Neem Protection against Plant Pests

Neem is traditionally known for its ability in plant protection. Neem seeds have the maximum pesticidal properties and used much to develop different kinds of neem formulations. Neem formulations are potential against certain pests, have been useful both in organic farming and integrated pest management systems. NeemShakti of BRICS LLP is a neem oil based Emulsifiable formulation where in many metabolites or principles of the neem are preserved to give good protection when sprayed on crop plants against insect pests.

What is NeemShaktiTM?
NeemShakti is a carefully developed neem based plant protectant using cold pressed neem seed extract, through continuous trials in laboratory and on crop plants. All pesticidal and potentiating factors of neem seeds are retained so that   it remains effective against variety of plant feeding pests.

How NeemShaktiTM works?
NeemShakti is a Emulsifiable Concentrate (E.C.) formulation made of neem and act as insect repellent, oviposition deterrent, sterilant, growth regulator, stomach poison, etc. It spreads and coats nicely on the surface and thus can get into the insect body upon chewing, and affects further growth and development. NeemShakti can have deterrent and detrimental effects on sucking pests also and blends well with other systemic plant protectants like SasyaRakshak.

What are the ingredients in NeemShakti?

Neem Seed Kernel Extract 60%
Inert and functional media 40%

How to apply NeemShakti against plant pests?
NeemShakti can be used as foliar spray against insect pests feeding on above ground plant parts  or as soil drenching for soil inhabiting insects. It is sprayed on above ground plant parts at a dosage of 5-10 ml per liter of water, depending on crop stage and pest incidence situation. Using as a precautionary spray against variety of pests, always helps. It is highly biodegradable, the effect may persist for 6-7 days, repeating at an interval of 7-10 days brings the desired effect against insect pests. Aerial spray should nicely cover the crop plants. Sandwiching along with other biopesticides like SasyaRakshak  will enhance the efficacy. Against soil insects like termites, root grubs, nematodes, etc., dilute 10 ml of NeemShakti in a liter of water and drench the plant base or surface with a minimum of 1 liter mixture per cubic feet.

How long does the spray of NeemShakti protects the crop plants from pests?
NeemShakti contains quickly biodegradable natural ingredients and can persist and remain effective for 6-7 days only. The spray need to be repeated in 7-10 days interval for the desired effect or can be alternated with other pest management options.

What is mode of action of NeemShakti against insect pests?
NeemShakti has multiple modes of action against insect pests. It can be a pest repellent due to its intrinsic peculiar odour; it can be antifeedant leading reduced or no feeding on sprayed portions; it can be a molting inhibitor hindering growth and causing deformed stages; it can affect egg laying and breeding abilities in insect adults; and it can be a stomach poison leading to death on feeding sprayed plant parts.

What are USPs of NeemShakti?

  • An emulsion with bioactive principles of neem
  • Mixes well in water and spread well treated surface
  • Effective against both chewing and sucking types of insects on range of crops
  • Natural origin, safe for environment and for use on food crops, flowering plants and fruit crops.
  • Useful in integrated pest management, even in conventional agriculture

Can NeemShakti be used against sucking pests?
NeemShakti is an EC formulation, through the Neem Seed Kernel Extract and contains all pesticidal principles of neem. It mixes well in water, and when sprayed on plants can deter and prevent colonization of sucking pests on plants. Incidence and damage by sucking pests like mealybugs, aphids, thrips, whiteflies, scales, mites gets reduced after protective sprays with NeemShakti at 5-10ml/l.

Can we use NeemShakti as Fungicide on our plants?
Neem principles have fungicidal properties and all these are retained in NeemShakti. Regular protective spray with NeemShakti on crop plants, at 7-10 days interval can protect from fungal infections on aerial parts. NeemShakti is not useful against plant pathogenic fungi in soil.

Whether NeemShakti is useful in all crops in my garden or field?
NeemShakti can be used in wide range of crops, in the garden or in the field. Generally we see multiple and overlapping pest incidence and NeemShakti is very useful. It can be sprayed at 5ml/l as blanket spray, under multiple cropping, crop mixture, kitchen/terrace gardening situations to protect against different pests (insect pests and fungal plant pathogens).

How frequently NeemShakti is to be sprayed for good plant protection?
NeemShakti spray can have a persistence of 6-7 days and spray should be repeated in 7-10 days. The effect of NeemShakti is high on pests when the plants are young, grown with proper nutrition, water, light, etc. and when the plants are actively growing. It works well when used as protective spray, before seeing the infection or infestation. It takes time to act and perform when the plants are weak, old and when the infestation is very high.

What is the best way to apply NeemShakti?
Neem principles in NeemShakti are sensitive to sunlight. It is better to spray in the evening hours for expected effect against plant feeding pests. For optimal results, thorough coverage of plants is a must with NeemShakti solution at 5-10 ml/l. Suggested quantity of NeemShakti has to be added to water, mixed well in the sprayer and sprayed on plants to cover all aerial parts. Higher dosage than recommended is not correct. The sprayer should get proper pressure and should produce small droplets. The dosage recommendation is for high volume spray and for low and ultralow volume  sprayers, one needs to adjust dosage as per the instructions in their user guidelines.

