One of Your Best Friends in the Garden: Neem Oil
One of the most versatile pest control tools in the garden is Neem Oil. It is effective as an insecticide, a fungicide and as a bacteriacide. As an insecticide Neem kills small soft-bodied insects and mites directly. I consider Neem Oil and Green Lacewing to be my frontline defense against marauding pests in the garden. As a committed organic gardener, I highly recommend that you check out the options available for Neem Oil.
Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of a tree grown in India - the Azadirachta indica. But the coarser amongst us just call it the Indian Neem Tree. In India (and surrounding countries), folks harvest the fruit of this prolific and widespread tree, take off the green husks and sell the seeds in large quantities to even larger facilities where the oil is pressed and the remnants are sold as "neem cake" to use as organic fertilizer and nematicide called Agro-Neemcake. There are 2 pressings of the oil. The first produces Neem Oil and the second produces a denser concentration that is labelled as Azidirachta.
Neem Oil is a part of a completely renewable harvest. It can replace most of our petro-chemically derived pesticides.
How does Neem Oil and Azidirachta work? One of the main components of Neem Oil is the chemical azadirachtin (from the latin name for the tree itself) along with many other active compounds. There are two main ways neem works.First it serves as an anti-feedant. Simply spray it on and bugs stop eating! The main trick in this kind of an application is to get adequate coverage.
Second, neem functions as a hormone disruptor in the insect's body which in turn regulates the development of the insect. Hormones in insects function much like they do in humans-they surge, which causes bodily transformations that take them to the next life stage. But when neem is consumed or makes contact with the insect, these surges are prevented. So a caterpillar remains a caterpillar (a non-hungry caterpillar). It does not develop into an adult that can cause damage, the reproductive cycle is interrupted so the pest cannot lay more eggs and continue the cycle.
Neem Oil has many other functions - it serves as a fungicide, a bacteriacide, and it kills plant parasitic nematodes but is compatible with beneficial nematodes. In addition, you can use it to kill algae and mosses where you don't want them. It is not harmful to bees, most higher insects (like all the parasitoids and other good bugs we like to keep around to keep the pests down) or to earthworms!
At ARBICO Organics we carry a variety of different products derived from neem. They have different names, labels, concentrations, extractions, artwork and function. This is because the EPA requires each specific use to be exactly labeled so that we know precisely how to use the products in the absolute safest way. So what may seem confusing at first is really quite a relief when you get the bottle and know exactly what to do. Neem is extraordinarily safe or we wouldn't sell it.
See the list below for descriptions of several of our neem products or simply call; we’ll be happy to help you determine which product is best suited for your individual needs.
See Our Neem Oil Insecticides