Larval management of the malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae Giles s.s., has been successful in reducing disease transmission. However, pesticides are not affordable to farmers in remote villages in Mali, and in other material resource poor countries. Insect resistance to insecticides and nontarget toxicity pose additional problems. Neem (Azadirachta indica A. Juss) is a tree with many beneficial, insect bioactive compounds, such as azadirachtin. We tested the hypothesis that neem leaf slurry is a sustainable, natural product, anopheline larvicide. A field study conducted in Sanambele (Mali) in 2010 demonstrated neem leaf slurry can work with only the available tools and resources in the village. Laboratory bioassays were conducted with third instar An. gambiae and village methods were used to prepare the leaf slurry. Experimental concentration ranges were 1,061–21,224 mg/L pulverized neem leaves in distilled water. The 50 and 90% lethal concentrations at 72 h were 8,825 mg/L and 15,212 mg/L, respectively. LC concentrations were higher than for other parts of the neem tree when compared with previous published studies because leaf slurry preparation was simplified by omitting removal of fibrous plant tissue. Using storytelling as a medium of knowledge transfer, villagers combined available resources to manage anopheline larvae. Preparation of neem leaf slurries is a sustainable approach which allows villagers to proactively reduce mosquito larval density within their community as part of an integrated management system.
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Vol. 49 • No. 6