Neem oil is a naturally occurring pesticide that can be used to combat a host of landscaping pests and diseases. Azadirachtin is an active component in neem oil that can be extracted to repel and kill pests. Studies have shown that neem oil is nearly nontoxic to bees, birds, fish, and wildlife. In addition, neem oil has no link to cancer or other diseases, making it a safe insecticide when applied correctly. When consumed by insects, including grubs, insecticides made from neem oil can make those insects cease feeding or reduce their feeding, helping to prevent the spread of lawn problems associated with certain insect infestations. In addition, neem oil can hinder the maturation process of larvae by interfering with insect hormone systems, which can prevent them from breeding. As is the case when applying any pesticides, parents should be mindful of their children after applying neem oil. Though studies have not found children are more sensitive to neem oil than adults, parents may want to err on the side of caution and prevent their children from playing in areas of the yard where neem oil was recently applied.
Home and Garden May 7, 2015