Neem oil is a fascinating organic substance. It happens to be one of the most potent pesticides in a gardener’s arsenal, which is also organic. If you like to take care of their plants, it is one of those products you must have. There are many uses for neem oil and why it helps in your garden plants. You can have all sorts of pests in your plants, especially outside. Neem oil is effective against many pests, but how does it hold up against armyworms? Let’s find out.
What are Army Worms?
Armyworms are pests that are similar to caterpillars in shape. They generally attack green crops and any type of cereal plant. It’s unlikely that you will have a grain crop in your home. However, if you’re farming, seeing a caterpillar in your crops means having an infestation.
These pests tend to feed on leaves mostly, but they will sometimes find a liking to seed stems and feed on those. They only eat on stems when there aren’t enough green leaves or foliage. If they find that your crop doesn’t have enough green leaves for them, they will all gather together and march away from the crop, earning them the name “Armyworms.”
Why Must You Be Careful of Armyworms?
Armyworms are destructive, and they are consistent. You would never find beneficial armyworms. Even if you’re a regular gardener, it’s necessary to be aware of the damage that these worms can bring.
Armyworms don’t just persist in crops. They like feeding on any herbs and vegetables they can find. If they find themselves in your garden, they will only stop once they are done with every last bit of your garden. Armyworms also work very quickly, meaning they can devour your lawn in a matter of days. They don’t even need a whole week to destroy your garden. Thus, it would be best if you had protective mechanisms for armyworms.
How to Identify Armyworms?
The most important step in ensuring you can rid yourself of armyworms is identifying them, capturing them, and killing them. These armyworms are the most destructive in their larval stage, and that’s when you should remain the most careful of them. You will notice that they are 1.5 to 2 inches long. They also have heads of different colors, including green, brown, yellow, or red stripes. The adult armyworms are generally moths, but these don’t cause as many issues as the larval infestation that you may have to deal with.
How to Identify Armyworm Damage?
Before you bring in any pesticides, you must find out if the issue is that of armyworms. If you can’t see any larvae, you’re not always clear because they may be hiding. However, some features on your crops can indicate an armyworm problem.
- Lawn Patches that are turning brown all of a sudden.
- Look at grass blades; if you feel they have staggered eating all around them, there may be armyworms around you. They may also have eaten all the green parts of a grass blade, leaving a sheathe of transparent film.
- Any bare spots on your lawn are a strong indicator that armyworms are nearby.
- Vegetables have rows of flesh missing.
How Does Neem Oil Rid You Off Armyworms?
As we mentioned in the beginning, neem oil is one of the best pesticides. Your goal is to remove these armyworms, and neem oil has chemical compounds that allow you to do just that. Research states that ingesting neem oil will kill off armyworms at any stage. The most damage by armyworms is when they are larvae, but applying neem oil will rid you of these worms in 7-12 hours.
Neem oil has the active compound azadirachtin. This compound is so potent that its internal structure starts breaking down when the armyworms ingest it. It’s like a poison and causes the larvae protein to deconstruct, so they start dying out.
The compound also acts as an asphyxiant making it difficult for the worms to breathe. For larvae, it disrupts the process of growth, which means that they can’t grow and feed on the vegetable in your garden.
How to Use Neem Oil?
One of the easiest ways of using neem oil is by gently spraying the leaves with a neem oil solution. Other gardeners also maintain that you could apply leaves with a light coating of neem oil, but that could take hours.
We have thus listed a way to use neem oil easily. You will need the following:
- Neem Oil Concentrate
- Organic Liquid Soap
Once you have these products, you must follow the steps below:
- Fill a gallon container with water
- Add one tablespoon of organic liquid soap to the container
- Add two tablespoons of the neem oil concentrate
- Shake it all together and mix thoroughly.
- Apply to the plants using a sprayer
When using this solution, ensure that you’re covering the plants completely and their undersides so that you don’t leave any place for the armyworms to feed from the plant.
What are the Effects of Neem Oil on the Armyworms?
Researchers suggest that neem oil has a very potent impact on armyworms. Some of the things that neem oil accomplishes on the armyworms are as follows:
- It limits moths from laying eggs
- Neem oil reduces the chances of eggs growing to maturity
- They are also less likely to feed on plants and vegetables as their feeding pattern will become slower.
- Your lawn or garden will start to resume its growth. No more bald or brown spots will remain.
- It reduces the Lifespan of Armyworms.
- It increases their mortality rate.
Armyworms are of all kinds, but once they attack your garden, they are all equally harmful to you. You must do your best to rid yourself of these pests as quickly as you detect them. As a gardener, you must know how to identify them and use neem oil to deter these pests. Neem oil is effective and environmentally friendly, which is why it’s one of the best bets against these pests.