Did you know that many bugs can’t stand tobacco juice? In fact, nicotine a fast acting nerve toxin in insects and mammals. If you see whiteflies, gnats, aphids, thrips or leafminers, try using tobacco spray to get rid of them.
How to Make Steeped Tobacco Bug Repellent
Here’s a simple way to prove this in your garden: take a plug or wad of chewing tobacco (which can be purchased at most grocery stores), stick it in a nylon stocking, and boil it. You’ll end up with a fragrant dark brown juice containing loads of nicotine and other natural chemicals that function as broad spectrum insecticides.
But that’s not all there is to this solution: it needs a bit more to make it truly effective. As with most natural insecticide mixes, you’ll need to mix it into a soapy base to get it to stick to the plants. So make yourself a Fels Naphtha Soap solution by boiling a whole bar in a stocking, and mix that with two cups of tobacco juice and one cup of any antiseptic mouthwash. The mouthwash will irritate and/or desiccate any bugs that try to chow down on your plants.
Decant the mixture into a large hose-end sprayer, and spray to your heart’s content. Just remember that you’ll need to reapply the solution every ten days or so or after any significant rain; otherwise, the bugs will come back.
Want to learn more about less toxic insecticides and natural repellents?
Here are some websites that are helpful:
Less Toxic Insecticides from Clemson Cooperative Extension
How to Use Tobacco Juice to Control Pest in the Garden: Here’s how to make a tobacco spray with cigarette butts.
Botanical Insecticides from Texas A&M University’s Department of Entomology