Re: Nicotine as Insecticide

From: Christensen (
Date: Thu Mar 25 1999 - 08:58:57 PST

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 09:58:57 -0700
From: "Christensen" <>
Message-Id: <aabcdefg1009$foo@default>
Subject: Re: Nicotine as Insecticide

I remember seeing this on the Victory Garden (PBS).

A man was using homegrown tobacco as a systemic insecticide.
Example: he put several containers of tobacco in the ground
among the roots of a large tree. The tree absorbed the
components of the tobacco (including the nicotine) and the
tree became unpalatable for insects.

I can't remember if insects wouldn't eat the tree because
  1 it didn't 'taste' like the tree they wanted to eat
  2 it simply tasted 'bad'
  3 the tree poisoned and killed the bugs

Anyway, he didn't use chewing tobacco i.e. he didn't use
tobacco that was processed. He only used fresh/raw tobacco
If I remember correctly, he thought tobacco from a store is
okay to use in gardening but it must not be processed tobacco.

Also, he said it is okay to use tobacco on apple trees, but
allow sufficient time for the tree to dissipate/eliminate the
nicotine. That isn't unusual- often the labels of chemical
insecticides say something similar. "Do not appply X days
before harvest."


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