These natural insecticides are not only non-toxic to human beings but are very effective against the various insects and diseases that afflict plants and crops. While being eco-friendly, effective, and quick-acting, these natural pesticides degrade fast and have a minimal impact on the health of birds, animals, reptiles, and insects that are not its intended target. A quick explanation of the top natural pesticides in use:
Neem oil is extracted from the seeds and fruit of the Neem tree, also known as the Margosa tree that is very commonly found in India and other parts of Southeast Asia. The most active ingredient in neem oil that acts to repel pests is Azadirachtin, which is also proven to make it more difficult for insects to lay and hatch eggs.
Neem oil is also known to have properties that make it difficult for insects to feed resulting in their extermination. Azadirachtin has the advantage of being broken down rapidly in nature with exposure to light and microbes regardless of whether it is present in the soil, on plants or in water. While fish find neem oil slightly toxic, mammals, birds, been, and plants do not suffer any adverse effects.
A mixture of two biochemicals called Spinosyn A and Spinosyn B, Spinosad is a natural substance that is highly toxic for insects. Manufactured from a soil bacterium, it finds use in the control of a large variety of pests like spider mites, ants, mosquitoes, fruit flies, leafminers, and more.
Registered by the US Environmental Protection Agency since 1997, Spinosad is extremely versatile finding use in many pesticides for ornamental and agricultural plants. Spinosad, when applied in the form of dust, spray or granules paralyzes the nervous systems of the insects that come in touch with it and kills them in a matter of days.
The extract from the pyrethrum chrysanthemum flowers, pyrethrin has been proven to be very effective in countering a very wide range of insects like fleas, cockroaches, ants, true bugs, scales, aphids, wasps, flies, beetles, etc. apart from being very effective, it is also extremely eco-friendly as it has a low level of toxicity making it safe for use in the presence of humans, livestock, and pets. It is not uncommon for pyrethrin to be mixed with Piperonyl Butoxide (PBO) in small quantities to make it more potent.
Essential Plant Oils
A number of insecticides and insect repellants use essential oils extracted from plants like eucalyptus, lavender, cedar, rosemary, citronella, peppermint, etc. These oils are typically mixed with carriers like other neutral oils or alcohol to create many variants of insecticides for keeping bugs at bay.
If you are serious about maintaining the ecological balance of our plant and are interested in leading a healthier life by reducing the toxicity of the food we eat and the environment, natural insecticides represent a very effective and practical method.