Neem Oil as an Organic Insecticide

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neem oil

Do you know that Neem Oil is an effective insecticide that is a great solution to garden pests?

Neem oil insecticide is often a great solution in cases there are insects, mites, or fungi on your plants.

Moreover, neem oil is pressed out of the seeds that come from neem trees.

In addition to its use as an organic insecticide spray, you can also use it as medicine and in the cosmetic industry.

It is important to note that organic gardeners love that this oil is safe to use.

Furthermore, it will not harm humans or even animals and is also safe even for most wildlife since its insecticidal properties target specific pests that damage garden plants.

It is important to note that you can either buy it commercials as neem oil solutions, however, they may be less potent than homemade versions.

Keep on reading to learn more about them in detail.

Using Neem Oil for your Plants

In order to use neem oil for your plants, spray the oil on the foliage in the morning or evening when beneficial bugs are dormant and not feeding or pollinating.

Moreover, it is important to avoid using the spray in the middle of the day when the sun and heat could potentially burn the foliage when you spray it.

It is important to note that you can use a number of pesticides at certain times during the season.

However, you can use neem oil throughout the planting season.

Furthermore, neem oil is effective any time during a season it affects insects during all phases of their development.

According to EPA, neem oil contains azadirachtin.

It is an active compound that interferes with the normal cycle of insects including feeding, molting, mating, and egg-laying.

neem oil uses

With the help of neem oil, you control hundreds of pests.

These include:

  • whitefly
  • aphids
  • Japanese beetles
  • moth larvae
  • scale
  • spider mites

Neem oil is also listed as miticide as it kells mites that are not insects but are related to spiders and ticks.

Certain sprays that contain clarified hydrophobic extract of neem oil can also be used as fungicides against rust, black spot, mildew, leaf spot, anthracnose, blight, and botrytis.

Neem oil does not harm birds or other beneficial insects and soil-loving creatures like bees, butterflies, lady beetles, and earthworms.

What you Will Need?

In order to make neem oil spray to use as an insecticide, you will need some tools and materials.

The following sums up the list:

Equipment or Tools

You will need a garden sprayer, spray bottle, and protective gloves.


  • 1-2 tablespoon neem oil, pure or raw form, cold-pressed
  • 1-gallon water
  • 1-2 teaspoon mild dish detergent

Now, let’s discuss the method through with you can prepare it at home.

Instructions for Making Neem Oil Insecticide

In order to make neem oil insecticide, follow the instructions below:

1# Mix Detergent and Water

Neem oil will not readily combine with water and needs an emulsifying agent like a mild dish detergent to effectively mix it.

For this, ad 1 to 2 teaspoons of dish detergent to 1 gallon of warm, not hot, or cold water in your sprayer.

Make sure to mix it thoroughly.

Pro Tip: Diluted liquid soap works as a homemade garden pesticide.

Moreover, it helps to kill aphids and other soft bugs when you spray it directly on pests as well.

2# Add oil to the Mixture

After combining the detergent and water, slowly pour in 1 or 2 tablespoons of neem oil and mix it thoroughly.

neem oil 1

3# Spray the Solution

Spray all the plant’s surface including the top and undersides of the leaves until completely wet and dripping.

Moreover, make sure to sure protective gloves to avoid any oily drips.

4# Reapply Regularly

While using neem oil as a preventive measure, you should apply it on a 7 to 14-day schedule, according to the manufactures of 70% neem oil.

When applying it to control present infestations, apply the oil mixture every 7 days.

Tips for Using Neem Oil

Adding too much neem oil to your mixture may cause the leaves of your plants to burn if they are in direct, harsh sunlight most of the day.

Moreover, make sure to avoid spraying new seedlings with neem or they could burn as well.

Make small batches of neem spray the same day you intend to use or else your mixture will start becoming gloppy over time.

You can also try a peppermint liquid soap as an emulsifier.

Or you can add a few drops of peppermint essential oil into the mixture as many bugs are repelled by its fragrance, as well.

Neem benefits certain trees like Flowering dogwood trees.

These trees are highly suspect of powdery mildew. As it is a fungus, the fungicidal properties of neem oil make the product effective for fighting this condition.

Furthermore, blue star juniper can succumb to the infestations of spider mites, thus, you can take advantage of the miticidal properties of neem oil to kill spider mites on the plant.

