Neem Oil Is Not Killing Spider Mites
When the leaves on your plant look like they are covered with thousands of tiny spots, chances are you have a spider mite infestation. If you’re an eco-conscious home gardener, you’ll probably reach for a plant-based pesticide such as neem oil to minimize the effects of chemicals on the environment. If the neem oil is not effective, you might be using it incorrectly.
No Ordinary Pest
Spider mites are not insects, although they are sometimes categorized as insect pests. Rather — as their name implies — they are related to spiders and classified as arachnids. Tiny ones, however: They are less than 1/20th of an inch in length and look like moving black dots to the naked eye, according to the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. Although you don’t want to spray spider killer on your plants, the fact that they are arachnids means that they react to some pesticides in ways different from other common insect pests — such as aphids and scale — might react.
Resistant to Pesticides
Spider mites can be difficult to eradicate with pesticides, especially if populations are large. They have many natural enemies that usually keep their populations down in the garden, but indoors those predators are not around to gobble them up. In addition, pesticide use in the garden can kill those beneficial predators, leaving the spider mites to thrive and proliferate. Pesticides containing carbaryl actually increase spider mite reproduction, according to the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program. Neem oil, on the other hand, can be effective against spider mites, but only if it is used properly.
Neem Oil Effectiveness
The most effective way to use neem oil to eradicate spider mites is to apply it once and then release natural predators into the area, but this isn’t always practical or feasible — especially if the mites are infesting indoor plants. Otherwise, stick with the neem oil — making sure you are applying it correctly — and combine that with other control methods, keeping in mind that many plants can tolerate a small population of spider mites. If you see a few of them hanging around your woody plant, don’t worry too much about it.
Applying Neem Oil
To apply a premixed neem oil correctly, thoroughly wet the plant, agitating the sprayer constantly and paying particular attention to the undersides of the leaves. Reapply the neem oil once a week at the minimum. Because spider mites are arthropods — they have external skeletons — you might have to apply it even more often than that. So in short, if the neem oil is not killing your spider mites, it might be because you aren’t applying it often enough or maybe you are applying it at the wrong time. Never apply neem oil when temperatures are above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or when the plants are water stressed, meaning they need water or are going through a period of drought.
Other Control Methods
Spider mites like dusty leaves, so if you have houseplants, keep the leaves clean. Spraying the undersides of the leaves with water once a day can discourage spider mites from clustering there. Keep plants well watered if they prefer moist soil, as water-stressed plants are more prone to suffer from spider mite infestations. If you start to see a few mites on your plant, blast them off with a strong stream of water.
Neem Oil Is Not Killing Spider Mites. When the leaves on your plant look like they are covered with thousands of tiny spots, chances are you have a spider mite infestation. If you’re an eco-conscious home gardener, you’ll probably reach for a plant-based pesticide such as neem oil to minimize the effects of …
Neem oil, the organic wonder treatment for cannabis
Neem oil is impressive stuff, and in this article, we’ll teach you how to mix the perfect solution for almost all cannabis pest problems. Neem oil won’t completely get rid of your pests, and you shouldn’t believe anyone who tells you their solution will. What neem oil will do is help you keep the pest population’s impact to a minimum without harming the beneficial organisms. That way, you can keep a balanced ecosystem in your farm.
What is neem oil?
Neem oil is derived from the Neem tree. It has been used in India for centuries and has become the de-facto treatment for organic farmers all over the world. Made by pressing the oil out of the seeds and fruits of the Neem tree, this stuff is a pure vegetable oil that has all the advantage of the tree’s natural pest resistance.
What does neem oil treat?
Neem oil can impact a wide variety of pests, over 400 different insect varieties as well as most fungus. The best part is, it protects against the neem tree’s natural enemies but doesn’t seem to harm more beneficial organisms!
Protects Against Pests
- Spider Mites
- White Flies
- Fungus, Molds & Mildews
- Caterpillars & Moth larvae
- Snails & slugs
Doesn’t Harm Beneficial Organisms
How does neem oil work?
