By Elizabeth Richey
I’m sure everyone is thinking the same thing I am, plants are frickin awesome! We all want to have happy healthy plants in our homes to clean the air, brighten the space, and make it more lively. But, I also know that they can be hard to care for and sometimes expensive. Once you get your plant baby into your home, your life will change for the better, until you see those pesky pests that can creep into your home and take over your plant. Well, I am here to give you some good news! Don’t go spend your money on generic pesticides that are not only expensive but harmful to the environment. Instead, I would recommend using neem oil (Azadirachta indica), and Ngegba and his colleagues who recently authored the peer-reviewed article “Use of Botanical Pesticides in Agriculture as an Alternative to Synthetic Pesticides” would agree.
In this study, Ngegba et al. (2022) looked at different forms of botanical pesticides and what sort of benefits they would have on agriculture, but also the challenges in switching over. They actually suggest a lot of cool alternatives to synthetic pesticides that I think are worth looking into but the easiest one I found to use was neem oil. This is because it is so easy to find and has great benefits to your own personal health too.
Synthetic pesticides are what you would normally come across when looking for how to get rid of pests. While they are fairly effective in warding off pests, they are actually harmful to you and your pet. They contain harmful chemicals such as Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and toxaphene. While DDT is now banned within the United States, it is still used in other parts of the world. These chemicals we commonly use in agriculture and in our homes to ward off the bugs are really harmful to us and the environment, so what better solution than to use something naturally derived like neem oil (a botanical pesticide)?
Neem oil comes from, well what else a neem tree (Azadirachta indica) and has many cosmetic and household uses. It is completely safe to use around your beloved pets, and can even be used on them to help with skin or hair problems in the same way we would use it. Neem oil has so many wonderful benefits, so it is just another plus that it can be used to fight pests on your plants! Neem oil can be found at Walmart, Target, or even Walgreens and is well worth the money to keep your plant babies happy and healthy.
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Happy cute planter sitting Wood Plant Pot Succulent Cache. Etsy. (n.d.). Retrieved October 22, 2022, from https://www.etsy.com/listing/814597206/happy-cute-planter-sitting-wood-plant
Ngegba, Patrick Maada, Gaofeng Cui, Muhammad Zaryab Khalid, and Guohua Zhong. 2022. “Use of Botanical Pesticides in Agriculture as an Alternative to Synthetic Pesticides” Agriculture 12, no. 5: 600. https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture12050600
(2021, March 25). Neem oil for skin and plants: How to use, benefits and more. General Health Magazine. Retrieved October 22, 2022, from https://generalhealthmagazine.com/2021/03/25/neem-oil-for-skin-and-plants-how-to-use-benefits-and-more/