Neem Oil as Organic Pest Control

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Neem Oil as Organic Pest Control


I finally broke down and purchased some organic neem oil to use against pesty houseplant pests. I have known about neem oil as organic pest control for some time, but didn’t purchase it before because it can be expensive. This bottle cost me around $32.

Neem oil as organic pest control
Neem oil as organic pest control

In years past, I had chronic issues with houseplant pests likeĀ spider mites, whiteflies, scale, aphids, soil gnats and mealy bugs. But I haven’t had many problems with these pests since I started debugging and cleaning my houseplants before bringing them indoors for the winter.

Growing jalapeno plant hydroponically
Growing jalapeno plant hydroponically

Last year, we decided to try growing a pepper plant hydroponically. I’ve tried overwintering pepper plants in the house before, and I found that no amount of cleaning them would keep the aphids away. Pepper plants are serious aphid magnets. Since aphids multiply very quickly and I didn’t want to spend my winter fighting them again (and risk a large outbreak like I had in 2009, ugh!), I decided to give neem oil a try.

Aphids on succulent plant
Aphids on succulent plant

Neem Oil as Organic Pest Control:

There’s no way I’m using chemical pesticides, so the fact that neem oil is a natural, organic product is awesome. According to the label “Neem oil is pressed from the seeds of the Indian Neem tree”. The label doesn’t say how it works to kill pests. From what I’ve read elsewhere, it messes with the brains of the pest insects, so they stop eating and mating and eventually die off. Neem oil won’t kill all of the the pest insects on contact, so it might take a few days for pest infestations to disappear.

Neem oil as organic pest control
Neem oil as organic pest control

The directions say to mix the neem oil with a little Ivory soap, which helps it mix with water. The soap has the added effect of killing the pest insects on contact, so you should see an improvement right away.

Neem oil also has a residual effect, so you don’t have to spray the plant every day like you would with other organic methods. I spray it on the pepper plants every month or so in the winter just to keep the aphids in check. You could wait until you see evidence of pests before spraying the plant again, because the infestation might go away completely after applying neem oil.

Neem oils keeps our pepper plant aphid free
Neem oils keeps our pepper plant aphid free

I am happy to report that our pepper plant has been aphid free since we started using neem oil as organic pest control. I also tried in on the whiteflies that have been plaguing my hibiscus for five years, and it worked like a charm. No whiteflies in my house this winter, woohoo.

White flies and eggs
White flies and eggs on hibiscus leaf

I would recommend using neem oil as organic pest control if you are tired of fighting pest infestations on your houseplants. It sure has made my life a lot easier. You can purchase neem oil here. But if the price tag of neem oil is too large for you, don’t worry, there are several inexpensive methods of organic pest control that you can try, and they work quite well.

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Comments

  1. says

    I tried eradicating scale insect which is a menace to my orchids and mealy bugs to some of my plants which they keep coming back.
    Then I tried using neem oil and light soap for the mixture.
    I got it from an Indian store which sells it very cheap – like a sundry price.
    And it worked so far..
    The only setback – there is this oil fragrance that is a bit repulsive.
    I guess it

    • says

      Glad to hear you had success using neem oil! I haven't tried it against scale or mealy bugs yet since I haven't had to deal with these pests in a few years (knock on wood). It does have a strong smell, but it goes away after a few minutes, so it hasn't bothered me too much. At least you know it's not a toxic substance you're breathing in, that's a good thing.

      Amy

    • Amy Andrychowicz says

      Oooo, good to know! I wonder if it will work on other types of fungi. I’ll have to give it a try.

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