Nicotine as an insecticide?

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Nicotine as an insecticide?

Post  f1pt4 on Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:19 am

I didn't know whether to post this here or under bonsai pests and diseases.  Admins feel free to move it if need be.

I read in a number of articles online, that nicotine can be used as an insecticide on bonsais.  

To get the concentrate it says to mix tobacco with water, let it soak (depending on the source) between 24hrs - 1 week, strain the mixture and apply in a diluted form to your plants by watering the roots instead of spraying the foliage.

I was thinking of using a combination of spraying with neem and watering with cigarette water for a two week period as I'm battling some aphids and probably spider mites on my indoor bonsais.

Does anyone have experience using the nicotine water method?  

If I do decide to do this, I hope my trees won't start dropping leaves and go into withdrawl after I stop feeding them with the nicotine...   What a Face

f1pt4
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Re: Nicotine as an insecticide?

Post  Precarious on Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:34 pm

At the end, change to tea and wean them off slowly. What a Face
As you may surmise, I have no real help here. clown
Is the neem oil not satisfactory, or are you experimenting?

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Re: Nicotine as an insecticide?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:02 pm

As you might surmise from everything else that is wrong with nicotine, as a liquid solution it is quite toxic and is easily absorbed thru the skin. With all of the carefully dosed and readily available, scientifically prepared pesticides that are available, I don't see why you'd take the risk.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Nicotine is very toxic

Post  MartinC on Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:36 pm

As reported in the 'Official Journal of the European Union (2009/9/EC) the European Union concluded... that the existing evidence is not sufficient to demonstrate a safe use [of nicotine pesticide] with respect to operators, workers, bystanders and consumers. Authorisations for plant protection products containing nicitine had to be withdrawn by 8th June 2010.

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Re: Nicotine as an insecticide?

Post  ironhorse on Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:46 pm

Given the price of tobacco I can't see a nicotine based product being cost effective

Dave (grumpy smoker!)

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Re: Nicotine as an insecticide?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:44 pm

Tobacco is dirt cheap. It's the taxes that make you guys pay so dearly for it.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Nicotine as an insecticide?

Post  f1pt4 on Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:11 pm

The reason I thought about using a nicotine solution from soaked tobacco as a pesticide is because a) I found an article on my bonsai society's web site about using it as a viable method of pest control, b) because a different method but industrial version is used on crops world wide (although killing bee colonies along the way), and c) I can always bum some smokes off of friends to try the experiment.  and of course d) I prefer natural methods of battling pests as my indoor grow area is in my office and so I don't want to be breathing in toxic chemical vapours from chemical insecticides.   -  yes I know tobacco is bad for you, as is nicotine, but I'd like to believe it's not as bad to breath in when it evaporates as something that was created in lab.  Then again like @MartinC mentions, it's probably not safe either.

As for cost effectiveness, it's not an issue as it's not many plants to treat.  I would probably just need 2 or 3 cigarettes to make a gallon which would easily last me for the 2 week treatment.

So after talking to a local horticulturalist, I opted for a vigorous 3-4x a week application of higher a concentration neem w/detergent spray solution, as well as with Nilnat Tanlin applied to the watering cycle.  Hopefully that will decimate the aphids, mites and fungus gnats.  boy oh boy ain't this fun. cyclops

We'll see how the trees fare in a few weeks.

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Re: Nicotine as an insecticide?

Post  arihato on Wed Nov 19, 2014 12:37 am

As winter is rapidly approaching (even in Ontario), I would use a winter oil like 'Sunspray' when the tree is fully dormant. It will kill all bugs and eggs and larvae.
That will give you a clean tree in spring and the battle against new pests will be easier.

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Re: Nicotine as an insecticide?

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