Does Neem Oil Get Rid Of Stink Bug Pests?

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Stink bugs sneak into your home when you least expect them, hanging around on your walls and ceiling, waiting for your cat to eat one. If threatened, they can release the acrid odor that earned them their name.

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Yes, it’s the dreaded stink bug. While relatively harmless on their own, stink bugs are best known for being a nuisance. But did you know groups of stink bugs can become harmful to plants?

Stink bug larvae, and adults feed on the sap of various plants and attack fruits, crops, trees, or vegetables, including apple, beans, sweet corn, tomato plants, peach, cucumber, gourds, and berries.

The wound on a leaf may appear as a yellow or brown circle with a tiny pinprick in the middle. They also inject chemicals into the plant to make feeding easier. Worst of all, they can pass yeast spot disease to your plants.

A single female can lay hundreds of eggs in a single season. This makes it possible for a population explosion and causes infestation under the right conditions.

Natural predators can help wipe out these pests. But it’s best to have a reliable, natural method to destroy the stink bugs without harming beneficial insects.

So now, the big question is:

Does Neem Oil Kill Stink Bugs?

Neem oil generally doesn’t directly kill adult stink bugs. They have a harder shell than aphids, mealybugs, and other common pests.

Yet, it is effective in stink bug control and can end it over time.

More: Check out all the bugs Neem Oil kills.

Now, here’s everything you need to know about neem oil for stink bugs.

The Benefits Of Neem Oil

One of the best remedies for organic gardening is neem oil.

Extracted from Azadirachta indica, raw neem oil is a natural substance containing five insecticidal substances. Azadirachtin is the primary one.

Azadirachtin has a chemical composition like that of many insects. The ingestion of Azadirachtin can trick the insect into feeling no longer hungry.

It can also delay or interrupt progression through growth stages or cause infertility.

When extracting Azadirachtin from the raw neem oil, the resulting clarified hydrophobic neem oil takes on different properties, making it best as a topical treatment.

Colorful stink bug on leaf, detailed close-up.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @je.son.mesh

Clarified neem retains a small amount of Azadirachtin (generally between .5% and 3% percent). It can clog the airways of soft-bodied insects, causing them to suffocate.

Clarified neem dissipates in only 45 minutes to one hour, posing minimal risk to beneficial insects if applied between dusk and dawn. This is unlike raw neem oil, generally used as a systemic insecticide.

Now, you might wonder, what bugs does neem oil kill?

Neem oil effectively controls a wide range of pests, including aphids, whiteflies, spider mites, mealybugs, scale insects, thrips, and leafminers. 

It can also be used to control certain types of beetles, caterpillars, and stink bugs. 

However, the effectiveness of neem oil may vary depending on the specific insect species and the stage of their life cycle. 

It’s always best to check the product label or consult with a professional for specific pest control recommendations.

Using A Neem Soak To Get Rid Of A Stink Bug Population

To properly use neem oil soak, create emulsified water.

Add a teaspoon of Dawn dish soap, insecticidal soap, or pure castile soap per gallon of water and dissolve.

The soapy water has less surface tension, allowing the oil to blend.

Mix in 2 tablespoons of 100% percent cold-pressed neem oil. Pour 2 to 4 cups of this mixture over infested plants’ roots.

The plant absorbs the Azadirachtin, becoming a systemic insecticide. It will only affect pests that break the plant’s outer layers.

Both stink bug nymphs and adults drink plant sap, making them vulnerable to this form of neem.

Ingesting the Azadirachtin will cause some stink bug larvae to starve, while adolescent stink bug will not reach the next growth stage or produce eggs.

A significant advantage to using soil soaks is treating larger plants, such as trees and shrubs.

The Azadirachtin remains for up to 22 days. Repeat treatments every three weeks to stay effective.

Best of all, neem oil stink bugs won’t harm beneficial insects or pollinators such as bees because these visitors won’t break the plant’s skin.

More on the question: Is Neem Oil Safe for Bees?

Using Neem Foliar Spray For Stink Bug Control

Foliar sprays work best on smaller crops and plants but also work to treat lawns.

You must add four teaspoons of clarified neem oil per gallon of emulsified water, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle.

As mentioned before, foliar treatments are best at dusk or dawn.

Spray the plant leaves, stems, and any crevasses of the infested plant, being sure to cover every surface.

Repeat the neem oil spray treatment every other day for two weeks or until the stink bugs are gone. 

Don’t forget to spray generously on windowsills, hiding spots, crevices, cracks, and other potential entryways around your house to control stink bug infestation.

The foliar treatment isn’t effective against adults but can suffocate nymphs, reducing the number of adults over time.

If combined with a neem soil soak, the treatments will bear results of pest control faster.

Moreover, you can also use other techniques for stink bug prevention, including chemical pesticides and stink bug trap.

You can also try spraying essential oils as a more natural form of pest control since stink bugs hate strong fragrances. 

Planting strong-smelling plants like lemongrass, garlic, lavender, catnip, clove, spearmint, thyme, chrysanthemums, marigolds, and ylang-ylang around your home to ward off stink bugs.  

It’s also important to remove weeds and debris to prevent stink bugs from having hiding spots.

Additionally, both dawn dish soap and neem oil are effective in eradicating and controlling stink bug population, with dawn dish soap for stink bugs being more effective in non-crop areas.

How about, what essential oils do stink bugs hate?

Stink bugs dislike the scent of certain essential oils, and using them can help deter or repel these pests. Some essential oils stink bugs may dislike include peppermint, spearmint, garlic, and citrus oils like orange or lemon.

These oils can be mixed with water or carrier oil and sprayed around windows, doorways, or other entry points to discourage stink bugs from entering the area.

However, it’s important to note that essential oils may not eliminate stink bugs entirely but can help reduce their presence.

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