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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Does Neem oil work to kill ticks on the land?

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Author Topic: Does Neem oil work to kill ticks on the land?
Robin123
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Someone recommended Neem oil to me yesterday - said to mix 4 Tbsp of it with 4 Tbsp of Dr Bronner's Sal Suds cleaner in one gallon of water and use it on the land. Said it helps fix nitrogen and thus it's also good for plants.

Anyone have any knowledge about this?

Posts: 13117 | From San Francisco | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lisa Lyme
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I am a professional organic landscaper.

The mix you described will only help a little, and would need to be re applied weekly and after every rain, so if you have a large yard it would be time and cost prohibitive.

Neem is a natural repellent more than an insect killer, but will disrupt some insect mating and feeding habits with heavy repeated application. It is also non-selective meaning it will repel and disrupt ALL insects not just ticks, so you are injuring beneficial insects like bees and butterflies too.

I never heard of Neem or soap "fixing nitrogen though.

A link to landscape solutions for tick management
http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/publications/fact_sheets/managingticks05.pdf

Hope this helps!
Lisa

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Take It Easy, Peace

Posts: 59 | From Old Lyme | Registered: Aug 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin123
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Thank you, Lisa - my computer doesn't open pdf's so I need to go to the library to do so -

I guess my question is, are there organic ways to treat the land that work?

A friend put Orange Guard, an essential oil from oranges, in gallons of water and sprayed his acreage and reported no more ticks.

I have no idea if this is good for the land, what its impact is on all insects, and probably would have to be done repeatedly since it's biodegradable.

I have heard there is experimentation going on with Alaskan cedar nootkatone and Carvacrol - have you heard anything about these applications? Supposedly one of them used in a groundspray stopped ticks for 40 days.

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Lisa Lyme
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I have not heard of Carvacrol. Citrus oils may help repel ticks, but I do know strong herbal blends work.

There are a couple of organic tick repellents I know of for the yard, but they do need to be re-applied frequently. I use them mostly for special events because people don't want to pay for me to come every 2-3 week, and they don't want to take the time to do it themselves either.

It's not difficult or time consuming if you have a small yard. St. Gabriels and EcoSMART are the 2 brands I have used.

Ecologically speaking the best way to keep ticks away from your home is to make your yard not inviting for rodents and deer. Both rodents and deer are essential food hosts for ticks. If you don't have small and large mammals in your yard ticks can't eat, and they will die or move away.

To keep deer and rodents away don't have food they like or habitats they enjoy. Remove brush piles and brambles and keep grass/weeds cut short. Have a wide mulch border around the yard. Store grain/feed in rodent proof containers, and take garbage to the dump often. Don't let leaves or debris accumulate under shrubs and around the home.

I'm not perfect at any of this, but I certainly do try.

Hope this helps!
Lisa

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Take It Easy, Peace

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Keebler
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Just to keep them away, planting neem bushes may be of help and not hurt butterflies or such, either. I recall having read that in India, this is a method that helps for keeping away certian unwanted bugs away from houses (though ticks were not mentioned, I'm sure).

Maybe like marigolds seem to keep away some but not others. Likely, there are various plants and flowers that repel some (but not other) species.

It's worth exploring, if the climate is one that would support neem - or whatever other plants might come to light. Not all climates support all plants, of course. I think Neem likes hot and dry.

The little bit I read about this in THE ONE EARTH HERBAL SUPPORT BOOK (Tillotson, et.al.), I think here, but I have to check later - it may have been somewhere else:

http://oneearthherbs.squarespace.com/important-herbs/neem-leaf-oil-azadirachta-indica.html

Neem
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Posts: 48021 | From Tree House | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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