Neem oil is made from the seeds of the neem tree, Azadiracta indica, which grows in southern Asia. Neem oil is classified as a botanical pesticide.
There are three types of neem oil materials: Azadirachtin-based products, neem oil products and neem oil soap products. All three products have insecticidal properties.
Neem Oil Termite Treatment
Azadirachtin is a compound from the neem tree that acts as an insect growth regulator (IGR). It prevents termites from molting, which causes their death. It also may cause termites to stop eating and laying eggs. This product needs to be applied directly to wood in an infested area to be effective.
Products that contain both azadirachtin and neem oil may spread more effectively in some circumstances. Neem oil soap is thought to affect an insect’s membranes.
Neem oil is used as an insecticide on plants because it does not harm most plants or beneficial insects.
Limitations of Neem Oil Termite Control
Neem oil products only affect termites that eat the products or have direct contact with treated objects. This limitation means several applications can be required to control a termite infestation, which can be cost prohibitive. Neem products also are slow acting. Many homeowners prefer to use other treatment materials that will control termites within a couple of days. Neem oil-based products offer no lasting residues to protect a home from potential future termite infestations.
There are a number of different products made from extracts of the neem tree. If you choose to use a neem oil or azadirachtin product, your pest control expert likely will recommend using this product as one piece of a comprehensive prevention and control program.