The neem tree, botanically known as Azadirachta indica, is an evergreen tree commonly found in tropical and sub-tropical areas; Neem tree is one of the plants that can be used as organic insecticides.
The economic importance of the Neem tree is copious; it plays an active role in maintaining a good health condition for both plant and animal. In addition, neem extracts can be used as fertilizers and pesticides; Neem oil, Neem powder and Neem leaf extracts repel pest while Neem cake can be used to replenish the soil nutrients.
Neem extracts can be used as organic pesticides to control defoliating pests like Locust, Grasshopper, Bug, Beetle, etc.; they contain several active ingredients that repel insect pests. The major active ingredients in neem oil and neem leaf extract are Azadirachtin and Salannin; these two compounds are powerful repellants capable of controlling any insect pests.
Neem extracts are unique in action. Unlike the commercial pesticides that kill insects, Neem extracts do not kill insects, instead, they repel. The killing of insects is very detrimental to global food production; this is because insects are the prominent agent of pollination, a process that is essential for the production of food for man.
If you are having problems with aphids, whitely grasshopper, caterpillars then using Neem as pesticide is the right solution to these pests menace. Azadirachtin and Salannin are repugnant to insects; when you apply Neem extracts, you are simply coating the plant with substances the insect pests do not like; hence, they are prevented from chewing the leaves or feeding on any plant part.
Different trials have been carried out in Gambia and Nigeria, where the action of Neem extracts was compared with the commercial pesticides malathion. It was found that Neem extracts are as effective as DDT and Dieldrin. Personally, I tested Neem oil on cabbage and I found it awesome.
Genetic resistance is a common feature in the application of synthetic pesticides but not in the case of Neem extracts. They simply make the palatable food for insect pest looks unpalatable, hence, they are forced to vacate or source for another means of sustenance. Neem extracts are natural insecticide for any vegetable garden; they are environmental-friendly; they can be used indiscriminately.
Guide on using neem plant as organic insecticide
You can make organic pesticides from Neem tree extracts. Neem tree is one of the natural pesticides plants; its extracts are part of the best organic pesticides in use. There are two ways to make organic pesticides from the Neem tree. You can use either the oil or the leaves. Neem oil and Neem leaves are organic farming pesticides; they are broad-spectrum pesticide. Neem extract preparation can be done mechanically using expeller for the oil or manually in case of the leaves.
How to use Neem oil as organic insecticide
Neem oil and cake are the products made from Neem. After processing the seeds, the oil is extracted from the seeds, leaving the cake as another separate entity. These two extracts, Neem oil, and Neem cake can both be used as insecticides. Hence, we can have solid and liquid insecticide from Neem seed.
The oil is the liquid extract gotten from the seeds after processing. Neem oil is the best natural pesticide for garden; it is one of the essential oils for garden pests. It is an ideal insecticides. The solid, the Neem cake, is not commonly used because it does not really comply with the available method of applying pesticides.
I mean; it is easy to spray the oil than broadcasting the cake. Therefore, the Neem oil pesticide is widely used in organic farms.
How to mix Neem oil for plants
The oil cannot be sprayed alone; it needs a solvent to dissolve in it before application. You can think of water but it cannot be used here. This is because oil does not dissolve in water.
Instead of using water, we will use liquid soap or solution of black soap as part of Neem oil spray recipe. Black soap is naturally organic and a proven repellant; hence, neem oil pesticide formulation consists of just the neem oil and black soap.
Firstly, dissolve the black soap in water; about 5kg can be dissolved in 25liters. This solution and Neem oil are the two recipes to make organic pesticide here; Follow the steps am about to reveal to know how to dilute Neem oil.
- Measure 1 ml of the Neem oil in the knapsack sprayer
- Measure 1 liter of the black soap in the knapsack sprayer as well.
- Shake vigorously until you get a milky solution. You can then add water to knapsack sprayer until it is filled.
Your organic insecticide spray is now ready for application. This is how to mix Neem oil for plants.
FAQs about Neem oil insecticide
1. What is the Neem oil insecticide dosage?
The recommended dosage of Neem oil insecticide is 1 ML of the Neem oil to 1 liter of the black soap solution. You can increase the concentration for more effective action.
2. When to apply neem oil?
Spraying neem oil on plants under the sun renders it ineffective. The recommended time of application is the evening. Lastly, the higher the concentration of the Neem oil spray recipe, the better and more effective the pesticides. There is no standard rate of Neem oil insecticide dosage.
3. How often can you use Neem oil on plants?
Neem oil is expensive and should be used with caution. You can use Neem oil fortnightly as a preventive measure. However, if you are using it to control an attack, every 3 days is fine.
4. Does Neem oil kill ants?
The death of insects after the application of Neem oil pesticide is because of the starvation inflicted by the Neem extracts on the insects since the insects cannot feed on the plant parts. Neem oil does not kill ants or any insect pest.
How to use Neem leaves as organic insecticide
Using Neem leaves as organic insecticide is also very effective at controlling insect pests at low cost. It is a homemade insecticide. Like the oil, it is a deposit of Azadirachtin and Salannin. To make pesticide from Neem leaves, you need only fresh Neem leaves.
After getting as many fresh Neem leaves as possible, soak in water, just water, for 2 weeks. This is the only process involved in the extraction of azadirachtin from neem leaves. At the end of 2 weeks, you will have a green liquid; strain the liquid and pour into the sprayer.
Do not dilute it with water; just spray the liquid during the cooler part of the day. Dried Neem leaves can also be used as pesticides; you just need to put them in water to use as a spray or around the plant to decompose.
Neem leaf extract vs Neem oil
You may be curious about the effectiveness of Neem oil and Neem leaf extract. Truly, they are both powerful organic homemade pesticide but from my different trials and observations of Neem oil on Cucumber, Tomato, Yam and Cabbage, I can confidently conclude that Neem oil is the most effective.
This is because it is long-acting. It does not wash away easily like the neem leaf extract; this is why it is more expensive. One of the benefits of neem leaves is that it is readily and cheaply available.
Neem oil and leaves are natural pesticides used in organic farming; they can be called plant-derived pesticides or bio-pesticides. You can use any of the two as a preventive measure that you can apply on a regular basis. They are natural and non-toxic. Aside from Neem plants, Garlic and Ginger are examples of plants that can be used as organic insecticide.
You may also find these helpful:
- How To Make Liquid Organic Fertilizer For Plants
- How To Use Rabbit Urine As Organic Fertilizer And Pesticide
- Best Methods Of Plant Disease Management (Organic And Inorganic)
- How To Make Homemade Insecticide For Vegetable Farm