Neem oil doesn’t directly kill pests, like most chemical-based pesticides. Instead, applying it creates a hostile environment for reproduction and depletes the population over time. The oil enters the insects and interferes with insects reproductive system and the oily coating on the leaves impacts egg viability. The whole environment becomes toxic to the pests, and after a few generations of low birth rates, the population collapses.
How long does it take to work?
You should start seeing improvements after the first application, but it generally takes several applications over a few weeks to get the problem completely under control.
Will neem oil completely get rid of my pests?
No. These pests have evolved over millennia to be diverse and resistant. The most costly and caustic commercial chemical treatments won’t completely eradicate a pest and neither will neem oil. If it can’t safely be done, then maybe complete eradication shouldn’t be the goal of a pest treatment, but instead, we should strive for achieving a balance.
Neem oil won’t completely get rid of your pests, and you shouldn’t believe anyone who tells you their solution will. What neem oil will do is help you keep the pest populations impact to a minimum without harming the beneficial organisms. That way, you can keep a balanced ecosystem in your farm.
How do you use neem oil?
Neem oil is typically applied as a topical foliar spray that is a mixture of warm water, oil, and soap as an emulsifier. Coating as much of the surface as possible is essential. For mites and other insects, it is doubly important to cover the underside of the leaf, since that’s where they hang out. Its almost impossible for them to attach an egg sac to the oily surface.
You can apply any time of day, but I like to apply just before light out so that the oil can sit on the leaves longer.
How often do you use neem oil?
Spraying your plant once a week is a great way to prevent pests. If you have an active pest problem, you should spray once every other day until the population is under control.
How do you make a neem oil spray?
What you need
5ml Neem Oil: – I use pure, cold pressed oil.
2.5ml Soap: Oil and water don’t mix, so you need soap to bind the spray together. I use Dr. Bronner’s mint soap since it’s organic and the strong mint brings its own beneficial anti-pest properties. Any liquid dish soap will work as an emulsifier.
1 Liter Hot Water: You will need to keep the spray warm while using since the solution will separate as it cools.
1 Liter Spray Bottle: Any clean spray bottle will work.
These ratios are for pure, cold pressed neem oil, Consult your neem oil label for exact proportions for your product.
Step 1: Warm the neem oil
Neem oil is so thick that it’s almost solid at room temperature so you will need to warm it before use. Run hot water over the sealed container or put in a bucket of hot water until it is warm enough to pour.
Step 2: Mix together
Fill the spray bottle with hot water and, once the neem oil is pourable, add neem oil and soap, Replace the spray bottle lid and shake vigorously for a full minute.
Step 3: Apply
Spray all surfaces of the plant until they are dripping with oil. Pay special attention to the undersides of leaves and at the base of the stems.
Is there something stronger?
If the infestation is particularly severe or you want to take a more aggressive approach, there are very effective ‘kill-on-contact’ organic solutions out there. These are generally made with a combination of neem, rosemary, mint and other oils. We recommend that you only use products that are specifically formulated and tested on cannabis, as we’ve documented some bad results with commercial household organic solutions.
We have had success with Bonide Mite-X spray treatment. It’s an organic solution made of botanical cottonseed, clove, and garlic extracts and works as a broad spectrum pesticide which eliminates a wide range of insects including spider mites, aphids thrips, broad mites, russet mites, and whiteflies. Unlike with neem oil alone, spider mites die on contact. Eggs are suffocated within 12-24 hours.
Can I get a premade spray?
If you want to buy something, you can bet that someone wants to sell it to you, and this is no exception. There are some good solutions, but they can be a bit more costly than mixing your own.
Where can I get neem oil?
We recommend Dyna Gro’s pure, cold pressed oil, but any cold-pressed neem oil with work great. You can find neem oil at your local gardening center or online.
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Neem oil, the organic wonder treatment for cannabis Neem oil is impressive stuff, and in this article, we’ll teach you how to mix the perfect solution for almost all cannabis pest problems. Neem