Neem oil is used widely within the growing community. It is an extremely effective, natural pesticide which can get rid of the most pesky of pests however a lot of people are concerned about what substances they bring into their homes and if they are safe for themselves, their family and their pets too.
Neem oil in its pesticidal form isn’t going to harm you or your family if used as directed. However if it is ingested in large quantities neem oil can cause seizures and kidney failure in children and infants. In rare occasions neem oil can irritate skin and eyes, it is important to use gloves and keep it away from your eyes to avoid this.
Is neem oil poisonous to pets?
Similar to its effects on humans, neem oil is relatively safe for most animals as long as it isn’t ingested in large quantities. Neem is however mildly toxic to fish.
Do you need protective equipment to use neem oil?
You don’t need to wear any protective equipment to use neem oil, however using gloves is recommended as some people have bad skin reactions to neem oil. To be super safe, you can also wear protective goggles and even a mask when applying however this really isn’t necessary.
What to do if your child or pet has consumed neem oil?
The first think you should do if your child or pet has consumed neem oil is to call the poison hotline available in your country/state, the expert who you speak to will be able to direct you with the best information about how to help. If your child is experiencing severe stomach pains or is having seizures, call an ambulance and get direct medical help. If your pet is vomiting, take them to a vet and let the professionals fix the problem.
Where to buy neem oil
Neem oil can be found at garden centres and also online. Most people however choose to purchase it online as it can be found cheaper. A product which we’ve used and found great success with can be found on Amazon here.
How do you store neem oil?
Concentrated neem oil will usually be packaged in dark glass bottles where as diluted neem oil or pesticidal solutions may come in spray bottles or plastic containers. Regardless of what kind of neem oil you have it is best to keep it stored in a cool, dry place. This will help it remain potent for a longer time. It is also smart to keep it in either a locked cupboard or in one out of reach to children and pets, this is the safest place to keep neem oil.
How long does neem oil last?
Unopened, neem oil should last for at least a year with most products promoting a shelf life of 18 months. Proper storage will help to preserve the potency of neem oil for a longer time.
Once neem oil is mixed into a solution to be used as a pesticide, it is best to use it within 8 hours as that is when it is most effective.
So now you know a little bit more about neem oil and how it can be harmful to humans and animals. It would be very rare that use of neem oil can harm anyone in your family however extra knowledge is never a bad thing.