What is the quantity of NeemShakti required to treat 500 sq ft of garden?
The quantity of spray solution required to cover the area or crop plants depends on the age, stage, plant population, type of crop plants, type of sprayer, etc. For NeemShakti to be very effective, complete coverage of plants and the concentration of spray liquid are crucial.  Roughly considering 500 sq.ft to have 200-250 well grown plants, the total quantity of spray liquid required is 10 liters and NeemShakti is about 50 ml (5ml/l).  For an acre of field crop like cabbage, cauliflower with recommended plant population, 200 liters of spray solution and 1 liter of NeemShakti is required. For fruit trees like mango, sapota, guava, pomegranate, etc., of 5 years old plants in well maintained plantations, 2 liters of NeemShakti is required in about 400 liters of water. As the trees grow older and spread, the quantity of spray solution will be more.

How soon can we see the results (effects) of NeemShakti spray?
NeemShakti works well as preventive or protective spray, to be sprayed before the pest incidence to keep the plants protected from infestation or to keep the pest numbers under check. In case if sprayed on crop plants, where there is high infestation or infection, a minimum of 2-3 sprays are required at 5 ml per liter at 5-7 days interval witness the effect and pest free new growth. Spray has to be continued further depending on crop stage. How safe is NeemShakti?
NeemShakti is a neem formulation, is safe to humans and other higher animals with an oral LD50 of more than 5000mg/kg body weight and a dermal LD50 of more than 2000kg/kg body weight. All food crops  sprayed with NeemShakti at 5-10 ml/l will be safe if harvested and consumed immediately after spray. One need to wash nicely to remove the deposits/coating and it is better if harvested and consumed after 24 hours.

Whether NeemShakti is organic?
NeemShakti is made using cold pressed neem extract and intended for managing insect pests on crop plants. It can not be termed as ‘Organic’ as it is still not certified, but all ingredients are of natural origin and organic certification is expected.

Can NeemShakti be Phytotoxic?
Based on our in-house and field studies, NeemShakthi at the recommended dose of 5-10 ml per liter is not phytotoxic. It will not affect the leaves, buds or fruits. Some plants can be sensitive especially if it is applied at high dose. It is better to test on a small area of the plant, before spraying on entire plant. If there is no symptoms like wilting or burning of leaves or plant parts within 24 hours, there should not be any problem of spraying Neem Shakthi on plants. Many times gardeners and farmers obtain neem oil and use that to spray against plant pests. That time one needs to be careful that neem oil is pure, cold-pressed and fresh. Oil will not mix in water, and users use detergents like liquid soaps, washing powders, etc, which can make solution phytotoxic sometimes. NeemShakti overcomes all these problems, neem extract here is added with soap nut and shikakai extract to make this easily miscible in water and to make a uniform spray solution.

My kids play in garden regularly. How safe is NeemShakti if kids exposed while spraying on plants?
NeemShakti is neem based, accidental exposure or contact of body parts of children or operators to NeemShakti will not have any bad effects like burning, allergy or itching. However, the exposed body parts including eyes have to be washed and cleaned with sufficient running water immediately.

Do we need to wear PPEs while spraying NeemShakti on plants?
NeemShakti is natural origin and safe to mammals. It is very safe to the operator or handler, who is spraying or mixing the spray solution. However, it is better to wear the PPEs like protective clothing, goggles, nose masks to avoid exposure and any complications.

Are there side effects of Neem oil formulations?
Accidental or intentional intake of Neem formulations by humans or pet animals can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, blood disorders, seizures, loss of consciousness, coma, brain disorders, and even death. It is suggested that Neem oil and other form of neem as unsafe during  pregnancy and breast-feeding periods.

What is the fate of NeemShakti in the environment?
NeemShakti is easily biodegradable, quickly metabolized by micro-organisms and degraded in presence of water and temperature rapidly. The half life is 45 minutes to 3 days. When sprayed on the crop plants, by the time it reaches water bodies or soil environment, it degrades and do not pose any danger to aquatic life and other non-targets.

What are the first aid measures for accidental exposure or intake of neem oil formulations?
Neem oil and neem extracts have medicinal properties and used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine systems for centuries. Even then in case if neem oil formulations like NeemShakti falls on eyes accidentally, quickly wash with water for 10-15 minutes; if it falls on skin, wash immediately with clean water; and if swallowed accidentally in small quantities, give 2-3 glasses of water to drink immediately. Inducing of vomiting is not required. However, if consumed in large quantities, especially by infants and children, there can be vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, blood disorders, seizures, etc. and quick medical attention is required.

What is the waiting period or withholding period for NeemShakti?
Our field studies have shown that there is no harm if the waiting period is not followed after application of NeemShakti. However, as a precaution, the produce can be harvested after 2-3 days of the last application and washed in clean waters before consumption.

