Rice porridge or gruel is a common healthy light food in Kerala. It is made by boiling rice with plenty of water. Though it is consumed as food, its liquid part, which is called as rice water (Kanjivellam) is beneficial in many other ways.
Rice water is a well-known nourishing organic fertiliser for the plants. But not many might be aware of its use as a pest control. Insects like fruit flies, plant lice, flea beetle, aphids and other pests can be reduced using rice water.
Bitter gourd / Snake gourd
A rice water trap can be prepared to get rid of fruit flies that attack bitter gourd and snake gourd.
Take fermented rice water up to one fourth of a coconut shell and add a piece of jaggery and one gram furadan in it.
Hang the shell in the garden in the same height of the vegetables.
The smell of jaggery and rice water will attract the fruit flies and they will die soon after consuming the liquid.
Curry leaf plant
Jumping plant louse or psyllids and caterpillars are the insects that commonly attack curry plant.
Take some fermented rice water and add two times more water in it.
Sprinkle this solution on curry plant and the insects will get trapped in the sticky fluid.
Apply this solution once in a week to get rid of the pests and boost growth of curry plant.
The major enemy of long beans is aphid or plant louse which spreads very fast.
This black louse rest on the tender shoots of long beans and multiply rapidly killing the plant.
To destroy aphids, sprinkle fresh, unfermented rice water on long beans plant by 11 in the morning.
Repeat the treatment at least thrice a week for better results.
Thrips are minute insects that eat up chlorophyll of the leaves of tomato plants and slowly kill the plant.
To destroy thrips, sprinkle rice water on tomato plant early in the morning.
Repeat the treatment thrice a week in the early hours of morning.
Rice water as fertiliser
Rice water can be used as an effective fertliser also. Mix fermented rice water with some groundnut cake.
Dilute this solution and pour at the bottom of the plants like spinach, long beans, okra, tomato and other vegetables.