This simple DIY neem insecticide made at home can help keep your garden free of bugs and insects in a healthy way.
Nurturing plants comes with its fair share of pesky insects that attack your plant. Before you realise it, these insects devour the plant leaving it for dead.
If you are looking for organic ways to tackle this problem, then here is an easy solution.
Neem is widely used and known for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties. Besides all this, it also has properties that help tackle the pest menace.
With its strong bitter taste and pungent smell, organic neem oil extract repels the harmful bugs, while being completely pet-friendly. About 10 to 15 ml of neem oil can be mixed with a few drops of liquid soap and some warm water and then sprayed onto the plants. The effect is known to last for over a week, says Greeshma Reddy, a plant doctor with Bengaluru-based organic farm ‘My Dream Garden’.
A Hyderabad-based microbiologist who has been nurturing a green haven on her terrace, she is also a very vocal advocate of using neem and its products to ward away pests. In an interview with The Better India, she said, “Keep an eye out and identify the kind of pests that attack your plants. Usually, I prefer to remove the infected parts of the plant like the leaf or stem to get rid of the pests. But if the attack continues and you think there is no hope for a particular plant, it is best to get rid of it. I also spray neem oil every ten days to keep pests at bay.”
She also adds neem to the soil while planting to help avoid root-borne diseases.
Here’s how you can make a neem-based insecticide at home:
Neem oil extract
Water from boiled rice
Mortar and pestle
· Add the garlic pods and green chilli into the mortal and pound well with the pestle.
· Once this is well mixed add the paste to the water from the boiled rice.
· Allow this mixture to ferment well. You could leave it aside for a couple of days or at the least overnight.
· The water must be well-infused with spices (garlic and green chilli).
· After it is fermented, strain the water to allow the garlic peels and chilli skin to be left out.
· To the freshly extracted water, add two to three teaspoons of neem oil extract.
· Mix well.
· Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and dilute it before you spray it over the infected plant/leaves.
· Continue to spray on infected areas every other day until you notice the disappearance of the bugs or infection.
· Continue this for at least one week to see good results.
Medicinal properties of neem leaves: a review by R Subapriya
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)