Madre de cacao as natural insecticide, repellent, and rodenticidal

Common names: Kakawate, Madriado, Madre de cacao
Scientific name: Gliricidia sepium
Family: Leguminosae

Madre de cacao is a nitrogen-fixing tree. In some areas, it is referred to as a quick-stick due to its characteristic of growing almost right away just by cutting it and directly planting it in the ground. It is a fast growing tree with a maturity height of 10 meters (33 feet). It is adaptable to almost any soil environment, including infertile soils. It is tolerant to salt spray and water logging. It can tolerate drought for up to 6 to 8 months. This tree can be potentially weedy, but rarely causes a problem. Its ubiquitous characteristic makes it a good alternative for feeds due to its availability in almost all areas in the country.

Plant part used: Leaves and bark
Mode of action:Insecticidal, repellent, and rodenticidal

Madre de cacao leaf extract

½ kg of leaves
Grinder or mortar and pestle
Pail or basin

Method of preparation:

Grind or pound leaves.
Soak overnight in water.

How to use:
Add 20 liters of water
to the filtrate.
Spray on infested plant

Target pests:

Cabbage looper
Tobacco budworm
Whorl maggots


Madre de cacao & neem

1 kg of Madre de cacao leaves
1 kg of neem leaves

Method of preparation

Shred the leaves.
Soak leaves in 5 liters of water
for 3 days.

How to use
Add water to make up
20 liters of filtrate.
Spray on infested plants.
Spraying interval is 4-5 days.

Target pests
Blister beetles
Fall armyworm
White grubs

Madre de cacao & chili


2 kg of Madre de cacao leaves
12 pieces of chilies

Method of preparation
Grind Madre de cacao
leaves and chilies.
Soak in water overnight.

How to use
Add water to make up
20 liters of filtrate.
Spray on infested plants.

Target pests
Bean pod weevil
Various insect pests
in tomato seedlings


Standard procedures for the preparation and application of the plant extracts

1. Select plant parts that are free from diseases.
2. When storing the plant parts for future usage, make sure that they are properly dried and are stored in an airy container (never use plastic container), away from direct sunlight and moisture. Make sure that they are free from molds before using them.
3. Use utensils for the extract preparation that are not use for your food preparation and for drinking and cooking water containers. Clean properly all the utensils every time after using them.
4. Do not have a direct contact with the crude extract while in the process of the preparation and during the application.
5. Make sure that you place the plant extract out of reach of children and house pets while leaving it overnight.
6. Harvest all the mature and ripe fruits before plant extract application.
7. Always test the plant extract formulation on a few infested plants first before going into large scale spraying. When adding soap as an emulsifier, use a potash-based one.
8. Wear protective clothing while applying the extract.
9. Wash your hands after handling the plant extract.

Effect on humans: None
Effect on non-target organisms: None; foliage is used as feed for livestock and as fertilizer.


DOST. (1998): Madre de cacao. Department of Science and Trade. Manila, Philippines.
Stoll, G. (2000): Natural protection in the tropics. Margraf Verlag. Weikersheim.

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