, methanol and chloroform extracts from lantana show a high mortality in termite populations. The root knot nematode causes damage to root vegetables and is a threat to the human food supply. The lantana plant extracts can kill nematodes with a good concentration of a four-component distillation derived from the plant. This includes the flowers, small fruits, leaves and roots.

Beneficial Compounds

The most promising uses of Lantana camara require distilling the oil or liquid from the plant. In insecticidal trials, the entire plant is used: root, bark, flowers and leaves. The plant carries several beneficial compounds, most notably Cameroon oil from the leaves (Liquid extract from the leaves). This is the active pesticide that causes a high mortality rate in the grain weevil. The methanol and chloroform from the flowers results in termite mortality. Four groups of Triterpenes have inhibit the root knot nematode.

Once the liquid has been pressed from the plant, the leaves of the Lantana camara can be crushed and put in with stored grain to reduce weevil populations. The methanol and chloroform distillations are presented as a gas to kill termite populations in much the same way that fumigation is commonly performed. The sesquiterpenes that are effective against the root knot nematode are introduced to soil in a saturating solution, generally mixed with water.
However the extract can also be used to contral aphids and fruitflies due to the aroma of the lantana extract.

Dear Emmanuel, thanks very much for these interesting and informative insights. Any Idea on how long the Lantana camara treatment provides protection to stored grain?

Karin Nichterlein's picture

For more information on Lantana camara, the plant, habit, habitate and uses and control, see a fact sheet on Lantana published by the Asia - Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network: http://www.fao.org/forestry/13375-06ba52ce294a4e15f8264c42027052db0.pdf

Are there any safety issues to be consired for farm animals or humans when using the leaf extract of Lantana?


is other parts of Lantana camara exhibit antimicrobial,fungicidal properties ,except leaf extracts?  because plant extract & oil of Lantana is used to herbal medicine.so those does not cause toxic to animals/humans.

Thank you for sharing this method; it is very creative and resourceful.

After reading a few different articles about Lantana camara and pest control, there have been notices about safety issues for farm animals as it is toxic. According to the University of Georgia's Herbarium files of Poisonous Plants (http://www.plantbio.uga.edu/PPG/Plant%20Summary%20Pages/Lantana_camara.htm), poisoning will occur after eating more than 3 milligrams of foliage per kilogram of body weight. Thus, something weighing 50 kilos would be poisoned after 150 milligrams or .15 grams of foliage, so it appears to be quite toxic. However, the University of Georgia recommends activated charcoal as a successful treatment for Latana toxicity in animals.

I am curious, does the spray, as it uses soap create any type of build up on the leaves or plant?

Thanks again for sharing this practice.

Can we use Lantana camara as green manure or green leaf manure?


Karin Nichterlein's picture

Yes, Lantana camara can be used as green manure, as you can see from a couple of references on its use in India, Nepal and Kenya, details please see:

Use of Lantana and Eupatorium as Green Manure in Rainfed Maize-Wheat System in North-West Himalayas, http://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:ijws&volume=38&issue=3and4&article=017


Tithonia diversifolia as a green manure for soil fertility improvement in western Kenya: A review http://www.betuco.be/agroforestry/Tithonia%20diversifolia%20kenya.pdf