What happens if it rains after application of NeemShakti?
For any plant protectant, it is not correct to apply to plants if there is an anticipation of rains within 3 hours of application. This is true with NeemShakti also. If rain happens within 3-4 hours of application, the spray has to be repeated.

Should any other surfactant be added to NeemShakti before application?
Not required. NeemShakti is a an emulsified concentrate, it mixes well in water. Recommended dose has to be added in water, mix well and to be sprayed nicely on the target crops.

Can we store the mixed solution of NeemShakti if the preparation is excess?
NeemShakti, once diluted as per recommended, has to be used within 24 hours of mixing. It is correct to mix as per the requirement, with proper estimation.

How do I make out the insect activity on my plants and decide to spray NeemShakti for the remedy?
It is must for a gardener or for a farmer to do regular scouting to harvest better. During scouting, one can observe the pest presence and activity. Insect stages, damage or symptoms need to be observed and related. Sucking pests generally cause leaf curling and distortion of leaves and fruits, stunting, yellowing, etc. Chewing insects make holes on leaves, stem and fruits; cut the leaves and stems; breaking of plants; etc. The diseased plants wilt, dry, will have leafspots, become yellow, etc. Whatever the type of crops and conditions of growth, pests are bound to infest or infect. It is important to keep the plants protected before seeing the pest activity, and keep spraying NeemShakti at 7-10 days interval, more particularly in the early stage of the plant growth. It is always better to alternate the pest protection method for better pest management.

How do I choose right medicine as NeemShakti or SasyaRakshak to get rid of insects on my plants?
Both SasyaRakshak and NeemShakti are effective on different types of pests damaging crop plants. NeemShakti is an EC formulation, makes a coating on plant surface and thus avoids pest infestation. It is more effective on surface feeding  or chewing pests like weevils, beetles, borers, caterpillars, grasshoppers, etc. SasyaRakshak is a water soluble formulation, more systemic in action, remains in the plant and protects from colonization, spread and damage by sucking pests. It is correct to use SasyaRakshak against sucking pests like mealybugs, aphids, bugs, hoppers, whiteflies, mites, scales etc. SasyaRakshak has plant principles that protect plants from plant pathogens as well and can be used against mildews, leafspots, etc.
However, we get pest complex situations in the gardens or in the fields, where insect pests and plant pathogens occur together. It is therefore important to keep the plants protected by spraying regularly at 7-10 days interval. Alternating SasyaRakshak and NeemShakti gives a good protection due to wide and multiple modes of action against crop pests.

I have insects on my plants which are eating up all and  inhibiting the growth of my plants. Also I have many other beneficial insects and birds visiting my garden. How NeemShakti and SasyaRakshak are safe to non-targets? At what level or what are the risk level on non-targets?
Only few insect species are pest insects and many species are beneficial and harmless insects. There are many predatory birds which visit the gardens and farms and are helpful. Both SasyaRakshak and NeemShakti are natural origin and safe to predators, bees, birds, and other non-targets. Entry of SasyaRakshak or NeemShakti is a must to cause the effect, and that happens only in plant feeding pests. They can not cause damage by contact. As beneficial insects and birds do not feed directly on the plant parts when treated, entry of either SasyaRakshak or NeemShakti can not happen and they are not at risk. Unlike synthetic pesticides, which are neuro or respiratory poisons and which can get into their body through contact, these botanical pesticides are safe to non-targets

Whether NeemShakti is effective in poly-house and green house conditions?
In a poly house situation where the plants get uniform, suitable growth conditions, they grow profusely and strongly and generally pest will be weak. It is mostly sucking pests like aphids, whiteflies, mites which infest damage crop plants in poly house or green house situations. NeemShakti is useful on actively growing plants in green or poly-houses and can be sandwiched with other botanical pest control options like SasyaRakshak for effective management.

How NeemShakti is effective compared to other biopesticide and chemical pesticides in market?
It is not correct to compare NeemShakti with poisonous (neuro/respiratory poisons) synthetic pesticides, however, if applied regularly as preventive sprays, it can perform and manage the target pests efficiently.

I find difficulty in spraying the solution on plants. Can we pour the NeemShakti solution on plants for better result?
No, NeemShakti is to be sprayed with good sprayer forcefully forming proper droplets. Pouring leads to runoff and can not make it to stick to the plants or can not reach to target pests and thus expected results against plant feeding insects or fungi will not be there.

What are the storage recommendations for NeemShakti?
NeemShakti has many metabolites of neem and they are sensitive to light and heat. SasyaRakshak is to be stored in cool, dark and dry places for 12-18 months without losing the efficacy. It should not be or need not be refrigerated.

Is there any expiry date for NeemShakti?
NeemShakti if stored in dark, dry, cool place, can remain effective for 18 months. It is better to use the fresh stocks to explore its full potential, not correct to use beyond expiry.