Skip to comments.Tobacco and Nicotine – Good as Pesticides
Posted on 09/06/2012 8:41:37 AM PDT by Red Badger
Nicotine is bad for you and apparently it has the same poisonous effect on pests, getting scientists' attention for a potential alternative to traditional commercial pesticides.
Tobacco and nicotine make one of the-hardest-to-get-rid-of vices of modern society smoking, which can lead to lung cancer and early death.
For hundreds of years now, tobacco leaves have been used on a small scale, as a natural organic pesticide, and as the growing concerns about health risk related to tobacco sales are harming tobacco farmers in some parts of the world, scientists looked for a new way of using this plant.
Dr Cedric Briens, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Western Ontario, and Director of the Research and Development, of the Institute for Chemicals and Fuels from Alternative Resources (ICFAR), and colleagues, thought of using tobacco as a natural pesticide, due to its toxic content of nicotine.
They explained that tobacco leaves could be turned into pesticides by a process called pyrolysis, which involves heating up the tobacco leaves at 900 degrees Fahrenheit (482.2 degrees Celsius) in a vacuum.
From pyrolysis results an unrefined substance called bio-oil, which the scientists tested as a pesticide against a wide range of insect pests, including 11 different fungi, 4 bacteria, and the Colorado potato beetle (a major agricultural pest that is very resistant to insecticides).
This oil killed all of the beetles and stopped the growth of two types of bacteria and one type of fungus, and even after the nicotine was removed, the oil kept its pesticide properties.
Because tobacco bio-oil proved to be so effective, and also because it destroyed some but not all of the microorganisms, the team concluded that it could be very valuable as a selective pesticide, far better than those currently used.
It's no wonder that for centuries, gardeners have been using home-made mixtures of tobacco and water as a natural pesticide to kill insect pests.
Of this research could start a 'green' pesticide industry, tobacco farmers would regain an additional income and the world would have a new eco-friendly pest-control agent.
The report was published in ACS' bi-weekly journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
Isn't that how Tomacco started?
And you don’t have to buy them. Just go to any parking lot and pick up all you want. Usually in small piles where people dump their ashtrays out.
I had a bottle of nicotine nitrate solution, to be used in a spray emulsion. In the past, nicotine was a commercial pesticide.
Then why does the Federal government subsidize its production?
First it starts with ‘just a cherry tomato’, then you get the need for something more. Then you begin on the salad size, say it’s just a little salad tomato, then before you know it you’re wolfing down Beefsteaks two at a time............
Be careful - Soaking tobacco and spraying the juice will do the same thing but can contain fungus that is contagious to tomato and potato plants - once in the soil it stays there.
Pure nicotine is quite toxic. You can extract enough from three or four strong cigars to kill someone in less than a minute. I’ve read that if you squirted a full eyedropper of pure nicotine on the skin of a rabbit it will curl up and die.
I don’t recommend canned tobacco......
so how do I get the bed bugs to light up?
The best way to get nicotine is from wild tobacco, Nicotiana rustica. Common tobacco is about 1-3% nicotine, but wild tobacco comes in at a hearty 9%.
Deadly stuff that canned tobacco. Paw Paine used Prince Albert’s cans of tobacco in his pipe and rolled cigs, and he only lived into his early nineties. Probably had a can in his bib overlls when they found him.
Tobacco evolved it to keep insects from eating the plant. The mood-altering (and addictive) effects that humans get from smoking it is just a coincidence.
Of course, tobacco companies have since controlled nicotine content through selective breeding. But, man didn't invent the nicotine insecticide: nature/evolution did.
I used a commercial nicotine-based pesticide in my home garden 25 years ago so this is nothing new. As I recall it wasn't very effective.
I’ve heard that too. However, I put about a pound of cigarette butts in a gallon plastic jug, filled it with water and steeped it for about two years. Strained it out this summer for a pesticide and splashed a bunch of it on myself. Didn’t do a thing. It did make a colony of ants pick up and move though.
I can really go for a cigar or pipe right now
This is news? I believe farmers/gardners have been using this for quite some time.
Scientists are working hard to miniaturize lighters and cigarettes, in hopes that they can get troublesome insects to become addicted and die off.
Which begs the question why other plants did not also evolve this safe guard.
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