Sometimes the insecticide you have doesn't seem effective on the pests infesting your plants. Would it be a good idea to mix it with another insecticide to guarantee good results? In particular, is it okay to mix neem oil and Spinosad? This is what we asked the experts and here's their answer.
It is not recommended to mix neem oil with Spinosad. These two insecticides might counter each other's effects. It is better to use them alternately instead to maximize the benefits that each pesticide has to offer.
Keep on reading as we explain further why it isn't a good idea to mix neem oil and Spinosad. We'll also tell you how to use these two pesticides and how they work. Let's get going!
Mixing neem oil and Spinosad?
When you're dealing with a pretty bad case of pest infestation on your precious plants, you think of all possible ways to remedy the situation. You want to save your plants and stop the damage that the pests are causing.
Neem oil and Spinosad are two insecticides that come from natural sources. They are both considered effective and at the same time, they have a low toxicity which is why many organic gardeners trust these pesticides.
It's not a surprise then if you've thought about mixing neem oil and Spinosad insecticides especially if you're treating caterpillars or thrips or worse, you're dealing with both. Like other gardeners, you might be thinking that since they are both natural pesticides, there would be no harm in combining them, right?
Even though they are both broad-spectrum insecticides, experts say that Spinosad is especially adept at targeting and killing leafminers and thrips among others.
Besides, combining them in one spray bottle would lessen the time and effort that you have to exert to solve the pest infestation in your garden.
However, while it might seem like a good idea, experts do not recommend this. They say that the two insecticides could possibly cancel out each other leaving you with the same problem or even worse since days passed without any significant effect after the application.
Using Neem Oil and Spinosad Simultaneously
Neem oil might not mix well with Spinosad. Sometimes it even requires emulsifiers just to make it mix well with water and we're not sure about the chemical reaction of all of these substances when you put them all together.
What you can do instead is to use them one after the other. As advised by experienced gardeners, you should schedule your Spinosad treatment a week after you've sprayed neem oil all over the plants.
If you're treating different pests, especially those that live above and below the ground, some gardeners suggest that you treat the stems and leaves with neem oil and drench the soil with Spinosad.
The key here is that you treat them separately. Don't mix the two insecticides together. This way, you get the most out of each insecticide.
How do you use neem oil and Spinosad on your plants?
The application of these two insecticides to infected plants is almost the same.
But if you have the concentrate variant of these pesticides, what you need to do first is to mix them with water and other ingredients as needed. Just follow the ratio stated in the label because it would depend on the size of the infested area.
Once you have the correct mixture, put it in a spray bottle so that it is ready and convenient to use. It is best to prepare the mixture right before your scheduled treatment and only mix the amount that you need.
If you have the neem oil or Spinosad spray, this should be in a ready-to-use formula and you can proceed with the following procedure.
- Shake the spray bottle to make sure that all the elements are blended well.
- Direct the spray nozzle at the infected plant and coat it thoroughly with the insecticide. Cover the underside of the leaves and stems.
- You can also spray the soil with these natural insecticides to target soil-dwelling pests. Soil-drenching is especially recommended for Spinosad.
It is recommended that you apply these insecticides in the late afternoon or evening to give them enough time to settle before the plants come into contact with direct sunlight. This could lead to leaf burns which would also damage the plants that you're trying to save in the first place.
That's it! Now, you just wait for the insecticide to work. Remember, don't use neem oil and Spinosad at the same time. You can apply them at least a week apart so that you can get the most out of each pesticide.
How does neem oil work?
Neem oil is a natural pesticide that comes from the seed extracts of the neem tree or Azadirachta indica tree. It is a systemic insecticide that's absorbed by the plant and kills pests when they ingest a portion of the plant.
Neem oil contains limonoids and the most potent of them all is Azadirachtin. It works by affecting the insect's hormones.
Once ingested, the insect would lose its appetite for food and reproduction. It also prevents larvae maturation. It can also kill some soft-bodied insects when you spray them with neem oil as it coats their breathing pores and they suffocate to their death.
Azadirachtin also acts as a repellant so that insects won't keep coming back to your plants.
Neem oil is effective against aphids, mealybugs, mites, leafhoppers, and leafminers. The good thing is that it doesn't target the most beneficial insects making it safe to use on your garden and lawn.
It also has a low level of toxicity which is why it is one of the pesticides that can be used both indoors and outdoors. But of course, safety measures must be done to avoid any adverse health effects.
It usually takes about three to four days before you can see any significant impact on your pest infestation problem. And it is also good to use neem oil as a dormant spray to help you control pests and prevent them from coming back.
How does Spinosad work?
Spinosad is also a natural pesticide that comes from soil-dwelling bacteria Saccharopolyspora Spinosa.
Compared to neem oil, this is faster acting and you can see results in one to two days. This is because Spinosad is a neurotoxin. It targets the insects' nervous system once they come into contact with it or ingest it. Spinosad then causes paralysis and death to the unsuspecting pests.
As mentioned earlier, it is a broad-spectrum insecticide but works especially well against caterpillars and thrips.
You can use it to solve your problem with pests that live above and below the ground. For treating soil-dwelling pests, it is recommended that you drench the soil with this insecticide.
Don't worry because Spinosad isn't toxic to the people, most wildlife, and the environment. It quickly loses its toxicity within 24 hours. Continuous weekly application is recommended to gain full control of the pest infestation problem.
Don't mix neem oil and Spinosad. Rather, use them alternately so that you can maximize the benefits of each natural insecticide.
If you want to know more about other insecticides for your DIY pest control at home, you may read the following posts: