How to Use Tobacco Leaves as a Natural Pesticide
If you like to use natural medicine to treat yourself and your family, then you may understand that the tobacco plant does have some medicinal properties. Tobacco has been used for centuries to treat colds, spider bites, and to reduce pain and inflammation. You should also know that tobacco leaves can be used to ward off pests. Keep reading to learn why and also how you can create a pest repellent.
How Does Tobacco Keep Pests Away?
Tobacco can help to ward off pests in your garden in a few different ways. The plants themselves make a great companion plant for vegetables in your garden. Not only does the tobacco keep weeds at bay, but the acidic odor of the tobacco masks the more pleasant smell of vegetables that are commonly consumed by insects and rodents. The plants can also create a sort of natural barrier around vegetables to make it difficult for pests to infiltrate your garden.
Tobacco plants can also be used to create a natural pesticide. Specifically, the nicotine in the plant can and will kill insects like aphids, gnats, thrips, whiteflies, moths, and beetles. Keep in mind that nicotine is so strong and potent that it will kill beneficial organisms and insects as well, so use your pesticide sparingly so you do not harm the overall ecosystem that helps your garden to prosper. For example, you do not want to negatively affect the worms that help to keep the soil aerated around the roots of your plants.
How Do You Make Your Pesticide?
If you want to make a pest repellent with natural tobacco leaves, then you will need to create tobacco juice or tobacco water. You can do this in a few different ways. If you have purchased whole tobacco leaves, then you will need to dry them out. The dry leaves can be crunched and placed into a large pot. You will want about one-half to one-cup of the leaves. Add about 10 cups of water to the pot, set it on your stove, and allow the water to boil. Turn off the stove and allow the leaves to steep in the water. Drain off the leaves, place the fluid in a spray bottle, and lightly spritz your vegetable plants.
You can also place your crushed tobacco leaves in a pot of cold water and allow the mixture to steep over time. Allow the nicotine to seep into the water for several days before using it.
If you decide to create the natural pesticide, make sure that you do not spill it on your skin since the nicotine can absorb directly into your body.
To learn more about safely acquiring tobacco leaves, reach out to services like Marleaf.