Correct Quantity of Azadirachtin

I am willing to try the Neem Oil, but I would like to know the minimum amount of Azadirachtin (in ppm) necessary to do the deed. Some containers have 1500ppm, others have 1800ppm.

I have a moth/carpet beetle problem. Although I am not sure it is an infestation, they are certainly present and I would like a powerful effective insecticide (not repellant - insecticide!) while not exposing myself or my family to hazardous chemicals and carcinogens.

How much is enough or should I just buy anything as long as it says "100% Pure Neem Oil"?

Secondly, how many applications would be necessary (the problem is in several closets in the house) and how long will it take to know if it is working?

Is a dishwashing liquid or anti-bacterial liquid soap as effective (or better) than Castile Soap to use as an emulsifier or is there an advantage to using Castile Soap, which strikes me as too gentle as I have no plants to protect and really want to kill the larvae and eggs.

Your website mainly refers to using Neem Oil outdoors in gardens. Is it okay to use indoors on carpets, shelves, and baseboards?

Comments for Correct Quantity of Azadirachtin

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Neem oil on clothes moth/carpet beetle
by: Birgit

Neem oil is a natural product. There is no exact concentration to it. The Azadirachtin concentration given on bottles of pure neem oil is a minimum concentration that the producer guarantees to be present. The real concentration may be higher. You want at least 1500 ppm, but of course a higher concentration of active ingredients is always desirable.

Also, Azadirachtin is just one ingredient out of over 140, and many of those other 140plus affect insects, too. They all work together.

As you read on the page about Neem as Inseciticide, neem is NOT a powerful knock down insecticide that kills things instantly. It is a slow working substance. And it IS a repellant. The repellant action is always there as well.

Larvae of most lepidopterae pests (all moths belong in that group) are highly sensitive to neem. In webbing clothes moths neem has been shown to inhibit feeding and disrupts molting.

But I am not aware of any research on carpet beetles. I don't know how sensitive they are.

Outside neem is only stable for a week at the most. Indoors it may last longer, especially the repellent effect, but I would still use it at least weekly. I can't tell you for how long. For that you'd have to find the life cycle of these pests, how long they can survive without feeding and how long the pupae stages last, in case the pupae are not sensitive to neem. And of course, simply monitor the situation.

I would not expect it to take more than a few weeks/applications, provided the carpet beetle is sensitive and you do manage to actually get some neem on them.

You can use whatever detergent you fancy. I'm not sure what you mean by "too gentle". It's not the soap that controls the pests, it's the oil. You only put soap in to dissolve the oil.

Do a test application on the underside of the carpet or the back of furniture to make sure it doesn't affect the colour or damage the wood or anything.

If you can live with the smell indoors is something you will have to decide.

Neem Oil
by: Anonymous

Did you try this method and did it work? I am having the same problem and wanted to know the outcome.

Response to whether Neem Oil worked on Moth/Carpet Beetle Problem
by: Anonymous


In response to a question about neem oil's effect on clothes moths, I'd first of all like to say that this is a really great website that Birgit has created and I'm glad it's still active. I tried Neem Oil for a pesky and utterly annoying clothes moth problem I was experiencing about between 2008-2009.

The good news is, I'm still here to tell the tale, because when you're going through it, and anyone who has had a moth problem can certainly relate, you're in what I like to call "moth hell." It's mental harassment pure and simple.

But when I first looked into traditional exterminators, they 1) assumed immediately that it was a bed bug problem, which confused me as this was slightly before the bed bug deluge in the media and I had no idea and 2) when they learned it was a moth problem, most - well, the honest ones said that a thorough (and I mean thorough) cleaning was really the only way to rid yourselves of moths, more so than chemicals which I wanted to avoid anyway.

So through a lot of internet research, I sort of made up my own integrated pest management (IPM) system which included 1) going through every item of clothing that I suspected to be infested and either dry cleaning it, tossing it, or washing it in hot water. I probably tossed (and donated to a church) 4-6 trash bags of clothes (but it's good to purge once in a while) and probably spent...a few hundred (can't remember anymore)on dry cleaning and large washers at the laundromat. More durable clothes went into a hot water bleach)wash and I hoped for the best. I constantly monitored clothing by holding it up to the light and checking for holes. Then I bought a really good vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filtration system and on-board hoses, brushes, etc. and I went to town vacuuming every corner, crevice, shelf, I could get to.

I spent a couple of hours vacuuming the mattresses and box springs because there was small but definite evidence of moth larvae presence on the underside of the bed-eww! Nightmare!!

The cold dark basement/laundry room (of course)had an actual infestation and it happened right under my nose. It seemed that nothing was there one day, then all these little moth egg casings just fell from the sky the next. And they're insidious, especially if you (like me) don't know anything about moths and don't know what you're looking for. A problem or infestation can easily sneak up on an unsuspecting and/or inexperienced person. When, to my horror, I did notice the damn little eggs - everywhere - I got an old used vacuum cleaner to use exclusively for that area and the attic where more clothes were stored. Needless to say, I changed the bag a lot and disposed of it very carefully.

Part II of My Neem Oil Response re. Moths
by: Anonymous

(continued from previous comment)

Finally, it was time for the neem oil, which was your question, but really, IPM is the way to go here. I ordered cold-pressed pure neem oil online and it had a pretty high concentration. I mixed it according to the directions on this website, put it in a spray bottle and went to town. I cleared out all the closets and soaked the walls, floorboards, and cracks and crevices with the solution. Pay special attention to molding and any cracks and crevices where moths can hide. I sprayed the entire basement and attic floors, walls, and closets. At a later date, I also sprayed my kitchen cabinets because we had pantry moths, but again, much more effective to just get in there with rubber gloves and a soapy solution of bleach and water first.

The neem oil is more preventative I think and like this website cautions, not a knockdown kill, but more of an eventual one over time, which to me, is more of a preventive maintenance measure. I did this neem oil application every weekend for, I believe 3 or 4 weekends, whatever was recommended, sorry, I can't remember. After that, my goal was to reapply every 6 months for good measure, and I did that the first year in the basement that had seen the worst of it, and then as things got better, and I saw no more visible signs of the moths or moth damage, my rigid system gradually tapered off. My last neem application was about a year ago, I think. And I should do it again, just for good measure. Just thinking back on all of this now absolutely exhausts me and it is exhausting and I can relate to the hell that anyone who's experiencing this now is going through and I never want to have to go through it again, but I suppose you have to continue with at least a light/casual preventive maintenance plan once things are under control. I do believe that the neem oil with IPM was about 90-95% effective and this is a conservative estimate because I haven't had nearly the problems or seen the moth holes or the damn little worms or moths that I saw 2 years ago but at the same time, it's hard to tell (hence the 5-10% differential)because when I have seen a few garments with noticeable moth damage in the past year, I don't know if it's fresh or a vestige of the original problem.

I hope this helps, I'm sorry it was long-winded, but that only attests to the long-winded and draining experience that it was, and I wish you the best of luck!

Does neem oil stain carpets?
by: Drekha

Greetings to all on this wonderful site!

Thanks everyone who have posted their really great comments and advice on using neem oil. I too have had a bad moth problem for over a year now. I sprayed a tea tree oil solution everywhere and followed up with steam cleaning. This seemed to control the situation especially on the pale oatmeal coloured wool carpeting I have which hid, fed and harboured the moths/larvae effectively. It did not stain the carpets.

However, they came back again this year, though in less numbers. I am now thinking of trying the neem oil. My question to anyone else who used it on carpeting or clothing is: did it stain fabric or carpets?

Many thanks in advance for any advice.

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