Pest Guides

How To Use Neem Oil As Insect Repellent

Neem Oil With Mortar And Pestle

Neem oil is an excellent bug repellent that is naturally sourced. Using them in your gardens is safe for kids, wildlife, or pets because of their organic nature.

The oil is obtained from thoroughly squeezing kernels of neem seeds, and it is usually used in small quantities because of the smell. Neem oil is helpful for many purposes, such as manufacturing shampoo, body lotions, and toothpaste.

Asides from these uses, neem oil, is also an excellent bug repellent, as its smell is enough to put pests away. However, there are specific ways to use them as repellents to get a positive result.


Neem oil has many uses, so it is essential to know the techniques you should employ to use it as an insect repellent.

Below are some important points to note:

  • Neem oil is naturally sourced and non-toxic to humans and wildlife.
  • Homeowners use neem oil for their plants and vegetables to protect them from pest infestation.
  • Neem oil can be used as preventive pest control and corrective pest control to remove an infestation.
  • Neem oil kills various insects, such as aphids, whiteflies, leafhoppers, mealybugs, Japanese beetles, etc.
  • Neem oil can kill insects at any stage of their lifespan.
  • Do not use neem oil during the day because when it is combined with sunlight, it can kill the plant.
  • You can use commercial neem solutions or homemade versions, but the homemade solutions are usually more potent.
  • Do not spray seedlings with neem oil because they can burn.
  • You can add drops of peppermint to your neem oil solution to fortify it.
  • Use neem oil in the morning or evening when pests are dormant.
  • Neem oil does not kill birds and beneficial insects like butterflies and bees.
  • You can use neem oil in any season, but it is most potent during planting season.

We would highlight the different procedures for using neem oil as an insect repellent. We would also answer FAQs on neem oil. This article discusses how to use neem oil as an insect repellent.

8 Steps To Use Neem Oil as an Insect Repellent

Neem oil is obtained from the neem tree and contains an active ingredient called Azadirachtin, which is used as a natural insect repellent. The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) recommends neem oil as a safe insecticide for home plants and outdoor vegetables.

Neem oil effectively kills pests at any stage of their lifespan, from egg to larva, to pupa, and adult. You should follow a certain procedure to get your desired result from using it as a repellent. There are also specific ways you should use it.

Below are the steps to use neem oil as an insect repellent:

1. Collect Your Materials

Neem Oil In White Plastic Bottle

You can buy a commercially mixed neem oil solution or a homemade one for this exercise. You would also need other materials and equipment to carry out the activity.

You would need 1 or 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed neem oil, a spray bottle, a gallon of warm water, 1 or 2 tablespoons of mild detergent, a garden sprayer, dish gloves (optional), and peppermint oil (optional).

2. Mix Detergent With Water

Detergent Powder In Hands And Adding It In Water

The next step is to mix the mild dish soap with water because the neem oil will not easily mix with water. The dish soap would serve as an emulsifier.

To achieve this, mix 1 or 2 tablespoons of dish soap with a gallon of lukewarm water and thoroughly mix it. It is important to note that soap mixed with water can kill soft bugs like aphids.

3. Add Neem Oil

Neem Oil Bottle

After the thorough mixture of soap and water, add one to two tablespoons of neem oil to the solution and continue to mix thoroughly.

4. Add Peppermint Oil (Optional)

Peppermint Oil

The fragrance of peppermint oil also serves as a deterrence for insects so you can add six to ten drops of peppermint oil to the solution. This also serves as an excellent opportunity to downsize the ingredients.

5. Mix the Solution Thoroughly

Mixing The Solutions

After adding all essential ingredients, shake the gallon to mix thoroughly. The mixture would look lightly soapy and slightly cloudy.

6. Transfer to a Spray Bottle

Hand In A Yellow Glove Holds A Spray Bottle

Using the neem oil mixture as a repellent while it is in the gallon would not be convenient, so you would need to transfer it into a spray bottle to spray as an insecticide. It is advisable to shake the spray bottle before spraying.

7. Spray Mixture on Plants

Spray Mixture On Plants

If there is an insect infestation on your plants, you can spray the solution to remove the infestation. You can also spray the plants with the neem oil mixture to prevent an infestation.

Be careful not to drench the plants with the mixture because too much can prevent them from absorbing sunlight needed for growth. Instead, it would be best to spray the plants once daily, in the morning and evening.

Also, you should avoid spraying the mixture under direct sunlight as it can burn the plant. You can gently rub the solution on the stems and leaves of the plants and use a protective glove to prevent oil stains on your hand.

8. Re-Apply the Solution

A Man Spraying Neem Oil

Depending on the level of infestation, you should apply and re-apply the solution on your plants. For serious infestation, you can apply daily for a week.

For preventive measures, spray the surface of the plants on a seven to fourteen days schedule.


Neem oil is widely recommended as an effective organic pest control. We have successfully highlighted the procedures to follow when using neem oil as an insect repellent.

The procedures include; gathering your materials, adding detergent to water, adding neem oil to the soap and water solution, adding peppermint essential oil, mixing the solution thoroughly, transferring the solution to a spray bottle, spraying your plants, and re-applying the mixture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Other Uses Does Neem Oil Have?

Neem oil is an essential oil that can be used for various purposes, such as:

  • Manufacturing of body lotion.
  • Treatment of wounds and scars.
  • It can also be used to treat eczema, psoriasis, and other skin disorders.

When Is the Best Time To Use Neem Oil on Plants?

The best time to use neem oil on your plants is in the morning or evening because application under sunlight can burn your plants. Also, the morning and night are when the pests are dormant and not pollinating.

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