Does neem oil kill chiggers is a very commonly asked question because while neem oil can destroy most bugs and insects, chiggers are very small in size and might be able to dodge the neem oil action?
Fortunately, this is not true and neem oil can work very effectively on chiggers and related small-sized bugs and insects. Read as we will take you through the simple way of using neem oil once and for all, so let us get started with the process.
How To Get Rid of Chiggers Using Neem Oil?
To get rid of chiggers using neem oil you must start by inspecting the plant, and pick the right time to do it. Then you must arrange the neem oil spray, spray the plant, and apply aftercare and preventative measures so that the chiggers do not find their way back.
The natural antimicrobial chemical compound found in neem oil is called azadirachtin and is very potent against very wide and diverse varieties of insects and bugs that may harm your plants or pets. Neem oil is thus a very effective and easily available remedy and the best thing about it is that it is non-toxic to humans, making it safe to use, so ensure to use it the right way.
1. Inspect the Plant
The first step in the process is to inspect the plant for the presence of chiggers. They are also called harvest mites, bush mites, or berry mites. They are very tiny in size which is why they can get on your clothes very easily and without you ever knowing it so when inspecting the plant keep a safe distance or wear protective gear.
Start the inspection from the top of the plant and make your way down. Make sure that you check all the corners of the plant where these small insects can be hiding because when they sense danger, they can leave the main plant and find shelter in nooks and crannies.
Try and shake the plants to disturb their position for a better inspection. After you have positively seen the chiggers, you should move on to removing them instantly because they can reproduce very easily and grow in population, making it harder for us to remove them.
Before going into a much deeper cleanse of the insect, if the invasion is small or has just started, you might want to hose the insects with plain water a medium pressure. The water will remove the insects and you can manually remove them from around your plants.
Neem oil is a natural essential oil that has the power of a pesticide and insecticide, all packed into one powerful oil and extracted from the neem seeds and tree. Chiggers are one dangerous bug to deal with because they can cause a rash on the skin which can be made better by using calamine lotion and can terribly destroy your crop. They are mostly found in tomato plants.
Keep in mind that this will only work when the insects are very small in number. In the case that the number of insects is much larger, follow the further steps to get rid of them, for keeping your plants healthy and thriving.
2. Pick the Proper Timing
Choose a dry and warm day for spraying the plants as this will help the neem oil work better, significantly it would do best during the early morning when the sun isn’t very bright yet. Start by spraying the plants from the top then make your way down to the roots of the plant. However, be mindful that this is for the benefit of the plant, and when the bugs are not as active.
It is totally fine if the neem oil spray goes here and there because it is safe for almost all plants except for the ones with wispy leaves like oregano, basil, and thyme, because with the given weather and conditions it will harm them.
After carefully and generously spraying the plants with neem oil, leave the plants be for some time.
The worst time to spray neem oil on chiggers is at night and the other worst time to spray on the chiggers is in a rainy season beceause it would wash the product away. These two times should be avoided at the most because they can cause more harm than good and can be hazardous.
The chiggers are very small bugs and can easily attach to your skin at night when there is less to no light, so, be cautious of the matter. This is why it is of utmost importance that you wear protective gear when treating any sort of bugs and especially wear it at night when there is a high chance of them clinging to your clothes.
You should also take into consideration that spraying the neem oil can be useless in the rainy season because when you spray it once, and the rain comes, the water will wash away most of the neem oil spray if not all. This is why choosing a clear and dry day for spraying neem oil on the chiggers is best.
3. Mix In the Neem Oil
The coming step in the process is arranging the neem oil spray that will be sprayed on the plants to remove the insects and their infection. The neem oil has a slippery nature and insecticidal properties which is why when it is sprayed on the insects they lose their grip on the plant and fall away, and you should be mindful that they are affected by the insecticidal properties of the neem oil.
So whatever neem oil solution you arrange, make sure that it has that slippery nature and also a bitter smell that is the evidence of the presence of neem oil. For this, you can buy a neem oil spray from any plant shop or online because they are available everywhere and with various chemicals added that offer additional powers to the spray.
In case, you want to spray the neem oil plants with edible fruits or vegetables on them, it is best to use the neem oil that has the least amount of chemicals and preservatives in it. Hence, it is good to select which plants you will be targeting and where they have infested.
This will ensure that your plants are not getting sprayed on by any chemicals that prove to be toxic later on. If you are using such a spray, make sure to wash your sprayed-on fruits or vegetables very nicely before consuming them.
It is a better choice that you aim to make your own neem oil spray at home. You can do this by getting a gallon of water with two to three tablespoons of neem oil and a kitchen-safe dishwashing liquid in a container. Mix all of these ingredients together until a solution is formed.
You can use this homemade solution like you would use the store-bought one but this solution might not have a long shelf-life as the other one because it is devoid of any and all preservatives.
4. Spray the Plant
The following step in the process is to spray the plant with the solution of neem oil, either homemade or store-bought. The first thing that you will need to remember here is that protective gear is of utmost importance.
Neem oil has antibacterial properties and a bitter taste, so when you spray, it will coat the vegetation. The oil is very effective in killing bugs and insects that harm plants of all sorts, but if the oil is used in a larger quantity, it can cause disruptions in the natural workings of the plant and the soil.
Rectifying the use of large amounts of neem oil can also be a headache which is why it is best that you use neem oil in an average part. Also, make a schedule of spraying time and follow it, so you will not be spraying the plants with more spray than needed.
It will save you from getting any bugs or insects on your clothes and later on to your skin. Wear eye goggles, gardening gloves, overalls, a face mask if sprays are involved, and gardening boots if you plan on going inside the garden with taller plants.
For spraying, the container should have a nozzle with adjustable hole sizes because this will make the spraying much easier and non-tiring. You will also be able to use the spray more widely and with consistency throughout the plant, and this will ensure that you are getting to target the bugs in a vast way.
You should go ahead and generously spray the whole plant and do not leave any of the parts untouched as a single chigger left unseen or unsprayed can bring in more population of chiggers, making your work useless and redundant. Hence, you should be use that you are spraying them and reapplying so that you would aim to free the vegtations from these intruders.
Too much neem oil spray can make the soil change its pH, and the chiggers may start to rot at a higher speed than usual. It oil should be used in a recommended dose or according to needs for the best and safe results.
5. Apply Aftercare
The last step in the process is to apply the aftercare which will include making a schedule of reapplication of neem oil and also fixing protective and preventative guards that will help safeguard the plants from future invasions and infestations. Ensure that after use, you store the neem oil in a cool and dry place so it does not go wrong.
Lastly, the neem oil will start killing the insects, and when it does, make sure you remove the dead insects from the plants as they will rot there. Sometimes, the rotting insects can have a very bad smell and attract other beings.
Chiggers will not go away after one coat of neem oil completely. You will need to do at least two to three coats before you see a very considerable change in the presence of chiggers on the infected plants.
This is because the chiggers are very tiny bugs, and they can hide very well. A single coat may affect a whole lot of them, but it would not be enough to get rid of them completely. Try and spray in the daylight and make sure that you get all the nooks and crannies. Also, remove the dead chiggers from the plants to ensure that they are not rotting away on the fresh plants.
In this article, we talked about the simplest way of using neem oil for chiggers but in case you missed anything, here is a short conclusion of the important points in the article:
- The best way to get rid of chiggers using neem oil includes inspecting the plant, arranging the neem oil spray, spraying the plant, and finally applying aftercare and preventative measures.
- If the invasion is small, you can spray the hornworms with a medium-pressured water hose.
- These chiggers are also a hazard to the human and animal skin as they can cling on and bite into it which is why it is very important to get rid of them.
- Make sure to remove the killed insects from the plants as they can cause a very bad smell and attract other beings to the plants.
- After using the neem oil, make sure it is stored safely.
Here we come to the end of the article: how does neem oil kill chiggers on house plants. We hope that this was an informative and useful article for you to read. Happy gardening!
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