Neem Oil Organic Insecticide
Neem Oil Mixture
Neem Oil Overview
What is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is extracted by applying high pressure to the fruits and seeds of Azadirachta indica trees.The trees are evergreens indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. Neem oil is one of the most valuable and environmentally friendly products for organic pest control. Neem oil mixtures should be concentrated on the foliage of plants where pests reside. Strong neem formulations may burn foliage if applied on a sunny day, so care needs to be taken and directions need to be followed precisely as stated on the label. Neem mixtures are biodegradable and leftover mixtures contain nutrients that plants can uptake.
Neem oil affects insect pests by altering their hormones and bodily functions. Some pests will cease to eat and reproduce. It may also affect respiration of the pests or eggs. Neem oil applied to eggs will prevent the exchange of gases into and out of the eggs thus preventing the eggs from hatching. Neem oil does not provide instantaneous results, but delayed results are a compromise for using organic control.
Neem Mixture in Handheld Mister
Neem Insecticide Recipe
Neem Mixture Recipe
- Put 5 ml of neem oil into a liter sized container
- Add 1-2 ml of dish detergent or insecticidal soap into the container
- Vigorously mix the neem oil and soap together. The soap allows the oil to better mix into water without separating. Dish detergent also has insecticidal properties.
- Slowly fill the liter container with warm water. Stir vigorously while filling!
- Pour the mixture into a sprayer.
- Spray liberally onto infested plants. Make sure to spray all of the foliage, branches, and stems. Use up all of the mixture if possible because it will become less effective over time. Pouring excess mixture into the soil will provide plants with nutrients.
- Apply only once a week until the infestation is under control. Neem oil impacts reproduction of many pests but will not provide instant results.
Remember to keep shaking and agitating the mixture. Shaking the sprayer cannot be stressed enough. The results will be very poor if little to no agitation occurs. The neem oil will quickly float to the top of the container if agitation is not sufficient.
Multiply the recipe to make larger mixtures if needed. Household misters, handheld sprayers, backpack sprayers, and even large broadcast sprayers can be used to distribute neem mixtures onto plants.
Neem has a very earthly aroma that some people find unpleasant. Houseplants can be taken outside and sprayed, then brought back inside once the mixture has dried. This will help reduce the aroma of neem.
Spider Mite Webs on Moonflower
Pests Controlled by Neem
Neem oil is effective against pests such as mealy bugs, beet armyworms, aphids, cabbage worms, thrips, whiteflies, spider mites, Japanese beetle, ants, bedbugs, cockroaches, houseflies, sand flies, snails, termites, mites, fungus gnats, beetles, moth larvae, mushroom flies, leaf miners, caterpillars, locusts, nematodes, and mosquitoes.
Neem mixtures kill many kinds of larvae and nymphs and is more effective when applied to the younger stages of pests compared to application onto adult pests. Neem oil is not harmful to mammals, birds, earthworms, and some beneficial insects as long as the oil is not concentrated on non-pest sources. Treat neem oil as a chemical pesticide and use the same precautions to prevent reckless and unintended impacts on beneficial critters.
Powdery Mildew on Leaves
Diseases Controlled by Neem
Neem oil also controls several diseases that can become problematic. Mixing 2 teaspoons of neem oil into a gallon of water should be enough to control the diseases listed below.
- Leaf spot
- Powdery Mildew
- Black Spot
- Needle Rust
- Tip Blight
Remember to keep shaking and agitating the mixture to prevent the neem oil and water from separating. Agitation of the mixture is absolutely vital and results will be very poor if no agitation occurred. The neem oil will float to the top of the water just like others oil when mixed with water.