Growing resistance to chemical pesticides and the growing body of scientific evidence showing the link between chemical pesticides and poor health has created a demand for alternative ways of pest management for farmers. Tobacco has just been revealed as a player in the organic pesticide arena.
In an article published in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, researchers explained their discovery of an alternative use for the famous tobacco plant. Cedric Briens, Ph.D.┬á and fellow scientists at The University of Western Ontario, Canada found that by using a process called Pyrolysis to transform the tobacco into a oil-like substance that could be used in the agricultural experiments. The study reported that “Bio-oil was found to have valuable pesticide characteristics toward three problematic microorganisms as well as the Colorado Potato Beetle, a major agricultural pest.” The study added that “As the demand for tobacco is decreasing, the search for other valuable products from this resource is increasing. A natural pesticide that targets problematic species is a very valuable find. Further investigation into the active components and the potential applicability of using tobacco bio-oil as a natural pesticide will continue.”