Insects are a nuisance. They can make our lives miserable by taking up residence in our homes, gardens, destroying crops, and spreading disease to humans and animals alike. One of the most effective ways that people have found to keep insects out of their homes is with an organic insecticide called neem oil.
It’s a great product for killing bugs on contact, but it also has some other benefits which might be more important depending on what type of pest you’re dealing with. In today’s post, we’ll discuss neem oil vs insecticidal soap so you can decide which is right for you.
Neem Oil Vs Insecticidal Soap: Comparison And Differences
Neem oil is a very useful product that has been used in the organic gardening community for decades. It has several benefits, but one of the most vital comes from it being a natural insecticide that is harmful to insects on contact and when ingested. On the other hand, insecticidal soap is a type of natural insecticide that disintegrates an insect’s protective shell. There are several differences and comparisons between insecticidal soap and neem oil.
What is Neem Oil And How Does It Work?
Neem oil is a pressed seed of the neem tree. The active ingredient in the oil is azadirachtin, an organic insecticide that affects pests on contact and when ingested.
When a bug comes into contact with neem oil, it will absorb it through its porous outer surface. As a result, its body fluids become very acidic. This prevents the bug from digesting food and receiving proper nutrition.
Neem oil also disrupts a bug’s hormonal balance. This is important because bugs only go through four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. If you interrupt this process, they won’t be able to reproduce so their population will contract.
What is Insecticidal Soap And How Does It Work?
Insecticidal soap mimics the insect’s natural body fluids which are alkaline. Once it is absorbed into their outer shell, it causes them to dehydrate and die.
As with neem oil, insects don’t have to come into direct contact with the product in order for it to be effective. Insects absorb the soap through any exposed pores on their body so all they have to do is touch one leaf of a plant that has been sprayed thoroughly with this product and they can become infected without even eating anything.
How Do They Compare in Terms of Effectiveness?
In terms of effectiveness, both products are very effective at killing insects. However, insecticidal soap is more suitable for treating plants that a pest infestation has affected while neem oil is better suited to pests that live in the soil or on foliage such as aphids and mealybugs.
Neem oil can also provide residual protection because it remains active for several weeks while insecticidal soap only lasts a couple of days before you’ll need to reapply it again.
Since neem oil has a longer shelf life than insecticidal soap, it also has a lower chance of being diluted when it’s mixed with water so you will have to useless to get the same level of coverage. This makes neem oil cost-effective over the long run while insecticidal soap might be a better buy for someone who plans to do a lot of spraying.
In terms of safety, neem oil has one advantage over insecticidal soap because it is safe for use on food crops and even pets when used at recommended levels. Insecticidal soap can burn your skin so you have to be careful with its application.
The Making Process of Insecticidal Soap And Neem Oil
DIY Methods for Making Neem Oil
Neem oil is easy to make at home. Here are a couple of methods you can use.
The first method involves making an infusion by placing the seeds in a small amount of water and letting them sit overnight before straining and pressing any remaining oil from the seed husks. This produces a high concentrate which you have to dilute before using.
The second method involves combining 1 cup of neem oil with 2 tablespoons each of liquid soap base and hot water, 4 tablespoons vegetable glycerin, 1/8 teaspoon blackstrap molasses, and a single drop of rosemary oleoresin extract (ROE). You will need to mix this solution well and store it in a dark bottle since sunlight will cause it to spoil.
The third method is to apply the neem seeds straight on the plants you want to treat or on top of some newspaper that has been placed on the soil around plants. From time to time, simply brush them into a bucket filled with water and use this mixture to spray your plants for an effective insecticidal soap.
DIY Methods for Making Insecticidal Soap
There are also some methods you can use to create your own insecticidal soap at home. You might already have the ingredients in your kitchen so it won’t be expensive either. Here are a couple of recipes you can try.
The first recipe consists of combining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil with 1 teaspoon each of liquid castile soap and apple cedar vinegar, 1 drop of lemongrass essential oil, and some water. Store this solution in an empty plastic bottle or any spray bottle you have on hand and use it when needed.
A second recipe calls for filling up a 32-ounce empty plastic bottle with boiling water then add 2 tablespoons each of lemon juice and liquid castile soap along with 15 drops each of thyme essential oil, eucalyptus essential oil, lemongrass essential oil, and cedar essential oil. Let the solution cool down before it is ready to be used.
A third recipe requires combining 1 teaspoon of castle soap and liquid coconut oil soap with 5 drops each of thyme and cedarwood essential oils as well as 15 drops of lavender essential oil. This final mixture should spray directly on plants without diluting them with water so you can use it as needed.
DIY Methods for Making Soap Sprays
You can also try making your own soap sprays at home by combining 1 tablespoon each of liquid castle soap and bamboo vinegar, 10 drops of citronella essential oil, 2 tablespoons witch hazel extract, 4 drops of lemon essential oil along 3 cups of water. Store the solution in a spray bottle then applies it to affected areas whenever needed.
Another recipe involving whiskey involves mixing 1 cup of Irish whiskey or bourbon with 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 40 drops of rosemary essential oil, and 6 cups of water. Let the mixture sit overnight before straining it to remove any remaining impurities then store it in a spray bottle that you can use when needed.
