How to Use Neem Oil to Kill Aphids – Does It Work?

5. How to Use Neem Oil to Kill Aphids1
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Neem oil supposedly kills aphids, but is this true? Yes, neem oil contains azadirachtin, a systemic toxin that is fatal to insects when ingested. The chemical molecule resembles the hormones produced by the insect in terms of its characteristics. The pest is tricked into thinking it is full, which causes it to slowly starve to death.

Neem oil treatments sold commercially are available, but given their lower concentrations, they are probably less efficient than homemade alternatives. Neem oil does kill aphids, as this article explains. If you’ve ever wondered if that’s true, read on.

Does Neem Oil Work to Get Rid of Aphids?

First and foremost, does neem oil effectively eliminate aphids? In fact, aphids are killed by neem oil. This oil is a proven alternative treatment for aphids and other insect pests, according to numerous farmers and gardeners who have used it. That topic has also been the subject of a great deal of scientific research.

Neem oil not only works well, but it is also very safe to use. Neem oil does not harm pollinators (like butterflies and earthworms in the soil) or beneficial insects in the garden, such as ladybugs. This makes it different from conventional chemical pesticides. This makes it a fantastic option for those who want to use it in conjunction with ladybugs and other natural enemies to control aphids biologically.

What is Neem Seed Oil?

For clarity, Neem seed oil or neem oil is a type of vegetable oil derived from the seeds of the neem tree plant (Azadirachta indica). Despite being an Indian native, this tree is widespread throughout the world.

A natural pesticide known as azadirachtin, which can eradicate a variety of insect pests, is present in raw neem oil. For plants, it also serves as a fungicide and a miticide. Both indoor and outdoor houseplants and gardens can benefit from the use of neem oil. Along with other insect repellent oils, neem oil is a common component of chemical insecticides. It is also sometimes added to fertilizers to improve soil.

How Does Neem Oil Kill Aphids?

Aphids are suffocated to death by neem oil. The aphids become unable to breathe when the oil comes into contact with them, quickly suffocating them. Insects are also prevented from feeding on plant leaves by the neem oil active ingredient azadirachtin.

Neem oil is also effective as a pesticide against other insect pests, such as mealybugs, leafhoppers, mealybugs, and whiteflies, in addition to aphids. The oil can also be used to eliminate garden mites and treat the soil for nematodes. Neem oil has antifungal properties that make it useful for treating fungi that cause diseases in plants like powdery mildew, black spot, scab, leaf spot, and others.

5. How to Use Neem Oil to Kill Aphids2

When to Use Neem Oil on Plants

Neem oil is used by gardeners as a pesticide to combat persistent insect infestations or as a preventative measure against pests. The best times to apply the oil are usually when it’s cool outside, like early in the morning or late at night.

During the day, when the sun is hot in the sky, neem oil shouldn’t be applied to plants. Sunlight causes the oil to react, which can cause the plants to burn. Since the oil effectively kills pests at every stage of their life cycles, you can use it whenever the growing seasons are in effect.

Does Neem Oil Work to Get Rid of Aphids When Used as Spray?

One of the ingredients in many commercial oil sprays is neem oil in a hydrophobic form. The azadirachtin in these sprays is usually eliminated during processing, though. Nevertheless, the oil is very effective and can stop all aphid species from breathing, killing any that come into contact with their body. Foliar spray is a common tool used by gardeners to treat individual indoor plants. Because they evaporate so quickly, they are regarded as being secure for use indoors. On the surface of the plant, the oil also doesn’t leave any residue.

How to Make Neem Oil Sprays

Commercially, neem oil sprays are offered. You could, however, make your own Neem oil spray mixture for your garden at home. The materials you’ll need for a DIY spray include:

  • Cold-pressed neem oil
  • Liquid soap
  • A gallon of water
  • Spray bottle

Follow these steps to prepare your spray mixture:

  1. About a teaspoon of liquid soap or insecticide should be combined with water. This acts as an emulsifier for your spray mixture
  2. Add a tablespoon or two of pure neem oil to the mixture.
  3. Put a spray bottle with your neem oil mixture inside. Test the spray on a small portion of the plant first, then apply it to the entire plant. These homemade sprays can harm some plants because they are delicate. Watch the plant for a full day. You can now use the spray to mist your plant if there are no signs of damage.

Keep in mind that you can reapply neem oil as often as necessary. You can spray plants twice a week to prevent pests. The plant should be sprayed at least once per week if there is an active pest infestation.

Does Neem Oil Work to Get Rid of Aphids When Used as Soil Soak?

Neem oil can also be used as a soil soak, despite the fact that the spray form of neem oil insecticide is the more widely used. Use raw neem oil for this instead of one that has been processed. It contains a lot of azadirachtin, an ingredient that prevents aphids and other insects from feeding normally. Additionally, it may affect their reproductive cycle and growth stages.

Large outdoor plants might not respond well to neem oil sprays because the spray needs to contact the insect’s body in order to be effective. Soil soaks would last longer in this situation. Additionally, you won’t need to apply a soil soak as frequently as you would with a spray. Neem oil soil soak applications typically occur every 22 days.

The plant absorbs the soak after applying it to the soil. When an insect pierces the plant’s stem or leaves, azadirachtin is ingested and poisons the insect. Since pollinators and other helpful insects that do not feed on the plant are unharmed, this is especially fantastic.

How to Make a Neem Oil Soil Soak

The same components as the spray are required; i.e. water, neem oil, and soap solution, which acts as an emulsifier.

  1. A teaspoon of the soap solution should be added to a gallon of water and thoroughly mixed.
  2. Add two tablespoons of raw cold-pressed neem oil to the water mixture
  3. Pour a sizable amount of the soak onto the surrounding soil of your plant to feed the roots. For the typical plant, 2-4 cups will be sufficient. However, larger bushes or trees might need more.

It is best to use this spray on a day without rain so that it doesn’t disperse before the plant’s root can absorb it. As a preventative measure against aphids and other insect pests, you can repeat the routine every three weeks.


Does neem oil eliminate aphids, then? Neem oil works well for getting rid of aphids, but other pests as well. Both indoor and outdoor gardens can use it without any issues and it also works on other insect pests.


Does Neem Oil Kill Aphids on Roses

Neem oil for roses is prized for its effectiveness against a broad range of pests including aphids, mites, scales, thrips, whiteflies and mealybugs. Neem oil also works well against rust, black spot, powdery mildew, and other fungal diseases.

How Long Does It Take for Neem Oil to Kill Aphids

Working with neem oil takes time. It might be two days or more before you see a reduction in damage or fewer live insects. To completely eradicate your target pests, you might need to reapply your neem product every three or four days, especially after a rain.

Does Neem Oil Kill Plants

Regardless of the type of plant being treated, neem oil can damage plants by burning their foliage. Never use on recently transplanted plants or other stressed plants. It is a good idea to test the pesticide on a small area first even though plants must be completely covered in neem oil for it to be effective.

How to Dilute Neem Oil for Plants

Use one tablespoon of neem oil and one teaspoon of liquid soap or silica. Before adding to the bucket or pump sprayer, mix well. There shouldn’t be any oil bubbles forming on the surface if the oil has been sufficiently emulsified.

What If There Are Too Much Neem Oil on Plants

Using too much neem oil can cause leaves to burn if they are exposed to direct sunlight for a prolonged period. Neem oil should also not be applied to young or small plants because its strength may be too great for their buds and roots.

Does Neem Oil Kill Aphid Eggs

It is derived from the neem tree seed and is effective against a wide range of common garden pest insects and fungi, including aphids. It can also be used as a dormant spray to control overwintering eggs of various insect pests.

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