First of all what is Neem oil and where does it come from?
Neem is a pressed vegetable oil derived from seeds of the evergreen Neem tree (Azadirachta indica, part of the mahogany family) and, although more usually native to the Indian sub-continent and Burma, today you can find many Neem trees planted in Florida, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Australia and parts of Africa.
Neem trees ideally flourish in warm very humid climates, but can survive to just above freezing temperatures, are arrid resistant, are fast growing and can reach 50 feet in around 10 years and live up to 200 years.
Amage of Zadirachta Indica - The Neem Tree in blossom
What is Neem oil used for?
It is claimed that Neem oil has been used in Ayurvedic medicinal practices for several thousand years. The extracts from Neem kernels contain natural insecticidal properties that have surprising effects on many types of insects.
Historically, and still, it is used as a natural insect repellent and pesticide (the Neem tree shoots are also eaten as a type of vegetable in India Cambodia and Thailand!).
Image of Neem Tree Kernels on Display
Is Neem Oil Effective As A Repellent?
As already mentioned it has been used for thousands of years in a variety of applications; even tiny amounts of Neem are known to disrupt the life cycles of more than 200 pest species and have also had an effect on mites, nematodes, fungi bacteria and some plant viruses.
Various studies, primarily in the Indian Sub-Continent have found Neem oil to be an extremely effective mosquito repellent. A Neem oil substance called Salannin has been claimed to be a powerful repellent that can deter some biting insects even more than DEET.
Image of Neem Oil
Our studies have found that although there is limited scientific study material available to offer an unequivocal opinion that neem oil on its own is a 100% effective mosquito repellentwe do however find that, as one of the nine ingredients within our bug repellents, it does without doubt add to the overall efficacy.
You can find it in our Bug Repellent Bars here (along with 11 other bug repelling ingredients).