Eco Oil vs Neem Oil: Which to Choose?

Pest control with natural formulas can be tricky for a variety of reasons.

There is a wide variety of natural and organic insecticides out there with Eco Oil and Neem Oil being two of the most popular.

In this article, we take a look at Eco Oil and Neem Oil to help you decide which is best for your garden.

What is Neem oil?

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Neem oil comes from the Azadirachta Indica tree. It is extracted from different parts of the tree, but the seeds are the best source for its insecticidal compound.

Neem oil is extracted by first mashing or grinding the seeds and then pressing them to extract their oils. The process is similar to how one would make olive oil.

The active ingredient in neem oil is azadirachtin, which works to prevent larvae from moulting. Larvae that can’t moult die before they can reproduce.

Neem oil also affects insects that feed on plants by inhibiting feeding and egg-laying.

Neem oil has to be ingested by insects to be effective and only affects those that are chewing or sucking. Insects that don’t chew or suck aren’t affected by neem oil, so it can’t be used as a general-purpose insecticide.

Neem oil is biodegradable, non-toxic to people and pets, has no chemical odour and decomposes rapidly.

What is Eco Oil?

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Eco-Oil is an organic miticide and insecticide produced by the Australian company Organic Crop Protectants.

It controls a variety of pests including scale, aphids, two-spotted mite, whitefly, mealybugs and citrus leafminer.

It contains a bio-insecticide made from plant oils and is registered organic. It is ideal for organic garden pest control and is a good option for gardeners who want a safer alternative to chemical sprays.

It has been specially formulated to kill a wide range of common pest insects but is non-toxic to insects such as bees and ladybirds.

It is safe to use on veggies and ornamentals (with no withholding period). It’s also effective to use on some fruit trees including tomatoes, strawberries, and citrus.

Eco Oil vs Neem Oil: Which is Best?

These are both very similar products, however, your specific requirements may make one a better choice.

Target pests

  • Eco-oil controls a range of problem insects including scale, aphids, two-spotted mite, whitefly, mealybugs and citrus leafminer.
  • Neem-oil controls a very broad range of chewing and sucking insects. These include caterpillars, curl grubs, wingless grasshoppers, aphids, mites, lawn armyworm, citrus leafminer, whitefly, mealybugs and fungus gnats. It can also be used to control sooty mould.

Use on edibles

Eco-oil is safe to use on fruit and vegetables, and there’s no withholding period, so you can safely eat the same day that you spray.

While Neem-oil has long been used on edibles around the world, Neem-oil products do not currently have approval for use on edible plants in Australia.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority has only approved eco-neem for use on ornamental plants. However, many overseas regulatory bodies have approved neem for use on edible plants with no withholding period.

Made in Australia

Eco-oil is made in Australia using locally grown plant oils, while Neem-oil products will usually contain imported ingredients.

Neem Oil FAQ

How does neem oil work?

Neem oil acts as a repellent and interferes with insect hormone systems. It can also kill off insects by hindering their ability to feed.

Is neem oil harmful to humans?

Neem-oil products do not currently have approval for use on edible plants in Australia. Importantly, neem oil should not be ingested alone, as it can potentially cause seizures, brain ischemia, and other harmful conditions.

Is neem oil safe for human skin?

Neem oil is safe for most people, but if you have sensitive skin or a skin disorder like eczema, be careful using it for the first time.

What does neem oil do to bugs?

Neem oil suffocates insects, covering their bodies with oil that blocks their breathing openings. Neem is most effective against immature insects, so mature adults aren’t usually killed and may continue to feed and reproduce.

Photo of author

Steve Kropp

Based in Melbourne, Steve's passion is vegetable gardening, and he’s been writing about it for almost 5 years. He also loves all things DIY and is always looking for a new project. When not working on his own garden projects or blogging, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, cooking meals with produce harvested from his garden, and coaching his son’s footy team.


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