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. 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.”