Microbe Solutions Ireland - EM & How to use it

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Join an Earth-Saving Revolution with Effective Micro-organisms!

EM and its concept were developed in the 1970s by Prof. Dr. Teruo Higa, a Japanese professor of Horticulture at the University of Ryukyus in Okinawa, Japan. Originally developed as an alternative to synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, the use of EM technology has broadened in the last two decades from agriculture to waste treatment, water treatment, odour control, animal husbandry, household usage and health promoting products.

Dr. Higa forsaw the broad environmental and health issues linked with conventional agriculture. He discovered that the applications of mixed beneficial microbes reduced the population of the harmful, disease-spreading microbes and encouraged the good microbes present in the environment.

EM technology has spread across the world with its philosophy: “Use EM to develop a sustainable society based on coexistence and co-prosperity, exchange of information, safety, convenience, low cost and high quality”. Today, EM is produced over 5 countries and widely used in over 120 countries. EM Research Organisation (EMRO) has been established around the globe to conduct research on EM and promote the use of EM through research based information.

EM contains mainly three genera of micro-organisms, which create a symbiotic relationship:

  • Phototrophic bacteria - the 'heart' of EM, providing vital nutrients to other bacteria. They break down harmful substances and produce antioxidants.
  • Lactic acid bacteria - promoting fermentation and producing organic acids that suppress pathogens.
  • Yeasts - promoting fermentation and producing vitamins and amino acids.


Household Gardening & Landscape Animal Health Water Treatment

Caution! Do not use EM with chemical cleaners, which are designed to kill all bacteria.

Note: dilution rates indicated as EM:water ratio (ie 1:100 means 1 part EM in 100 parts water). All quantities below refer to EM-1 or EM-A.


Today, we use a number of chemicals in our life for washing and cleaning around the house. These chemicals contaminate our soil, rivers, sea and air, once discharged into the environment. Using EM around your house will reduce the use of synthetic chemicals and also cleanse our precious environment.

EM is a great environmentally-safe degreaser, detergent and deodorising agent due to ints antioxidant quality and ability to discourage growth of mould and harmful bacteria. Applications of EM will eliminate odour from pets, cigarette smoke and odour-causing bacteria. It is used to clean windows, mirrors, toilets, sinks, flooring, etc. Areas where pests (eg. rodents and flies) are a problem will benefit from the odour-suppressing action of EM. EM also helps to eliminate odours from pets, cigarette smoke and odour-causing bacteria.

Cleaning with EM is simple. Dilute EM at the suggested rate (see table below) and spray or wipe the surface. there are many other applications. EM users just have to be creative!







Kitchen & refrigerator







Black mould





Inside & around toilet bowl


Water tank (2 caps full)


Inside toilet rooms



Mould on leather


Carpet, shoes and inside car




Cupboards, shelves, clothes



Pet excretion


Pet odour



Routine applications


When smelly or blocked


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EM is used to enhance plant, water and soil qualities in various ways. It can be sprayed on soil as a pre-planting treatment, used to inoculate seeds or transplants, and applied to growing crops as a foliar spray or through irrigation systems. EM is useful in growing nursery crops, container-grown plants, and even in hydroponics. After crops are harvested, EM is used to help break down crop residues. EM can be applied to green manure crops and pastures during growth and upon incorporation into the soil.

This is a general guideline for using EM on vegetable and perennial crops> Adjust the methods according to the soil/climate conditions, current fertility and cultural methods.


Seed treatment

Soak or moisten with 1:2000


Water with 1:2000 after planting

Cover Crop

Spray foliage with 1:100

Spray soil with 1:100 before incorporating into soil


Clean glass with 1:100

Moisten potting soil with 1:1000

Spray foliage with 1:2000


Mix in with nutrient solution 1:1000 for tomatoes and 1:2000 for lettuce

Orchard/Vineyard (perennial crops):

Foliar Treatment

Seedlings (1 year old or less)

Spray with 1:500

Saplings (2-3 years old)

Spray with 1:250



Once a month


Every 2-3 weeks as buds start to swell


Every 2-4 weeks

Soil Treatment

Spray soil directly with 1:100 4-8 times a year depending on soil health

Spray 1:100 on cover crop or ground cover before/after mowing or discing the cover crop/ground cover.

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EM can be used with pets, livestock and farm animals, and aquarium fish to enhance their lives and suppress odours. EM improves the microflora in animals’ intestines and increases nutrient absorption. Production of harmful gases such as ammonia, hydrogen sulphide and methane is reduced (and thus associated stress and health issues in both animals and farm workers). This results in animals that are less productive and susceptible to disease. Applications of EM not only help odour control but this siple and affordable treatment also leads to production of high quality meat, better feed conversion rate and decreased mortality. These effects directly enhance animal health and farm profit.

This guideline provides general recommendations for the uses of EM in animal husbandry. However, operations vary in their conditions and thus the applications should be adjusted to suit each operation. Applications of EM include cleaning out housing, spraying animals and sheds, adding EM to drinking water and feed and treating maunure and slurry with EM.


Drinking water



Pigs, Dairy & Beef Cattle

Spray and wash all the surfaces of sheds with a 1:200 before housing animals and every 5 days at a rate of 0.3L/m2

Add EM to drinking water at 1:5000

Mix in EM bokashi into feed (3%)

  • Improved health

  • Less odour

  • Fewer flies

  • Reduced use of antibiotics

  • Improved meat/milk quality

  • Reduced mortality


Add EM to drinking water 1:2000

Mix in EM bokashi into feed (0.2%)

Fish in Aquarium

Add 1:1000 to water once a week

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To treat livestock slurry facility, solid waste and food waste, spray EM at a ratio of 1:100 parts water. For sewers, septic systems, holding tanks and portable toilets, apply 1 litre of EM per 1000 gallon holding capacity every 3 months by pouring down a drain in the house or directly into the holding tank. The septic system still may need regular pumping and maintenance.

To control algal blooms, in ponds or fountain, for each 10,000L capacity, dilute 1L 1litre A-EM with 50litre water and spray every 2-4 weeks. If it is not possible to spray the solution, introduce EM at several different points around the pond. Results will vary depending on the source of inflow and other factors.

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