The good weather is coming and that means a lot of things, the days last longer, we wear lighter clothes each time and also, the first insects appear. If you have a garden or are a plant lover, clearly the idea that there are insects that can destroy your planting is not very pleasant, which is why neem oil started to be used, but do you know what it is and how to use it?
What is Neem Oil?
Neem oil is a pesticide found in the seeds of the neem tree. It is yellow to brown in color, has a bitter taste and a garlic/sulfur odor. It has been used for hundreds of years to control pests and diseases. The components of neem oil can be found in many products today. These include toothpaste, cosmetics, soaps and shampoos for pets. Neem oil is a mixture of components. Azadirachtin is the most active component in repelling and killing parasites and can be extracted from neem oil. The remaining part is called clarified hydrophobic neem oil.
Neem oil: used as an insecticide for plants and the orchard
Neem oil insecticide works systemically on many plants when applied by soil drench. This means that it is absorbed by the plant and distributed throughout the tissue. Once the product is in the plant’s vascular system, it is ingested by insects during feeding. The compound causes insect feeding to be reduced or stopped, may prevent larvae from maturing, reduces or disrupts mating behavior, and in some cases the oil coats insect breathing holes and kills them .
It is a useful repellent for mites and is used to control over 200 species of chewing or sucking insects according to product information, including: aphids scale insects scale insects whiteflies neem oil fungicide. Neem oil fungicide is useful against fungi, molds and rusts when applied in a 1% solution. It is also considered useful for other types of problems such as: Root rot Black spot Sooty mold
How to Apply Neem Oil Foliar Spray
Neem oil can kill some plants, especially if applied in excess. Before spraying an entire plant, test a small area of the plant and wait 24 hours to check for leaf damage. If there is no damage, the plant should not be harmed by neem oil.
- Apply neem oil only in indirect light or at night to avoid burning the foliage and allowing the treatment to seep into the plant. Also, do not use neem oil in extreme temperatures, too hot or too cold.
- Avoid application to plants stressed by drought or excess water.
- Using a neem oil insecticide once a week will help kill pests and ward off fungal problems.
- Apply as you would other oil-based sprays, making sure the leaves are completely covered, especially where the pest or fungus problem is most severe.
Is neem oil safe?
The container should give information about the dose. The highest concentration currently on the market is 3%. So is neem oil safe? When used correctly, it is non-toxic. Never drink the product and be careful if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant: Of all the uses for neem oil, the one currently being researched is its ability to block conception.
The EPA says the product is generally recognized as safe, so any residual amount left in food is acceptable; however, always wash your products with potable water before consuming them. The use of neem oil and bees has raised concerns. Most studies state that if neem oil is used improperly and in massive amounts, it can damage small hives, but has no effect on medium and large hives.
Additionally, since neem oil insecticide does not target insects that do not chew the leaves, most beneficial insects, such as butterflies and ladybugs, are considered safe.