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Library Card

Snodgrass, Kathleen . 2005. Quit Eating My Signs! Pepper-Based Coating Discourages Animals from Damaging Structures. 0573 2313. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Missoula Technology and Development Center. 6 p.

Reports results of informal field tests of a new coating that deters animals from chewing or pecking treated surfaces. The active ingredient is food-grade oleoresin capsicum extracted from habanero peppers. The product is available as:

  • An elastomeric (flexible) sealant coating for surfaces that can be painted with water-based paints.
  • A lanolin-based product for untreated or stained wooden surfaces.
Because the active ingredient is an irritant, the product should be used in extremely well-ventilated areas, preferably outside. Gloves, clothing, and eye and face protection should be worn when applying the product. Field tests showed that over periods ranging from 7 months to a year or so, porcupines and horses chewed the treated areas of wooden signs and softwood poles used as corral rails dramatically less than untreated areas. Woodpeckers appeared to peck less on the treated areas than on the untreated areas of a vault toilet's wooden siding. The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology developed and patented the process that molecularly bonds the habanero pepper extract to paints, stains, plastics, and other rubberized products. The products are currently available from Jeff DeVaney at or 619–944–4452.

Keywords: animal damage, bird repellents, facilities, habanero, horses, irritant properties, irritants, paints, porcupines, repellents, rodent repellents, woodpeckers


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