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Tobacco insecticide

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:19 pm
by Steven
I went away for a few days, and when I returned, one batch of pepper plants had a severe aphid problem. I tried some Resolva - a lambda based solution. It did very little.

When I was in the jungle we burned tobacco to keep the insects away. So, I put a packet of rolling tobacco into a tub of rain water and let it soak for few days. I used this as a stock solution, and added some to more water and sprayed it on the plant. It made a huge difference.

The aphids congregated on those areas of the plant that I missed when spraying, allowing me to squash them. Some others that rested on areas that got sprayed did survive, but it looks as though their neurological system had been affected. Their movements weren't coordinated and they fell off very easily.

Although to did work, I think I could improve the insecticide by adding something to it which makes sure the nicotine gets taken up properly by the aphid. I read in a very old paper (from 1945) that nicotine solution alone will not be properly taken up by the aphid, and that it needs something else to act as a carrier. Of course, it might be wrong.

But I am not sure that it is sensible to use nicotine. I know people smoke it, but ingesting nicotine increases its toxicity and can make you quite sick.

Does anybody else use nicotine for an insecticide? I am wondering if the nicotine may become systemic to the plant. I am not sure that the peppers will be edible anymore.

Is soap solution more effective?

Re: Tobacco insecticide

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:29 pm
by phillyb86
Not to sure on the nicotine but I have used a a few dollaps of fairy liquid in a 600ml water sprayer. It's good to reduce the numbers but I have found it to be very difficult to rid completely of them once you have them. I've originally used Bayer garden bug killer which is different to the lambda based solutions but I think the aphids became immune to to it. I'm now using sb plant invigirator. Good coating of the plants once a week and use the soap mixture inbetween if needs be.

I've heard garlic and chilli mixed in with a soap solution is good but I'm yet to try that.

Hope you get your aphid problem sorted

Re: Tobacco insecticide

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:23 pm
by mrprogress
Apart from anything else I would have thought this was extremely risky because of Tobacco Mosaic Virus?

Re: Tobacco insecticide

Posted: Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:17 pm
by Steven
I thought pepper and chillies couldn't get it. But, according to doctor google they can. Seems it is a bad idea. Garlic and soap it is then.....

Re: Tobacco insecticide

Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:16 pm
by ChilliJez
Are you aware of the neonicotinoid class of pesticides? They have a similar mode of action to nicotine. The effective version of Provado had thiacloprid as active ingredient.

Here is an abstract outlining persistence of thiacloprid in peppers. I think it's reasonable to expect similar results for nicotine. In this instance, the measureed level of pesticide in fruits was significantly below the safe threshold throughout. ... 25-232.pdf

I'm not suggesting you should use your preparation but I'd expect that it's persistence in the plant would fall rapidly and would be unlikely to present any significant risk. If you mixed it with soap this may have the benefit of acting as a wetting agent and I think this could increase the effectiveness of the nicotine solution.

Re: Tobacco insecticide

Posted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 4:55 pm
by Steven
Thanks mate. Yes, I know about neonicotinoid pesticides.

I have boiled my brew for quite sometime...that should hopefully destroy any mosaic virus...I read that heating kills it. The down side is that it got me into trouble at home. It seems that not every member of my family shares my enthusiasm for cooking soggy tobacco in the kitchen.

It has worked very well on the plant I put it on. It certainly was better than the commercial stuff I've tried. I'd say it lasted for about two weeks, at which point the aphids started increasing again.

Thanks very much for that paper...its useful.