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About Neem Oil

What is Neem Oil?

Neem oil is extracted from the seeds of the Neem tree, the scientific name of which is Azadirachta Indica. It typically grows in the Indian subcontinent and many regions of Africa.

Practically all parts of the Neem tree (fruit, seeds, leaves, stems, and bark) contain diverse phytochemicals, perhaps the most important of which is Azadirachtin. This compound was established in the 1960s as an insect antifeedant, growth disruptor, and insecticide. The presence of Azadirachtin in Neem oil makes it an important natural alternative to synthetic pesticides.

Physical Characteristics

Neem oil varies in color depending on how the seeds were processed before being pressed. It can be golden yellow, yellowish brown, reddish brown, dark brown, greenish brown, or, rarely, even bright red. It has a rather strong odor that is said to be a combination of the odors of Peanut and Garlic. (While this strong odor could be repulsive to many, it should be remembered that the oil will be used at concentrations of 1% or less as a spray mix. At those low concentrations, the mix smells rather acceptable and even pleasant to some). Due to the presence of significant amounts of ‘triterpenoid compounds’ neem oil has a strong bitter taste.

Neem oil is Hydrophobic in nature meaning it doesn’t easily mix with water. To make a Neem oil plant spray, we need to add a surfactant (soap or detergent) to the oil and water.

How does Neem oil work?

Neem oil is not a contact killer and does not directly kill insects on the plant. It acts as an anti-feedant, repellent, and egg-laying deterrent and thus protects the crop from damage. The insects starve and die within a few days. Neem oil also makes the eggs under developed and suppresses the hatching of pest insects. It is known to block insect molting.

Methods of Extraction

The method of processing is likely affects the composition of the oil. Three different methods are generally used.

  1. Cold Pressing
  2. Expeller Pressing
  3. Solvent Extraction

Cold Pressing:
This is the slow pressing of Neem seeds in such a way that the oil temperature remains close to room temperature. This is considered the best method since it preserves the characteristics of the oil. However, this method is the least efficient in terms of productivity and yield.

Expeller Pressing:
This method is suitable for mass production and involves extraction using high speed equipment. Expeller processing results in increase in oil temperature to between 100oF and 120oF. It is believed that some of the beneficial compounds may be degraded due to this increase in temperatures. This method however produces better yield per pound of seeds.

Solvent Extraction:
Neem seed oil can also be obtained by solvent extraction of the neem seed, fruit, oil, cake or kernel by using chemicals like Hexane. This method is the least desirable but produces the bets yield. This solvent-extracted neem oil is of a lower quality and is mostly used for industrial uses like soap manufacturing.

Therefore, from a user's perspective, Cold Pressed Neem Oil is the best option.

Residential and Agricultural Uses:

Residential:

Deepthi Neem Oil can be used on a variety of flowering & potted plants, vegetable gardens, lawn, ornamentals, and fruit trees as well as indoor and outdoor container gardening.

It can be used to control the following pests:
Aphids:Cotton aphids, Cowpea aphids, Mustard aphids, Okra aphids, Pea aphids, Rice aphids

Beetles:Brinjal (Egg Plant) Spotted Leaf Beetle, Chick pea beetle, Cow pea beetle, Colorado potato beetle, Cucumber beetle, Mexican Bean beetle, Radish Flea beetle, Red Pumpkin beetle, Spotted cucumber beetle, Soya bean Japanese beetle

Caterpillars & moths: Black headed caterpillar, Cabbage caterpillar, Ear cutting caterpillar, Tent

caterpillar, Tobacco caterpillar, Yellow hairy caterpillar

Foliar fungus: Alternaria, Anthracnose, Blight, Botrytis, mildew, mold, scab, rust, sour rot on grapes

Soil fungus:Fusarium, Pythium, R. Solani

Leafhoppers & grasshoppers:Brown plant hopper, Carolina grasshopper, Leafhopper, Potato

leafhopper, Rice brown plant hopper, Rice grasshopper, Rice green leafhoppers

Scale: California red scales, Yellow scales, Coffee green scales

Whiteflies: Cotton white fly, Sugar cane white fly, Banded wing white flies, citrus white flies

Worms: Armyworm, Webworm, Cabbageworm, Tomato hornworm, Field Wireworm

Other bugs (by disrupting their life cycle): flies, lace bugs, Squash vine borer, squash bugs, loopers, leafrollers, gnats, grubs, stink bugs, leafminers, plant bugs, psyllids, maggots, mealy bugs, midges, mites, nematodes, thrips, weevils, boxelder bugs, crickets, ants (except Carpenter, Harvester, Pharaoh & Fire), earwigs, and chinch bugs

Agricultural:

Deepthi Neem Oil can be used for foliar and soil treatment to control listed insect pests, mites, fungal disease and nematodes

It can be sprayed on the following food crops:
Alfalfa, asparagus, avocado, beans, berries, birdseed, Brassica leafy greens/vegetables, bulb

vegetables, cereal grains, citrus fruits, cole crops, coffee, corn, cucurbits, edible fungi, fruit, grapes, herbs & spices, kiwi, legumes, leafy & fruiting vegetables, figs, fruit & tree nut trees, oilseed plants, olive trees, palm trees, papayas, peanuts, persimmons, pineapple, pome & stone fruits, root & tuber vegetables, shrubs, stem & leaf petiole vegetables, tea, tropical & subtropical fruits.

Neem oil can be used to control the following pests:

Aphids: Cotton aphids, Cowpea aphids, Mustard aphids, Okra aphids, Pea aphids, Rice aphids

Beetles: Brinjal (Egg Plant) Spotted Leaf Beetle, Chick pea beetle, Cow pea beetle, Colorado potato beetle, Cucumber beetle, Mexican Bean beetle, Radish Flea beetle, Red Pumpkin beetle, Spotted cucumber beetle, Soya bean Japanese beetle

Caterpillars & moths: Black headed caterpillar, Cabbage caterpillar, Ear cutting caterpillar, Tent

caterpillar, Tobacco caterpillar, Yellow hairy caterpillar

Foliar fungus: Alternaria, Anthracnose, Blight, Botrytis, mildew, mold, scab, rust, sour rot on grapes

Soil fungus: Fusarium, Pythium, R. Solani

Leafhoppers & grasshoppers: Brown plant hopper, Carolina grasshopper, Leafhopper, Potato

leafhopper, Rice brown plant hopper, Rice grasshopper, Rice green leafhoppers

Scale: California red scales, Yellow scales, Coffee green scales

Whiteflies: Cotton white fly, Sugar cane white fly, Banded wing white flies, citrus white flies

Worms: Armyworm, Webworm, Cabbageworm, Tomato hornworm, Field Wireworm

Other bugs (by disrupting their life cycle): flies, lace bugs, Squash vine borer, squash bugs, loopers, leafrollers, gnats, grubs, stink bugs, leafminers, plant bugs, psyllids, maggots, mealy bugs, midges, mites, nematodes, thrips, weevils, boxelder bugs, crickets, ants (except Carpenter, Harvester, Pharaoh & Fire), earwigs, and chinch bugs.

Detailed Instructions and Guidelines for Mixing, Application, Safety Precautions, Storage & Disposal methods etc., for Residential Use can be found here.

Detailed Instructions and Guidelines for Mixing, Application, Safety Precautions, Storage & Disposal methods etc., for Agricultural Use can be found here.