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  #1  
Unread 10-05-2007, 05:40 PM
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Cool Neem Oil vs Safer Insect Soap & Alcohol

What is the opinion on Neem Oil versus Safer Soap with a bit of rubbing alcohol as a means of keeping collections free of things like scale, aphids or/and mites? Would witchazel be a safer alternative to alcohol with respect of the cooling effect it has on the cells of the leaf?

I am looking forward to reading alot of good opinions!
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  #2  
Unread 10-05-2007, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyslipper View Post
What is the opinion on Neem Oil versus Safer Soap with a bit of rubbing alcohol as a means of keeping collections free of things like scale, aphids or/and mites? Would witchazel be a safer alternative to alcohol with respect of the cooling effect it has on the cells of the leaf?

I am looking forward to reading alot of good opinions!
The thing I don't like about Safers Soap is the white residue which is nearly impossible to remove. Other solutions are probably more esthetic, IMO.
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  #3  
Unread 10-05-2007, 09:42 PM
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I vote for neem , I use to have scale , I know people (Wife) don't like the smell of neem but I find it works well for me . This was a aphid year in greenhouse I just use a mild liquid soap for them ,does the job.
Rocco
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  #4  
Unread 10-06-2007, 01:24 AM
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So to clarify, for scale you should use Neem? For aphids & mites use dishwashing soap? I use Sunlight Antibiotic; would that be okay? Would I be correct in guessing you mix it with water and spray?

regards, mary
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  #5  
Unread 10-06-2007, 07:16 AM
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Mary
For scale I use the Neem mixed with Ivory soap according to directions . For just Aphid I use soap mixed with water, tablespoon to a gallon . Mites I would use Sun Oil w/soap or Neem . Because I have a large collection of orchids it can get expensive using Neem but it does work, also only mix what you need at time of spraying once the Neem is mixed they say it is only good for 24 hours. Do not spray plants with the oils when the sun will be on them will burn. This is what works for me I know some people use 409 and other household chems, but I haven't tried them yet . If you look in other threads you might get some other choices . Maybe they will post what they have used here that works. I have used antibacterial soap if out, just wonder if it kills good bacteria ? hope this helps.
Rocco
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  #6  
Unread 10-06-2007, 10:47 AM
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Think about the actions the various chemicals take.
  • An oil - whether it's neem, Sunspray, or vegetable cooking oil - coats and suffocates. Neem is also an antifeedant, so is best, in my opinion, used as a preventive measure, not a curative.
  • Soaps break down the waxy, protective coatings on the insects, making them more vulnerable to their environment.
  • Alcohol is a toxin and desiccant.
You're going to mix a soap with any oil, as it will emulsify it in the water to get better dispersion. The soap will break down the waxy coating and the oil will suffocate the critters, but it can also play hell on plants if overdone, so oils are usually recommended for hard-shell bugs like brown scale.

Soap and water, by itself, is pretty good for soft-bodied insects, but can take some time to work. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a contact killer. A mixture is a good idea. Neither is particularly good for hard scale, as the shells are pretty good protection, but soap will help loosen their grip if you're removing the bugs manually.
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  #7  
Unread 10-07-2007, 12:44 AM
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I no longer use Safers Soap, although I use another safer's product more lately - End-All and also Neem. Like the results from each.

The following mixture was recommended by another OB member and comes from the COC's newsletter Sept. 2004. It seems to work quite well, as you cam mix it and uses it whenever you spot something that 'bugs' you.

Add to 1 litre of water:
30 ml concentrated 35% H2O
20 ml alcohol;
2 ml detergent (to act as a binder)
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  #8  
Unread 10-07-2007, 01:52 AM
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Cool clarification on formula for treatment of bugs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscarman View Post
I no longer use Safers Soap, although I use another safer's product more lately - End-All and also Neem. Like the results from each.

The following mixture was recommended by another OB member and comes from the COC's newsletter Sept. 2004. It seems to work quite well, as you cam mix it and uses it whenever you spot something that 'bugs' you.

Add to 1 litre of water:
30 ml concentrated 35% H2O
20 ml alcohol;
2 ml detergent (to act as a binder)
Hi Dave, would you clarify this part "concentrated 35%
H2O"? would that be concentrated water? I am sorry, I don't understand. From what I have been hearing, Neem seems to have a smell and being in that my grow area is in the living room, I will try no smelling remedies first. Would this solution work to get rid of scale? Would I be able to substitute witchazel for the alcohol? Witchazle may be less hard on the plant than alcohol since I haven't read it has cooling properties.

Regards, mary
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  #9  
Unread 10-07-2007, 08:47 AM
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I think he left off a "2", making it hydrogen peroxide, but good luck finding it. Typical store brands are 3%.

Besides, hydrogen peroxide is very unstable, so within minutes of being mixed with metal ions or organics, or being exposed to light, it will decompose.

Don't be concerned about any "cooling" effect with alcohols. It can even be sprayed on buds with no damage. The only potential issue is with the drying effect, and that would only come about with many repeated sprayings in a short time period.
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  #10  
Unread 10-07-2007, 11:12 AM
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I don't mean to hijack this thread but since it's within topic I thought I'd post. I'm having an awful scale problem in my greenhouse. I have used Ultra Fine Hort.Oil, Bayer Rose Spray, Alcohol and Hort. Oil Spray mixture, Malathion, Enstar and the d*mn things keep coming back. It's really taking a toll on my plants and I have lost a few old favorites. I am about ready to give up on greenhouse growing. I have sprayed every Saturday for months now and I took a good look at my Phaius yesterday and there they are. Any other suggestions will be most welcomed.
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