Killing termites with neem oil

by Camille Monet
(Victoria, Australia)

My sisters and myself have been fortunate enough to be left two amazing Bamboo house built by our Artist Father Jason Monet. He built them on the top of a ridge near Ubud in Bali.

Sadly, due to Dad not following some simple engineering principals the houses are riddled
with termites. My family and I are not happy about using the synthetic chemicals which are normally used to fight termites in Bali.

We are looking for an alternative and neem oil has been suggested. From my reading it seems like it would not be dangerous to spray the inside and outside of the bamboo. At the moment we have many people and animals living at the property. I would really appreciate some information about how safe it is to Humans and animals and fish, and how careful we have to be while using it.

We have tested it on termites and it really seems to work, we can buy neem oil in Bali but I'm not sure of its quality, it is not dark in colour and dose not smell too much.

I will look forward to hearing from someone soon, Thank you

Comments for Killing termites with neem oil

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Neem and termites
by: Birgit

Hi Camille,
The safety of neem is already covered in extensive detail on this site.
Here are some pages:

Neem Safety and Side Effects (main page about neem safety concerns)
Is it safe to spray neem?
Is neem safe for fish?

Neem is not toxic. It is good for you and your animals, with the exception of the fish. Spray as much as you like, just make sure nothing gets into the water (ponds, aquariums etc.)

If you want more info, just use the search box at the very top of the site.

Unfortunately neem is not a solution to your problem.
Neem will kill termites, but only if you can get it on them, and you can't treat the inside of every cane of bamboo in your houses.
Even if you could, you would have to repeat this on a weekly or fortnightly basis, because the effect of neem does not last long.

Killing the termites in the house does not eradicate the nest. So even if you kill all that are in the bamboo, the others will come back. (Chemical solutions usually have a residual effect, or they are of the kind that the termites will take back to the nest to kill that as well. That's why it works to only use those chemicals on the house.)

You need to eradicate the whole nest, AND you need to implement some kind of termite barrier that prevents other colonies from entering in the future.

I am sorry that I don't have a simple, fail safe natural solution for you.
If you still want to pursue the natural solution I suggest you look into making your own termite bait, using either boric acid or neem or both.

There is no commercially available version of neem bait and no studies or info on it. You would need to do your own research.

By the way, it sounds as if the neem oil you are talking about buying is an inferior extract.

Termite must eradicate totally
by: Fery Sucianto

Killing termites with neem oil sounds good, but it cannot kill all termites. We still need a chemical and pest control company to do the eradication.

If you have problem about termite in Bali, call me. Fery, 08813659773.

Sure termites can be controlled by...
by: IbrahimRicardo "Opah"

Camille Hi.

The formulation is named "LongLife Bambu". It is a combination of Neem extract and Sodium Borate salts.

Though it's not sold commercially,(Untuk kalangan sendiri), I would be most happy to do a demo and try to eliminate the termites in your Ubud house.

I am an independent researcher. Satisfied users include: Warisan c/o Mr. Wayan Lam, Asali (French group, Bamboo builders, c/o Mr. Thierry)

I mix the brew in a small bamboo blinds shop called,"Maja Krey" Jl. Athena 08.(near the junction of Jl.Tangkuban Perahu). My home-phone is: 081236825101.

Neem+Boraxworks. I can promise you.

Bye for now. My email:

Termites in South India
by: Michel

We are restoring a hundred-year house in South India. Most of the wooden structures are in teak-wood and not damaged. In some parts of the building the wood is attacked by 2 different species of termites. As we are surrounded by neem trees, and as I know the insecticide power of the oil, I would like to know if there is any chance to kill the nest with this any treatment based on a natural process.

Thanks for your reply
Michel Adment Architect

Shelf life of Neem?
by: Gemma

I came across a bottle of neem in my cupboard that has been there for years. I got it for treating termites. What shelf life does it have. Would it still be okay to use after 5/6 years?

Neem oil shelf life
by: Birgit

Hi Gemma,

I can't remember of the top of my head where I wrote about it or I'd give you the link.
Anyway, the insecticidal components in neem are not very stable. They may last for about a year if the oil is kept cool and dark. So no, your oil is no good for combatting termites any more.

But it may still have some repellent action, it may still be good for conditioning hair. To be honest, I don't really know (and doubt anybody does) which of its many actions and ingredients last how long!

Al I know is that the insecticidal action will NOT last.

Neem Against Subterainian Termites
by: Anonymous

What about using neem leaves covering terrain soil with neem leaves and branches? My fruit trees are covered with termites of the subterrainiang type. Could covering the soil with leaves and branches of neem trees act as a repellant?

