Neem oil is pressed out of the seeds obtained from neem trees. In addition to its use as an organic insecticide spray, it has been used medicinally and in the cosmetics industry. Users of the product find it works as an organic insecticide by disrupting insects hormonal balance so they die before they molt to the next life stage.
How Does It Work?:
According to the U.S. EPA, "Azadirachtin and Clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil are derived from the natural oil found in seeds of the neem tree. When the natural neem oil is removed from the seeds and treated with alcohol, virtually all of the azadirachtin and related substances separate from the oil itself. The remaining oil - without the azadirachtin - is called Clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil. Azadirachtin acts in the following ways: It deters certain insects, such as locusts, from feeding and it interferes with the normal life cycle of insects, including feeding, molting, mating, and egg laying."
Organic Insecticide: Pests Killed or Repelled:
This organic insecticide kills some pests (after they've eaten leaves sprayed with it), while it repels others with its strong smell. The product is used to control many pests, including whitefly, aphids, Japanese beetles, moth larvae, scale and spider mites. Because it kills mites -- which aren't insects but, instead, related to spiders and ticks -- it is listed as a "miticide." Sprays containing clarified hydrophobic extract of neem oil are also used as fungicides against rust, black spot, mildew, leaf spot, scab, anthracnose, blight and botrytis.
Organic Insecticide: How to Apply:
Mix Neem Oil at the rate of 1 teaspoonful (6ml) per 500ml of warm water and 5 drops of emulsifier. Thoroughly mix solution and spray all plant surfaces (including undersides of leaves) until completely wet."
Organic Insecticide: When to Apply:
When applied as a preventative, neem oil should be applied on a 7 to 14 day schedule. To control a pest or disease already present, an application of neem oil on a 7 day schedule.
Benefits of Neem Oil for Pest Control:
Besides being an organic insecticide, using this product allows you to target pests, specifically, as opposed to beneficial insects (e.g., bees and lady bugs). By definition, "pests" are the insects eating your plants, and this product, properly applied, kills an insect only if it ingests the sprayed foliage (bees and lady bugs don't eat plant leaves).
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