Sometimes it can seem like your garden is a battleground and the insects are winning the war. But there is an organic pest control that can help you win the battle against many hungry, destructive insects. Neem oil insecticide is a safe and effective organic insecticide that can be used to control a wide variety of plant pests, both indoors and outdoors.
Neem oil is extracted from seeds of the Neem tree, Azadirachta Indica, which is native to India. The interesting thing about Neem oil insecticide is that it affects some insects differently than others. It will cause some insects to simply stop eating and starve. But when used for other insects, such as whiteflies, it disrupts and stops their life cycle. This is one handy organic insecticide to have available when insects start to get the upper hand in the garden.
Neem will control aphids, mites, whiteflies, flea beetles, cabbage loopers, Japanese beetles, lace bugs, mealy bugs, spider mites, scale, thrips, fungus gnats, leafminers, gypsy moths and many more insects that damage plants.
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Neem oil also acts as a fungicide and can be used to treat powdery mildew, blackspot, rust and anthracnose. When sprayed on houseplants, Neem oil will give the leaves a nice shine.
Neem oil is an insecticide that must be ingested by insects to be effective, so it is relatively harmless to pollinators and carnivorous beneficial insects. When used correctly, it will not harm earthworms, butterflies, bees or other beneficial insects. Neem can be used on vegetable crops up until the day of harvest, and it can be used on flowers, herbs, houseplants, fruit trees and shrubs. Japanese Maples, however, seem to have an aversion to this particular insecticide, so choose another organic insecticide for the rare instances when insects attack Japanese Maples.
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Always follow the suggested application rate that is listed on the package for the particular brand of Neem oil insecticide that you purchase. Even organic insecticides can be harmful if applied too heavily, and Neem oil can harm bees if it is applied too heavily. Fortunately, Neem oil breaks down fairly rapidly in sunlight so it is not likely to accumulate in the environment.
Neem oil insecticide products may be found at your local garden center and are offered by many gardening catalogs. Whatever brand you buy, be sure to follow the directions on the package when you're preparing to wage battle against the insects that are camped out in the garden.