Organic pesticides

Tobacco, the ideal organic pesticide

Organic Pesticides

About organic pesticides and fertilisers

Health concerns over tobacco use have hurt tobacco farmers—the number of farms growing tobacco in the United States dropped from 512,000 in 1954 to 56,977 in 2002. But the poisonous quality of tobacco could help farmers enter the pesticide market. While the potential for tobacco to be used as an organic pesticide has always existed—farmers and gardeners have been using homemade tobacco pesticide for years—it has never been commercially viable.
That could be changing, however, as consumers demand organic vegetables and fruits and producers look for alternative forms of pesticide in order to meet that demand.Tobacco can be used as a natural pesticide which is good news for farmers who have seen sales drop due to public health concerns. Last year researchers at the American Chemical Society discovered a way to convert tobacco leaves into bio-oil which can be used as a natural pesticide. The bio-oil is produced through pyrolysis, a thermo-chemical process that involves heating tobacco leaves to about 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The researchers tested tobacco bio-oils on 11 different fungi, four bacteria, and the Colorado potato beetle. They found that bio-oil was effective at killing the potato beetle as well as a fungus that kills eggplant, pepper, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber
The researchers discovered that when nicotine was removed from the bio-oil it still worked against the Colorado potato beetle. Although more research needs to be done to look into the possible health effects of using tobacco as a pesticide, the promising results of this research could help struggling tobacco farmers improve their livelihoods by providing a new market for their products. 
Organic Pesticides
Organic Pesticides

How to Make and Use Organic Pesticide From Tobacco

Tobacco plants contain nicotine, not to please human smokers but to deter pests. Nicotine is toxic to some herbivorous pests, and you can make use of this quality in a homemade organic pesticide. Tobacco pesticide is particularly effective on soft creatures, such as slugs and aphids. Any tobacco forms the basis of the spray, including rolling tobacco, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco and cigarette butts. 
1. Steep a cup of dry tobacco in a gallon of water for at least half an hour. Soaking for longer produces a stronger pesticide, and some gardeners leave the tobacco mixture to soak for a day. Stronger pesticides might work faster, but they are also more dangerous to beneficial garden insects.
2. Add a squirt of dish washing liquid to the mixture. This improves the spreadability of the pesticide and is mildly toxic to some pests in its own right
3. Strain the liquid into plastic storage containers, through a fine sieve, to remove the tobacco pieces. Tighten the lids securely. The pesticide will keep for a couple of weeks if stored somewhere cool, for example, in a garage or basement.
4. Transfer the mixture to a plant mister.
5Target the pests and use as little spray as possible. For example, spray growing shoots that are thickly covered in aphids but not nearby, aphid-free leaves. Tobacco spray is natural but still dangerous to useful insects, such as ladybugs.