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 Post subject: What about Tobacco Teas?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 1:19 pm 
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I was looking at an old Rodale book on chemical free homemade pest control. It recommended a very, very dilute, up to 30 minute brew, of a cup of old cigarette butts or chewing tobacco per gallon of water, plus some liquid soap as a sticker spreader.

They said that this is a last resort for stubborn pests like adult Japanese beetles. It should only be used as a foliar pest spray, and definitely not on nightshade family crops. They state that this spray should be used with much wisdom, and only will needed, because no known bug is immune to nicotine.

How do y'all feel about dilute homemade nicotine sprays today?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 1:58 pm 
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CaptainCompostAL

Interesting topic, and should elicit some equally interesting responses. Jerry Baker advocates the use of a three finger pinch of chew for making these teas. Though I don't currently have a need for the use of something this toxic, I think I could certainly consider the use if necessary. I suspect that many will not agree.

I will now sit back and await as the responses come in.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 2:06 pm 
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Thanks Mr. Clean!

What if you used fresh tobacco leaves from a plant that you grew yourself from seeds?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 7:41 pm 
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Certainly the tobacco you would grow would be absent any added nasty chemicals which may or may not be added to the commercial products. Is this a research project you are considering?

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2003 8:49 pm 
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I've used the tobacco tea stuff. That was many yrs. ago and I don't think I diluted it enough and it caused some of my grass to yellow out. I would use it again but with much caution.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 4:22 am 
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I'm pretty sure nicotine based products were banned from horticultural use years ago because they were too dangerous. That's why Jerry Baker makes his own. I would not use the stuff.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 10:38 am 
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I know that, at one time, Andy Lopez used tobacco as part of a systemic tree treatment for insects, but I don't know if he still uses it/recommends it. If his theory was sound, tobacco would serve a systemic purpose that the contact controls that we usually use cannot serve. Offhand, I can't imagine a place where I'd substitute tobacco for citrus oil or garlic pepper tea, for example, but mabye sometimes those products might not be immediately at hand. I wonder what tobacco tea does to fire ant mounds.

It strikes me as a bit odd that tobacco tea would affect plants adversely, but maybe it would it if it's strong enough (or maybe I just don't know how it affects plants).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 12:09 pm 
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I was curious. I am trying to quickly kill, a large family of adult Japanese beetles around my high nitrogen, heavy feeding plants. I've tried several applications of garlic, onion, hot pepper, orange and lemon peelings, canola oil, and liquid soap. It worked in several areas of my beds, not in others. I'm definitely building several better homemade J.B. traps of rotten fruit and liquid soap, everywhere I see them. Later this fall/winter, I plan to use more safe organic pest controls on the J.P. larvae living in the soil, to avoid this problem next summer.

I was trying to avoid buying pyretheum or neem oil sprays right now. I have read from several organic sites, that if you only brew tobacco teas no more than 30 minutes, then dilute the tea like crazy, it still will not harm bees and lady beetles, if though it is the most toxic, economical, organic pesticide known to man.

I wonder if you sprayed a light coating only on affected areas, then later go back and build up the beneficial microbial populations on the plants and soil, with lots of fish/kelp teas or aerated compost teas, would that work ok.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 12:49 pm 
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I found out today from a friend from GardenWeb.com, that the homemade version of tobacco teas as outlined by Jerry Baker, is very safe, and not as bad as the general organic gardening and environmentalist public wants to make it seem. There is a difference between the available nicotine in tobacco teas, and the highly toxic, dangerous nicotine sulfate. Just one drop of nicotine sulfate on the skin, can make you sick. Not true about diluted, well brewed, homemade tobacco teas.

Chewing tobacco is more organic and safer to use in a tea, than cigarettes or cigars. I tried an experiment against Japanese beetles eating up my sweet corn fields. I used Red Man chewing tobacco in a 5 gallon bucket of garlic/pepper/liquid soap water tea. It only brewed up to 30 minutes max. It seems to be working great! I'm also spraying this stuff in the woody areas around my garden beds to kill more of their larvae later in the year.

Check this discussion out, if you like:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load ... 59.html?19


Happy Gardening!

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 2:20 pm 
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Thanks for the update. Please continue to keep us informed on your research using the tobacco teas for controlling the tougher insect problems we may ecounter.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2003 2:24 pm 
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Thanks Mr. Clean!

I'm still hooked on my homemade generic pesticidal tea that I make in 5 gallon buckets near my compost pile ingredients. It contains lots of rotten garlic, onions, ground cloves, hot peppers, orange and lemon wasres, canola oil and liquid soap. I use in on all pests on my nightshade plants, especially eggplants this year.

However, I'm only using the tobacco tea as a quick fix on these darn J.B.'s.

I'm expecting my high microbial teas to fix, balance, and correct most of my pest and disease issues in my garden in the future in my soil and gardening environment.

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