Using natural pest control methods for your garden is great in more ways than one, and if you’re still wondering- does neem oil kill ants, we’ll here’s answering just that and much more.
In short, the answer is yes. Neem oil does kill ants, along with many common pests, and also discourages the growth of fungus that commonly infects plants.
Does Neem Oil Kill Ants?
Neem oil is a natural product derived from Azadirachta Indica tree seeds. This oil contains chemicals called terpenoids, flavonoids and tannins.
These compounds provide protection to the plant from pests and diseases. There are more than 60 different types of terpenoids present in neem oil. Some of these include limonene, linalool, geraniol, eugenol, neral, geranyl acetate, neryl acetate etc.
How is Neem Oil Used?
There are a wide variety of applications for this rather versatile herb extract/oil. Let’s take a deeper look
As an Insecticide
It is used as a natural pesticide and insecticide for controlling insects like aphids, whiteflies, mealybugs, mites, thrips, leafhoppers, scale insects, spider mites, caterpillars and other pest insects. It is also used to control ants, termites, beetles, flies, wasps, bees, butterflies, grasshoppers, crickets, earwigs, centipedes, millipedes, spiders.
As an Anti-Fungal Agent
This oil has been found to be effective against fungi such as Botrytis cinerea (gray mold), Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici (fusarium wilt) and Rhizoctonia solani (root rot). It can also be used to prevent powdery mildew formation on a wide variety of plants.
As a Natural Remedy
This oil is often recommended by herbalists as a home remedy for treating fungal infections, cold sores, athlete’s foot, ringworm, psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, acne, boils, ulcers, wounds, cuts, burns, sunburns, insect bites, stings, rashes, blisters, chapped lips, cracked skin, dry itchy scalp, oily hair, oily skin, pimples, blackheads, blemishes, scars, stretch marks, wrinkles, cellulite, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, leg ulcers and even bed sores.
How Exactly Does Neem Oil Kill Ants?
The active ingredient in neem oil is azadirachtin, which is derived from the seeds of the neem tree. Azadirachtin works by disrupting the insect nervous system, causing paralysis and eventually death.
Like most pesticides, it takes several applications to eliminate a problem. If you see ants around your home, spray some neem oil around the perimeter of your property.
This will give you a couple of weeks to let the product work its magic. You can also apply it to ant hills, where it’ll help keep them away from your plants.
There are several reasons why neem oil might not work as an effective ant killer. First, the active ingredient in neem oil is azadirachtin. While it does kill some ants, it is not always effective against all species of ants.
Second, neem oil works best when sprayed directly onto the leaves of the plant. If you use neem oil on the soil around the plant, the oil will not penetrate into the roots of the plant. When the ants eat the leaves, they ingest the oil along with the food.
Third, most of the studies conducted so far have shown that neem oil is less efficient in killing ants compared to synthetic pesticides such as pyrethrins and imidacloprid. Fourth, neem oil is toxic to humans. It causes allergic reactions like skin irritation and vomiting.
Making a Basic Neem Oil Soak
The best way to use neem oil as a pest control method is to apply it to the soil around your plants. When the neem tree absorbs water, it releases the azadirachtin into the soil where it can kill pests.
You'll want to do this as soon as possible after planting. If you wait too long, the neem tree will lose its ability to release the active ingredient.
You can also spray the leaves of your plants with neem oil, but this isn't recommended because it could damage your plants' foliage. Applying neem oil to the soil around your garden is the safest option.
Using Neem Foliar Sprays To Kill Ants.
If you don't have time to soak up the neem oil, there's another way to get rid of ants: using neem foliar sprays. These products contain neem oil mixed with other ingredients. They're designed to protect your plants from insects without harming their health or appearance.
These foliar sprays are usually applied to the underside of the plant leaves using spray bottles, which makes their application so much easier. Because they're made specifically for plants, they won't harm any animals or people who come in contact with them.
The active ingredient in neem foliar spray is azadirachtin. Like neem oil, it disrupts the insect nervous system, making it impossible for them to function properly.
When used correctly, neem foliar sprayers are safe for both pets and children. However, if you notice any symptoms of poisoning, immediately remove the affected area from direct sunlight and call your doctor.
Will Neem Oil Damage My Plants?
Neem oil is one of the safest pesticides available today. But just because something is safe doesn't mean it's right for every situation.
Some pesticides are better than others at controlling specific types of pests. And some are more harmful than others.
In general, it is best to stick to natural methods of pest and insect control in your garden, and neem oil actually does that.
When choosing which pesticide to use, you should consider how much risk you're willing to take. There are many different kinds of pesticides out there. Each has its own set of pros and cons. Some are more dangerous than others.
For example, neem oil is considered to be very safe. It's non-toxic to humans and animals as opposed to most commercially available pesticides out there, which are usually laden with toxic chemicals.
It's also considered to be environmentally friendly. That means it's good for the environment. However, it may not be the best choice for all situations.
All in all, neem oil is an excellent choice among almost all natural insect repellents, and can be safely used on potted plants, garden plants, indoor plants and all other kinds of plants.