Neem Oil: Non-Toxic Insecticide

Neem oil is a excellent natural insecticide , environmentally friendly and substantially non-toxic to humans, which does not interfere with bees or pollinating insects in general. For these reasons it is particularly interesting among the various natural insecticides.

azadirachtin is the active ingredient found in the seeds and therefore in neem oil, is also extracted to produce insecticides authorized in organic farming. To defend the garden and the orchard you can find the products on the market, but also directly use the most natural and cheapest pure neem oil.

Dilute the pure oil in water and spray it , it is possible to defend against various types of insects such as aphids, stingrays, potato beetles, thrips and moths. Neem also has values ​​other than its use in agriculture : It is used in cosmetics and for ecological cleaning of the house.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • the neem tree

  • Azadirachtin: active ingredient

    • Toxicity and waiting time

    • neem and bees

  • Use neem oil

    • Against which insects should it be used?

    • Dilution and dosage

    • Buy pure neem oil or ready-to-use insecticide

    • Useful information


the neem tree

Neem or neem ( Azadirachta Indica ) is an evergreen tree native to India and Burma, this tall plant produces beautiful white flowers and then an olive-like fruit. Due to its many properties, it is known in its regions of origin as a sacred tree or even “village pharmacy”.

This plant has many positive properties and possible applications, among others, neem also has excellent insecticidal properties, in addition to not being toxic to humans and for this reason it is an ideal pesticide to use in agriculture. horticulture and organic orchards.

Neem residues can also be used in natural fertilization, which is why there are also neem-based fertilizers.

Azadirachtin: active ingredient

The active ingredient in neem is azadirachtin (or better azadirachtin A ), contained in the tree and responsible for most of the useful properties of this tree. The highest content of azadirachtin is found in the seeds, which are pressed to obtain the very useful neem oil. The seeds are cold pressed and the insecticide is then used in natural cultivation. As an alternative to oil, you can also find seed powder, which is always used in water and then sprinkled on plants trying to knock out pests.

There are many products on the market based on neem or azadirachtin: powders or sprays, care must be taken that these are not necessarily natural insecticides, since more toxic chemicals can also be used. in the extraction of the molecule or in the final formula. . Some of these products are certified for use in organic farming and can therefore also be used in certified professional crops.

Between pure neem oil and derivative products, the percentage of diazadirachtin it contains changes, in natural oil the presence of this molecule is low, but nevertheless it is effective, on the market there are products that have higher percentages and therefore they are more powerful. For an allotment garden it is better to choose to buy pure neem oil , to be diluted in water and used directly. It is a low environmental impact solution and generally less expensive than laboratory-made insecticides.

Toxicity and waiting time

The Azadirachtin molecule It does not contaminate the environment : It is natural and easily degrades without accumulating in soil or water. For this reason, its impact on the environment is almost zero and it can be used more safely than other insecticides, also biological, such as pyrethrum and spinosad.

Harmless to humans and animals, it has a short grace period. , usually less than 7 days, the exact period depends on the crop and the product used, however, it should be checked on the packaging. For this reason, unlike several other insecticides, it can be used even in the presence of vegetables that must be harvested relatively early.

However, in trade there are different neem products the formulations are often very different from pure oil. Therefore, care must be taken that insecticides containing azadirachtin as an active ingredient may be more toxic and polluting than natural neem oil.

neem and bees

Neem can bother bees but does not kill them, unlike most other phytosanitary treatments.

To understand how much azadirachtin respects bees, it suffices to know that in Mexico neem has been successfully tested to protect the hive from attacks by harmful mites (especially varroa mites), thus directly treating insects, as reported by the Italian Federation of Beekeepers.

This characteristic makes neem oil very suitable for use in the garden and orchard, we can also use it in flowering period .

Use neem oil

Normally, neem oil or seed powder is used by diluting it in water and spraying the resulting liquid on the plants. When using this insecticide, it should be taken into account that the molecule of diazadirachtin is photosensitive therefore for a better efficiency of the treatment, it is necessary to do it in the afternoon, avoiding doing it in the middle of the day.

A side effect of this treatment is the smell: neem oil has a pungent smell and is also very persistent.

Control insects to use

Neem oil has more than one effect: it is an insecticide, but also a repellent (repels insects), phagodeter (it prevents insects from eating the leaves of the plant) and is also able to inhibit the growth of pests, while it is not significantly toxic to animals and humans, nor to many beneficial insects, including including pollinators such as the aforementioned bees and bumblebees. Therefore, we can use it to defend against pests in gardens and orchards.

There are many unwanted insects in the garden that suffer from the repellent action of neem oil: for example nematodes, beetles, nocturnal beetles, dorifora, aphids and scale insects, red spider.

Neem is also positive for containing fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and is used successfully to disinfect gardens from mosquitoes (read more: neem mosquito repellent).

Dilution and dosage

If you buy pure neem oil, you must dilute it before use . There are also ready-to-use neem products on the market which are easy to mix in water as they are well soluble, but as the advice is already written to buy pure oil you usually save a lot compared to the purchase of ready-to-use products.

The dilution of pure oil is not very easy, so it is better to use a mild potassium soap (for example, Marseille soap) which, in addition to making the neem soluble in water, promotes the adhesion of the nebulized solution to the plants and, therefore, improves its effect (deepen the dilution of neem oil).

the right dosage It depends on what you want to use it for: which insect you want to stick with, whether it’s preventative or to solve an ongoing infestation. On average, 5-6 drops of pure oil are sufficient for one liter of water, however it is not necessary to exceed 2%. To dilute it best, you should use lukewarm water, in which it dissolves better, and do not forget to use potassium soap.

Buy pure neem oil or ready insecticide

Neem oil has many uses, including in cosmetics, so can be found in herbal stores or it can be easily purchased online, at various online stores. I I recommend buying it from Macrolibrarsi , which is an Italian e-commerce with only natural products and an ethical company. I know a lot of people prefer to buy from Amazon, but I don’t recommend it, but you can find pure neem there too.

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