Spraying colorado blue spruce trees with neem oil can also work as an insecticide against Cooley spruce gall adelgid and aphids.

Now, let’s discuss some Benefits of Neem Oil

Benefits of Using Neem Oil as Insecticide

1# Safe to Use

Synthetic pesticides that work to contact often buildup on the surrounding environment, thus leaving toxic residue that can harm and even kills pets and other animals.

On the other hand, neem oil is biodegradable and nontoxic. Moreover, it is safe for birds, pets, fish, livestock, or other areas when you use it in wildlife areas.

2# Organic and Biodegradable

Neem oil is a derivative from nem tree and this makes it organic and biodegradable.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, neem oil has no unreasonable adverse effects, thus, making it safe for both, humans and the environment.

3# Does not create “Death Zones”

Neem oil insecticide does not create a dead zone around the trees you treat them with, or shrubs like other synthetic insecticides can.

It only targets leaf-sucking and chewing insects.

It is important to note that synthetic pesticides creep away from the sprayed areas to create “death zones” that can kill beneficial insects as well as other animals.

4# Control Insects at all Stages of Development

This oil kills insects at all stages of development, the adult, larvae, and the egg.

The chemical action in neem oil, azadirachtin has the ability to get rid of insects in a few different ways.


These are:

  • as an antifeedant
  • by smothering
  • as a hormone disruptor

It is important to note that Azadirachtin will force the insect or pest to stop eating the leaves. Thus, when this happens, it prevents the bug from transforming into its next stage of development by disrupting the regulatory hormones.

5# Effectively Controls a number of Insects

Neem oil is an effective organic pesticide that can help to get rid of 200 species of insects.

Some of these are thrips, scales, leafhoppers, mealybugs, caterpillars, etc.

6# Effective for Controlling Nematodes

Nematodes are difficult to control and can also be very destructive to your plants.

Certain extracts from neem kernels help to provide control over root-knot nematodes.

Neem oil works by preventing larvae from hatching.

7# Does not harm beneficial Earthworms

While traditional chemical pesticides can harm earthworms, neem oil has the opposite effect on them.

Earthworms are beneficial for your garden soil. As they tunnel through the dirt, they create pathways that allow air and rainwater to reach the roots of the plants.

Furthermore, they also leave behind excrement or casts that contains nutrients for the soil like potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus.

8# Control Lawn Grubs

Lawn grubs are the larval stage of Japanese beetles and they can be very destructive to your lawn.

They tunnel under the turf and nibble on grassroots and you can notice large brown or bare spots in the areas of high grub activity.

This oil can work to control Japanese beetles by preventing them from laying eggs that can become destructive larvae. Neem oil inhabits grub growth and repels them from grassroots.

Other Benefits

Some of the other benefits of Neem Oil as an insecticide are:

A good Fertilizer: A neem cake consist of organic manure, a by-product of cold-compressed neem fruit and kernels. It provides extra special care as it acts as both a pesticide and fertilizer.

They fertilize the soil by extending the availability of nitrogen and help to control nematodes, white ants, and grubs.

Safe for Indoor Plants: You might have a fear of seeing your indoor plants overrun by aphids.

Neem oil is safe to use indoors to prevent pests and disease. You just need to spray the leaves to kill pets without worrying about harming your kids’ or households pets.

benefits 1

Safe for Greenhouse Use: The conditions in the greenhouse provide a perfect environment for mites, aphids, scales, and whiteflies.

However, you can use its spray to prevent these insects from destroying your plants.

A Great Fungicide: Moreover, you can use neem oil to prevent or even kill fungus on your plant.

Use it for powdery mildew and other common fungal diseases like:

  • tip blight
  • anthracnose
  • leaf spot
  • rust
  • scab, etc.

In order to prevent fungi, spray susceptible plants every 7 to 14 days until the fungus is no longer a threat.

Final Thoughts

When looking for safe and effective products to control insects and diseases in your lawn or garden, look no further than neem oil. It is a powerful organic solution to most difficult-to-manage infestations.

With all of its advantages, it is probably the best oil as it is safe to use and an effective insecticide. It can help prevent a number of infestations, fungi, and worms that are harmful to your plants.

3 thoughts on “Neem Oil as an Organic Insecticide

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