One of the main problems every gardener has to contend with are bugs. We have grown accustomed to using insecticides and fungicides in this society for “instant results for the removal of such problems. However, a true gardener knows that nothing in Nature works instantly. Gardening is indeed “an instrument of grace. ”
If you want to combat bugs do it the natural way (in addition to beneficial insects “Natural Pest Management” “Return of the Manti”) with neem oil. Pure neem oil is needed to effectively do the job properly. When mixed with soap as an emulsifier it can be sprayed on plants. Oftentimes, inexperienced gardeners think neem does not work because it doesn’t kill the bugs instantly. That is because it works on a different principle from chemical insecticides which are poisonous and, thus, immediate.
The following is taken from “Discover Neem” Read the whole article for some valuable information for combating bugs in your garden.
How neem oil messes with the insects’ brains and bodies
Neem oil has many complex active ingredients. Rather than being simple poisons, those ingredients are similar to the hormones that insects produce. Insects take up the neem oil ingredients just like natural hormones.
Neem enters the system and blocks the real hormones from working properly. Insects “forget” to eat, to mate, or they stop laying eggs. Some forget that they can fly. If eggs are produced they don’t hatch, or the larvae don’t moult.
Obviously insects that are too confused to eat or breed will not survive. The population eventually plummets, and they disappear. The cycle is broken.
How precisely it works is difficult for scientists to find out. There are too many different active substances in neem oil, and every insect species reacts differently to neem insecticide.
Neem oil and beneficial insects
Neem is non toxic for beneficial insects. The main reason is that insects need to ingest the neem oil to be affected, and beneficial insects don’t eat your plants. But you can still kill beneficial insects if you smother them with neem oil, so please be careful.
Beneficial insects are most active during the day. The best time to spray neem insecticide is very early in the morning, so the spray can dry before the good insects become active. Also a good time is the late afternoon or evening. Once the spray has dried it does not harm your bees, ladybugs, lacewings, predatory mites and wasps.
Does spraying neem harm beneficial insect?
Please only use neem spray in the very early morning or late afternoon, or you may hurt beneficial insects. Neem oil is not toxic to them, but it can suffocate them if you spray them directly and the soap can hurt them too.
You should only spray neem at times when insects are not active. Once the spray has dried it is not harmful to good insects any more, only to sucking and chewing
How safe is the neem spray for yourself?
Totally safe. There is no need for protective clothing or anything like that. You can even use neem oil spray on yourself! People use the more concentrated mixtures as a safe and natural insect repellent. It’s much better for you than the harmful DEET. Not only that, it is actually good for your skin. Really.
More answers to your questions can be found here
If your are interested in trying out neem oil, you can find it here at a very good price. Most orders can be shipped free if they are $20 or more.. If you are a first time purchaser from iherb.com, you can use our code JUL275 for a $5 OFF your first purchase.
How do you Battle Bad Bugs naturally at your farm or garden?