The Benefits of Using Either Product
Benefits of Using Neem Oil
Neem oil can control over 250 kinds of insects. This makes it a great product for organic gardeners because there is no need to spend money on several sprays for different pests. All you have to do is apply neem oil and you’re done!
Also, neem oil has an advantage over pesticide that contains harsh chemicals because it won’t harm the beneficial insects you want to protect in your garden such as bees. It merely repels them so they will stay away from the area until the treatment has dried up completely.
Benefits of Using Insecticidal Soap
Insecticidal soap doesn’t have any residual effects which mean once the solution dries up after spraying, you won’t have to worry about residue being left behind to harm beneficial insects. This is especially important for people with fruit trees and berry plants since they attract a lot of beneficial bugs such as bees, ladybugs, and butterflies.
However, insecticidal soap isn’t recommended for use on all plants so you have to be careful which ones you decide to spray. You also have to wait until the plant’s surface has dried up before you can harvest your fruits and vegetables because this product can cause injury if ingested or absorbed by direct contact.
When Should You Use Each Type of Product?
Although both insecticidal soap and neem oil are effective, we should only use them at different times.
Neem oil is best applied in early spring when pests are emerging from hibernation. It can repel insects before they cause damage so it can protect your plants right away.
It’s best to use insecticidal soap during mid-summer when most harmful garden pests are out in full force and actively feeding on your plants. This will give you maximum control over these bugs because they won’t multiply anymore without being exposed to lethal doses of this product.
The Control Process for Each Product
Neem oil can control pests in three different ways. It disrupts the feeding process so bugs won’t be able to eat your plants properly and fully digest their food. Likewise, neem oil also disrupts both mating and egg-laying since it repels insects live all genders. Lastly, it alters the pest’s metabolism which means they won’t survive long enough to reproduce or lay eggs that will hatch in the future.
Insecticidal soap kills by clogging up insects’ pores and causing them to suffocate when they absorb too much of this product. Insects are more susceptible to attacks when they are mobile because they are trying to feed on leaves, flowers, or fruits of affected plants.
The Toxicity of Neem Oil And Insecticides Soap
Both products are relatively safe to use when you follow the instructions on the label. They also won’t cause harm to humans or animals in small doses so they are both safe for use around pets and children.
Insecticidal soap is made with potassium salts which create a caustic solution that kills pests by destroying their exoskeleton. Potassium salts can be harmful if ingested in large quantities but they cut their toxicity down when it’s combined with other ingredients in insecticides soap.
Neem oil is derived from nuts which means it can disrupt hormones inside your body if you take this product internally by mistake. Because of this, someone should never consume directly neem oil even though it has very strong anti-inflammatory properties when ingested orally.
Burning Risks For Each Product
Insecticidal soaps only pose a fire risk if you mix two different types of cleaning products together. This can create toxic fumes that are harmful to people’s lungs if inhaled. It can also cause an explosion if the hoses, containers, or other tools related to this product are exposed to heat sources like flames or sparks.
It takes neem oil hours to evaporate into thin air so it won’t pose any kind of combustion threat after being applied on plants unless it comes in direct contact with any open flame. If this happens, the strong odor from neem oil will make your plant produce black smoke which is why it should never be stored next to any kind of tinder or flammable objects.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is The Best Way to Store Insecticide Soap And Neem Oil?
Keep the lid tightly closed to prevent it from spilling over because its ingredients are very soluble in water. Store this product away from children and pets to make sure they stay out of harm’s way.
Store this product away from direct sunlight because heat can affect how it smells. Always keep the lid tightly closed because neem oil’s powerful odor can penetrate the wood and metal packaging, making it hard to open containers that aren’t airtight.
How Long will The Effects of Insecticidal Soap Last?
It takes about an hour for insecticidal soap to completely dry up so pests who come in contact with it will start getting killed immediately after you apply it to the desired area. Your plants will remain protected for about two weeks after you’ve applied it to their leaves and stems which will give you enough time to harvest them before they show signs of insect damage again.
Which One Should You Choose Insecticidal Soap Or Neem Oil?
- Insecticidal soap is a fast-acting solution that provides plants with immediate protection from hungry insects. Because of this, growers only need an hour to harvest their plants and start washing them with water before they can consume them.
- Neem oil has very strong anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a great alternative for people with skin conditions like psoriasis or dry skin. Its powerful odor also repels insects from your garden which means you can harvest your plant’s crops a lot sooner than if they used insecticidal soap as the solution to keep them healthy and pest-free.
How Effective are Insecticides at Killing Pests?
Both insecticidal soap and neem oil can kill at least 95% of insects who come in contact with them. However, only neem oil has anti-inflammatory properties so it’s good for your skin even if you are the one applying it to the desired area.
Neem oil is a great alternative for people with skin conditions like psoriasis or dry skin. It also repels insects from your garden which means you can harvest your plant’s crops sooner than if they used insecticidal soap as the solution to keep them healthy and pest-free.
For these reasons, neem oil may be better suited for those who are looking to protect their plants without harming themselves. If you have questions about how best to use this product, contact us today!
Looking for neem oil vs insecticidal soap comparisons, this article has all the information you need to make an informed buying decision.