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2 corrections, most recently by zoe.p - Show corrections

Vaporized Tobacco Juice.

Godefroy Lebeuf, of Argenteuil, gives, in the London Garden, the following descrip- tion of this new mode of treating insects on house plants :

I have never noticed any allusion in the Garden to the use of vaporized tobacco juice for destroying insects in plant houses. In France the results obtained from it have been so satisfactory that I think I shall do my fellow horticulturists in England a service in directing their attention to it. About two years ago M. Boizard, gardener to Baron Rothschild, communicated his discovery to the Horticultural Society of Paris ; and ex- periments were at once made, the result of

which left no doubt as to its value. Ever since I adopted it myself it has been abso- lutely impossible to find a thrips in my houses, and other insects have likewise dis- appeared. My mode of proceeding is this : Every week, whether there are any insects or not, I have a number of braziers containing burning charcoal distributed through my houses. On each brazier is placed an old saucepan containing about a pint of tobacco juice of the strength of 14*. This is quickly vaporised, and the atmosphere of the houses is saturated with the nicotine-laden vapour, which becomes condensed on everything with

which it comes in contact-leaves, bulbs, flowers, shelves, &c. When the contents of the saucepans are reduced to the consistency of thick soup, about a pint of water is added to each, and the vaporization goes on as before. I consider a pint of tobacco juice sufficient for a house of about 2000 cubic feet. The smell is not so unpleasant as that from fumigation, and the tobacco juice can be used more conveniently than the leaves. Plants, no matter of what kind, do not suffer in the least, and the most delicate flowers are not in the slightest degree affected, but con- tinue in bloom for their full period without; any alteration in their appearance. I have a Phalanopsis stuartiana with twenty flowers in bloom since the 14th of January, and

these are now as fresh as they were the first day they opened. When the operation is completed, if the tongue is applied to a leaf one can easily understand what has taken place, from its very perceptible taste of

tobacco.

The process requires to be repeated in pro- portion to the extent to which a house is in- fested. It is not to be imagined that these troublesome guests are to be quite got rid of by a Bingle operation. A new brood may be hatched on the following day, or some may not have been reached on the first day, bo that the vaporisation should be frequently carried on until the insects have entirely dis- appeared, and after that it should be repeated every week, in order to prevent a fresh in- vasion. In England it might be difficult to obtained the juice, which our tobáceo factories supply at the rate of 6d a litre (nearly a quart) to anyone who presents a1 certificate stating that it is required for in sect-killing. The expense therefore is very trifling, being about a shilling a week for a house 50ft. long, 16ft. broad, and 10ft. high. If, on the other hand, we take into account the time spent in washing the plants and the accidents which inevitably result from wash- ing and moving them, and when we consider that these last-named operations do not pre- clude'* the practice of fumigation, we shall find that a great saving is effected by. the use of vaporised tobacco juice.

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