Directions on mixing neem oil for pest control

Written by casandra maier
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Directions on mixing neem oil for pest control
The neem plant, from which neem oil is derived, is native to India. (neem image by fotomagic from

Native to India, neem oil has served as an ingredient in toiletries and cosmetics for nearly 3000 years. Neem oil also serves as a long-lasting, effective remedy for pests residing on indoor and outdoor plants. Fungal diseases, mites, insects, eggs and larvae are effectively extinguished with neem oil. With other toxic pesticides, bugs will eat the affected leaves and perish, but with neem oil, a bug will simply refuse to eat the affected plant. Neem oil is favoured as a safe, natural pesticide. The light, non-offensive odour will only linger a few days.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Mixing container
  • Neem oil
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Spray bottle

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  1. 1

    Store the neem oil in a cool dry place, preferably a refrigerator. Never store neem oil near heat or an open flame. Neem oil will retain its potency when stored at 4.44 degrees Celsius.

    Directions on mixing neem oil for pest control
    Store neem oil at 4.44 degrees Celsius. (degrees image by Francois du Plessis from
  2. 2

    Fill a bucket with warm water. Place the container of neem oil into the bucket. Neem oil will revert to a solid form when stored in the refrigerator. It will need to return to liquid form before it can be mixed.

    Directions on mixing neem oil for pest control
    The entire container of neem oil should fit easily in the bucket so it can warm properly. (rain buckets image by nastos from
  3. 3

    Remove your container of neem oil from the bucket of warm water once it has returned to liquid form. You are now ready to mix the neem oil to create a pesticide spay for indoor and outdoor plants, herbs, vegetables, flowers and ornamentals.

    Directions on mixing neem oil for pest control
    Neem oil is safe to use on indoor and outdoor plants. (Plants image by Degitail Imaging from
  1. 1

    Choose a mixing container that is appropriate to the size of the job. Limit excess by only mixing as much as you need. The ratio is one ounce of neem oil per one gallon of water. Mix the solution just prior to use to ensure freshness and potency.

    Directions on mixing neem oil for pest control
    Do not mix the neem oil solution until you are ready to use it. (bucket close up image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from
  2. 2

    Mix one ounce of neem oil per gallon of water, adding a couple drops of liquid dish soap to every gallon of water. Dish soap is vital to the mixture. It will help break down the neem oil, allowing it to mix with the water. Without dish soap, the neem oil will not mix properly.

    Directions on mixing neem oil for pest control
    Dish soap ensures that the neem oil mixes with the water. (modern design soap dispenser image by Christopher Meder from
  3. 3

    Transfer the neem oil mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the neem oil solution on all plant surfaces for desired effects. Neem oil is most effective when sprayed in the morning.

    Directions on mixing neem oil for pest control
    Use a spray bottle to evenly distribute neem oil on all plant leaves and surfaces. (green spray bottle image by Jim Mills from
  4. 4

    Wait a few days for complete results. A weaker solution can be mixed later and applied as a maintenance spray.

Tips and warnings

  • Always read the manufacturer's instructions on all neem oil products, as directions may differ. The Ottawa Orchid Society recommends separating large containers of neem oil into separate smaller containers so they are easier to warm before mixing.
  • Keep neem oil out of reach of children and pets. Neem oil is a relatively safe substance that does not require special clothing or safety goggles; however, it can irritate the eyes and be harmful if absorbed through the skin. Do not contaminate fresh water sources when spraying neem oil solution. Neem oil is toxic to bees. Be sure that the spraying area is clear of bees before spraying.

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