Cayenne Pepper as Pest Repellent

Did you know you can sprinkle cayenne pepper on vegetable leaves to make the neighborhood animals leave them alone? Neither did I.

household pepper for pest control

Using household spices and peppers for pest and animal control is a great idea until you run into a deer that’s fond of curry

Cayenne Pepper Repels Bunnies?

So far so good, right? Sounds like a definite hot tip (please, do pardon the pun) for the aspiring gardener who’s plagued by bunnies, lizards, cats, snakes, coyotes, jackelopes, roadrunners, Bigfoot and other woodland creatures in the desert.

That said,  think twice. Think what happens when you get a surprise dose of cayenne pepper or pepper spray –  your eyes water, your face sweats; if you’re like me, you might even scream a bit.

Try not to be a Pepper

Now I’m not saying NOT to use cayenne pepper for pest control. What I am saying is don’t just go out on a breezy day and pepper the garden, while standing downwind, without a set of safety goggles and a face mask, nowhere near a garden hose. At the very least, take your contact lenses out first.

Counteracting Pepper in Eyes

First step – DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES. I’ll say this twice – maybe more often because the first impulse is to rub your eyes. Don’t do that.

We’ll assume you’re acting alone and there’s no support system or neighbor nearby to take point on a cure. So I’ll make the steps simple and easy to remember.

  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Take out contact lenses, if any.
  • Turn your face toward the wind or go stand in front of a fan.
  • Flush your eyes out with cool running water.
  • Put a cold compress over eyes for half an hour or more.
  • Clean and soak contact lenses, if any.

It’ll take about 45 minutes to an hour for the effects to dissipate.

Bottom Line

The basic premise is the same: Capsicum burns like heck. And capsicum is the key ingredient in cayenne pepper and pepper spray. This applies equally to cayenne pepper for the garden pests or a dose of pepper spray for the purse snatcher.