Problems happen. And at some point, we develop solutions to those problems. And this is no different in the case of gardening problems.
However, gardening solutions tend to go into two categories. Synthetic and natural solutions.
Modern technology vs herbal solutions. This has been always a topic for debate among gardeners. However, the effectiveness of these solutions depends on the situations.
So, you’ve got some mites in your precious garden? Now, you scrolled through expert suggestions and have ended up with two options. Now, you’ve got to decide on this war of insecticidal soap vs neem oil.
However, all the available solutions on this topic are highly confusing. So, we’ve brought this piece here to cover your back.
Now, let’s not waste any more time and jump right into the details-
What is Insecticidal Soap?
Insecticidal soap is basically soap boiled in water. This mixture is later sprayed onto plants. So, how does this work?
Well, in short, it dries the bugs out. The soap can penetrate bug shells and damage its cells. And it can also suffocate some insects by covering up the shells.
This solution works fully on scale insects and soft-bodied bugs (e.g. aphids, mealybugs). However, it works on different levels against fleas, chiggers, scales, and mites.
Unfortunately, some of the insecticidal soap useless against chewing bugs. So, if your garden is being invaded by beetles and caterpillars, then it’s better to read the label of the spray bottle to know the affected insect list.
Here is the list of best organic insect killer soap spray for your garden-
Pros and Cons of Insecticidal Soaps
Now that we know the basics of this solution, it’s time to analyze further. Here we have listed up some of the advantages and disadvantages of using insecticidal soap. Let’s look at these, one by one-
- Easy to prepare.
- Works quickly
- Low toxicity
- Uses only the Fels- Naptha soap is the key ingredient.
- Works differently on different bugs.
- A strong solution may kill the plant.
What is Neem Oil?
We’re pretty sure that you’ve come across the name Neem even before. This is a medicinal plant that is widely popular in India and it’s surrounding countries.
Among its many uses, the pesticide use is super popular. However, there’s a certain way to use that.
Like you can’t just spray some raw oils onto your plants. It’ll be highly inefficient. But before that, we should know how to make oils.
If you have a hard time trusting neem oils available in the market, then you can produce it at home. All you’ll need is some neem seeds and a cold press.
You can easily extract 100% pure neem oil by using that cold press. However, it doesn’t end here. Now, you have to prepare the sprayable solution.
For this, you’ll need to find a mild liquid soap. Once, you’ve got your shopping list complete, it’s time to make your insecticide spray.
Make a 1% to 2% solution of neem oil and soap. Store it in a spray bottle and use all of it within 8 hours.
Hopefully, it’ll steer away from all the bugs.
Here is the list of best quality neem oil spray for your garden-
- Natria 706240A Organic Plant Protection From Pests and Diseases Neem Oil
- Garden Safe HG-93179 Neem Oil Extract Concentrate
Pros and Cons of Using Neem Oil
Just like before we’re here to explore the pros and cons of this solution. Although neem is considered as a medicinal plant, we’ve figured out some cons that might interest you. Now, let’s look at those-
- Almost zero toxicity for the plants and the environment
- Long-lasting solution
- Has multipurpose usage
- Takes time to get into work
- Requires the practice to master the right combo
Neem Oil or Insecticidal Soap?
Till now we’ve covered up the basics of neem oil and soap for plants. And there’s no clear winner here. Like you cannot wait for a week till your oil solution starts working. On the other hand, causing harm to the environment shouldn’t be an option while killing insects.
Moreover, regular chemical soaps may also kill helpful bugs. But neem oil is perfect in this scenario.
But just as we said before, 1 week is enough time for the bugs to kill your precious garden. But this is a preventive measure. And because of that, it’s pretty popular.
On the other hand, some gardeners prefer short time harm instead of seeing their garden getting destroyed.
And many use a combination of both solutions to tackle those garden bugs. However, using this neem oil and soap pesticide combo still doesn’t solve some issues.
So, we have figured out a way to solve all the issues here.
The solution is to make an insecticidal soap with neem oil. We’ll explore this solution in the next part.
Neem Oil Insecticidal Soap Recipe
The best thing about soaps is that you can make these with any kind of oil. Actually, that’s basic organic chemistry. All you need is oil, lye, water, and some heat. You’ll end up with a functioning soap.
Now, let’s go through the details-
You’ll need to order up some ingredients before crafting this soap. For your ease, we’ve listed up the items with their amounts. Now, let’s get going-
- Neem oil – 1 pound
- Lye or caustic soda – 2.1 ounces
- Water – 0.2 pound
- A porcelain bowl
- A steel rod for steering
If you don’t have a porcelain bowl then look for heat resistant glass bowls. However, avoid using aluminum and plastic.
At first mix the first three ingredients in that bowl. Next start heating the bowl from bellow. Keep on steering the mixture.
Stop steering once you feel that the mixture has gone sticky. Now, let the mixture cool down for some time. After the cooling period, store it in a dry place for the pesticide making procedure.
At this point, you have a soap made out of neem oil. Now, it’s time to turn it into a pesticide.
Preparing the Pesticide
This part is actually super easy. All you have to do is measure the water against the soap. Your soap will measure around 1 pound. And, there’s a possibility that you won’t need all that soap at once.
So, we suggest you use that soap in parts.
Now, back to the procedure. Here you have to decide the pesticide concertation. For this, we’d suggest you follow the regular insecticidal soap concentration.
Once everything’s set, proceed to the next step. That is boiling the soap in water.
Once the new mixture gets cold, pour it in a spray bottle and start sweeping the war zone.
And that’s how to make insecticidal soap with neem oil.
Don’t go anywhere near soap making without proper safety measures. Now, what are the safety measures here? Well, regular stuff like gloves, goggles, aprons, etc.
Believe us you don’t want that lye going into your eyes. Even touching it gives burning sensations. So, take proper safety measures.
Also, clean the materials properly after use. Because someone might use that bowl for eating something. And soaps getting inside your belly isn’t a pretty feeling.
Question: Is neem oil an insecticidal soap?
Answer: No. Neem oil is just plain oil. Soaps are made from oil through a chemical process.
Question: Can you mix neem oil with insecticidal soap?
Answer: Yes, it’s possible. Some people use neem oil to increase the effectiveness of the solution.
Question: Is Neem oil safe from bees?
Answer: Yes. Neem oil is completely safe from bees. So, your farm pollination won’t get hampered.
Question: Can you put too much neem oil on plants?
Answer: No. Too much neem oil can kill a plant. It’s better to apply in a small area at first to test the limit of the plants.
We believe that was a complete discussion on insecticidal soap vs neem oil. Now you know the difference between insecticidal soap and neem oil and which one to choose between these. Moreover, now you know how to make a pesticide soap with neem oil.
So, what are you waiting for? Settle the score with those bugs already. Good luck and happy gardening.