Neem Oil

Asked July 30, 2015, 3:16 PM EDT

Are there any drawbacks to neem oil in backyard gardens to control bugs?

Kent County Delaware

1 Response

Neem oil is an organic insecticide that interferes with insect hormone processes, affecting feeding habits, mobility and reproduction. It is known to be effective in controlling

  • aphids, spider mites, scale, whiteflies, certain beetles and leafrollers
  • anthracnose, black spot, rust, powdery mildew, scab and flower, botrytis, twig and tip blight, and turf diseases
It is not known to be harmful to humans or pets, but can be harmful to some aquatic life. When choosing a product, be sure to read the label including the ingredient list so that you understand what affects and risks any content other than neem oil may have. The label will indicate those plants that are known to be protected. Also follow the directions for use and timing of application, and for personal protection.

Because neem oil works systemically through the plant and the insect, results do not appear immediately as they may with contact insecticides.

Here is a general fact sheet about neem oil from the National Pesticide Information Center. I hope you find this information helpful.