How to Use Neem Oil to Prevent Garden Pests

Neem oil is a derivative of the Asian evergreen tree. A natural steroid, it causes insects to lose their appetite and lose interest in laying eggs.


| April 25, 2013



Neem Oil

Neem is best used preventively, before pests become a serious problem.


Photo Courtesy Safer Brand

This article is part of our Organic Pest Control Series, which includes articles on attracting beneficial insects, controlling specific garden pests, and using organic pesticides.

What Is Neem?

Derived from the bark, leaves and fruit of a common Asian evergreen tree, neem or neem oil contains the active ingredient azadirachtin as well as several natural steroids. When applied to insects and the plants they are eating, neem oil causes many insects to feed less, grow more slowly, molt less, and lose interest in laying eggs. 

Which Pests Does Neem Control?

Neem’s effects are strongest on young insects, particularly those that grow rapidly such as squash bugsColorado potato beetles and Mexican bean beetles. Neem can also provide good control of aphids and many small, leaf-eating caterpillars.





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