Neem Oil

Neem oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica).

Azadirachta indica is a fast growing, evergreen tree of the mahogany family, native to India and Pakistan. Indians were the first to use neem oil. Originally, the seeds were ground into powder and the powder was soaked overnight in water, the following day, the water was used to spray the crops. Today of course, the oil is extracted.

Unlike other pesticides, Neem oil is neither systemic, nor kills by contact. In fact, it does not kill at all. All it does is stop the insects from feeding. In no time, the pests are week, can't go anywhere, stop laying eggs, etc. and starve to death. Neem oil also suppresses the hatching of already laid eggs.

For a pesticide that is, relative to other pesticides, non-toxic and does not harm beneficial insects like bees, ladybirds etc. it is very useful and broad spectrum.

It can be used to control mealy bugs, aphids, mites, thrips, nematodes, ants, cockroaches, snails, black spot, mildew, anthracnose, rust and numerous others (mosquitoes, etc). However, because as mentioned it is not systemic and does not kill by contact, a second spraying after 10-14 days and maybe a third are necessary.


Dr. George Tsambourakis

29 Jan 2012