Illegal Pesticide Use – Neem Oil – Ontario – Ottawa Orchid Society

Another recommended product for scale is neem oil.


SAFER’S markets neem oil in both concentrate and spray form. The Safer’s Neem Oil is packaged in blue plastic containers and the Safer’s Neem Oil Spray (1 litre) sells for $14.95 and the Safer’s Neem Oil Natural Concentrate (500 ml.) sells for $34.95. The natural neem oil, once used, must be kept in a cool place and out of sunlight as it will otherwise turn rancid. The natural neem oil will also solidify at low temperatures so that when you wish to use it, you will have to heat the contents to turn it into liquid form before you can use it. To heat, place the container into a pot of warm/hot water. Some folks put the container into the microwave. I don’t know how safe it is to use the microwave but if you should decide to use this mode, use short time cycles (i.e. 20-30 second intervals) to reduce any risks of the container bursting. Some folks, when they buy a large container of neem oil pour the contents into smaller microwave safe plastic containers and heat these smaller containers as and when required rather than having to handle a large container.

Once you use neem oil, you must store the container in the fridge or some other place where it is cool as the neem oil will turn rancid over time. Neem oil concentrate is expensive so you do not want to be careless with storage.

Note: The neem oil produced by Safer’s is sold as a foliar leaf spray and is not described as a pesticide so it does not fall under the pesticide guidelines. Consequently, it is not handled as a controlled sale pesticide. You would have to know the many uses for neem oil to know why to buy it.

Both Safer's End-All II and SAFER’S NEEM OIL are available at most nurseries in the Ottawa area.

Your editor consulted with our plant guru, Marilyn Light, on the use of neem oil and she provided the following information: “Neem oil products can vary and so there will be a number of different recipes in circulation. One should read the instructions on the container. I found these instructions on the internet and all seem appropriate but one should always test a new product/preparation on a single leaf before a wholesale treatment of plants of any kind. Neem Oil Amounts for Insect Spray For 1 litre of a 0.5 % dilution of neem plant spray you need: * 5 ml neem oil * 1-2 ml insecticidal soap or other liquid detergent * 1 litre warm water Shake well and also during spraying to keep the oil from separating.

Method for Preparing Neem Insect Spray * Use warm water if possible. If making a large batch make a premix in a small amount of warm water, then add that into the big container. * Mix the warm water with the soap first! * Then slowly add the oil while stirring vigorously. * Fill the mix into your sprayer. * (Or fill the premix into your sprayer, which should already contain the rest of the water. Mix well.) * Keep shaking or otherwise agitating the mix while spraying. * Use the mixture within eight hours. Spray the neem insecticide solution on all the leaves, especially the undersides where insects like to hide. Use your neem insect spray as quickly as possible, definitely within eight hours. Once your batch of neem spray is mixed the neem oil starts breaking down. Always make a fresh neem oil mixture for spraying, and only prepare the amount you need.