Killing termites organically
by: Rietha Crafford

You should use Boric Acid if you don't want to use chemicals. In fact, Boric Acid works better than any other chemical. Email me for more info at
+27 72 934 9060

Improving appln. of neem oil
by: Dr.P.Narayanasamy

Application of neem oil as a coat on the bamboo woods of your home will only repel the termites crawling over the bamboo woods.This is only a temporary relief you will get.

For permanent solution,get in to the earth underneath your home;drench neem oil-water mixture at 1:10 ratio with the help of a crowbar dig hole for 1 to 1.5 feet.This may be done around the home.repeat this process once in a month.

Bamboo pole implanted in the earth be coated with thick emulsion of neem oil or tar or paint for protection for long period.

Neem is excellent, but it must be eaten to be effective!
by: NeemGuy

I skimmed the responses so far and didn't see anything about this. I have several Neem trees on my farm, and they are by the most useful plant on the farm, except maybe Comfrey. The way Neem works is by using compounds called liminoids. (some of them found in various citrus trees, as the name suggests) When consumed by ANY insect, and arachnids in the case of spider mites, it kills them. However, this not like other insecticides that will instantly kill them. It works by a liminoid (Azadirachtin, in concert with about 100 other ones) that mimics the plants hormone that regulates feeding, breeding, molting, hatching of eggs, and in some cases, motor skills. The insect's brain doesn't realize anything is wrong, and thinks it isn't hungry, or thirsty, or needs to mate, etc. In about 3 days they will starve to death, and during that time will stop producing
offspring. You may even see winged insects forget how to fly!

Unfortunately, neem oil/seed meal is not effective with topical exposure, the target pest must consume the Neem for it to work. For ants, I soak Neem seed meal in water overnight, pulling out the active ingredients. Then dissolve borax and sugar in it. I soak bread, toilet paper, anything absorbent in the solution.

In Florida we don't really have problems with termites, at least in my area, so I don't claim to be an expert on them. I figure the steps above would work, only replace bread with sawdust, since termites like to eat wood, right?

As far as Neem quality, BUY AHIMSA BRAND! Quality DOES matter, its what determines the ppm of the liminoids. It's a company ran out of India (where the trees are indigenous) ran by a very nice woman whom I have spoken with on the phone many times, she will make time to speak directly to her customers. Anyway, the ppm in her product (both Neem meal and oil), are comparable to my own, and I only have 3 trees which I give a LOT of love and care for, she has an enormous Neem orchard, so hats off to her.

As far as which product to get, I recommend the seed meal. It can be made into a solution by soaking, but also is an excellent Nitrogen rich fertilizer. The oil is very difficult to dissolve into solution, even with a lot of emulsifier. Neem also doubles as an incredibly effective fungicide, I've wiped out powdery mildew and black spot problems COMPLETELY from my small farm. When watered into plant roots, they actually absorb and store the limonoids in their cells for months, making both pathogenic insects AND molds stay away.

It truly is an amazing plant. The Ahimsa lady (would rather not disclose her name) told me of an old Indian folklore tale about a huge plague of locusts that ravaged the countryside for years. The properties of Neem were subsequently discovered when they observed the only plants that hadn't been eaten were the Neem trees, they were absolutely pristine!

I hope this helps. GO NEEM!

Virgin cold pressed Neem Oil
by: Anil

Our experience has been that instead of chemically extracted - virgin cold pressed neem oil has very high concentration of active ingradient (Aza) and is far more effcetive in controlling termites and general fungi as well. It is ideal for wood preservation. For more write to me at

We have Neem pure oil
by: Harapan Nimba

Selamat siang,

We are Harapan Nimba who produces neem pure oil from neem seeds only.
Our factory in Bali actually.
We'll be very delightful to look forward the good news from you.

Salam nimba,
Yuda - 0878-2148-6720

My experience with termites
by: Anonymous

Neem does not effectively get rid of termites. It’s good for insects on a small scale, some fungus, etc, but for a wide spread infection this is not your solution. For our house we had to get a termite specific pesticide and not a general one. It is called terminex I think but look it up online. You don’t spray it on, you have to dig around each house to a certain depth and use the insecticide and water to ensure it goes into the earth and gets the queen and the whole nest. Then you have to treat inside but people obviously need to vacate the property. I am an environmentalist by training but I have seen that once you have the queen on your property, it will just keep producing termites and they infest inside walls, your foundation, etc. Once termites have wings, they are mature and then you can hardly control them. So, do yourself a favor and just make sure you get a specific insecticide for termites and not one that kills all insects. Don’t listen to anyone that says borax and neem, that is not for a tropical infestation and my house is in the tropics.

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