How to Use Neem Oil Insecticide

Organic Gardening
Neem Oil Insecticide

Neem oil has numerous uses in an outside of the home. It is often used for the cosmetics and for making different types of commercial products. However, it is best known as an insecticide. This is a very effective, yet organic and safe way to get rid of insects in your garden. Neem oil has been used as a natural pesticide for hundreds of years, and it is still a good choice for gardeners looking for an organic solutions to their pest problems.

A good thing about Neem oil is that it can be used to get rid of insects in all stages of development, from eggs to larvae and into the adult forms. It works best for insects that chew on leaves, which are among the most common of the insects attacking plants in gardens.

Helping Plants with Neem Oil: Advantages

Neem oil provides numerous advantages to gardeners who wish to use it to get rid of insects that may attack their plants. Here are some of the best advantages of Neem oil:

  • Safe for pets. Neem oil is safe for your pets, as well as local wildlife. This is not always true for synthetic pesticides that are often used in gardens. Neem oil is not toxic for most animals, so it will not harm birds, fish, livestock, wildlife or your pets.
  • It is biodegradable. Neem oil is organic and biodegradable, so it doesn't pollute your garden. It is a natural derivative of the Neem tree, and it is safe for the environment. The oil is extracted from the seeds and often diluted with water. It doesn't contain harmful chemicals. It also means that it will not crate any dead zones around your plants the way the synthetic pesticides often do.
  • Doesn't harm beneficial insects. While Neem oil can be used to get rid of harmful insects, if you use it correctly, it will not harm beneficial insects such as bees, ladybugs or butterflies. These insects are large enough so appropriate amount of Neem oil will not harm them. Also, Neem oil is used for insects that chew on leaves, so this is where you should apply the oil. Bees and other beneficial insects are pollinators that focus on flowers, where you should not place Neem oil. If you follow these instructions, you will be able to use Neem oil safely without harming beneficial insects.

Effective Against Many Insects

Neem oil is very effective against many different types of insects. In fact, it can work on over 200 species, including common garden pests, such as aphids, scales, mites, white flies, leaf hoppers, thrips, mealybugs and different kinds of caterpillars.

It can be used to control nematodes, which are difficult to get rid of. They can be very destructive to plants in a very short period, so using Neem oil on your plants can help you control these pests.

Neem oil also works well against lawn grubs. These are larvae of the Japanese beetles, and they like to destroy lawns by tunneling under turf and consuming grass roots. Neem oil can also prevent the adult beetles from laying eggs. This is why it's useful to spray your lawn with neem oil at night and also reapply it after rainfall.

On the other hand, Neem oil is safe for beneficial insects and other critters. As noted above, bees, butterflies and ladybugs will not be harmed. This is also true for earthworms. While chemical pesticides often harm then, Neem oil is safe for earth worms. This is good news, because earthworms are beneficial for the soil, so you wish to keep them in the garden.

Protecting Different Types of Plants

Another great thing about the Neem oil is that you can use it to protect many different types of plants. While typical garden plants can benefit a lot, you can also use Neem oil to protect plant types that are not always easy to keep safe, such as trees.

Neem oil works great for fruit trees and other types of trees, which are often targeted by many different types of worms. For example, apples are often attacked by meal worms and coddling moth, which destroy the fruit. You can use Neem oil to protect your trees by spraying before blossoming. Later, when the petals drop, spray again, and then continue with the same regime every two weeks to control the pests.

Similarly, you can use Neem oil to effectively protect your shrubs from various types of insects. You just need to remember to spray garden shrubs regularly in order to keep insects away.

Neem oil is also a good pesticide for protecting your vegetables. A great thing about Neem oil is that it can also work as an effective fungicide against the types of fungi that attack vegetables. It is effective against mildew, leaf spots, rusts, stem rots and wilts.

You can also use Neem oil to protect your herbs. Just make sure to do it gently and to first spray a small area to see if your herb tolerates the Neem oil. Herbs can generally do well with this pesticide, but since they are tender, you need to apply it carefully.


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