Does cayenne pepper really deter rodents?

newdaddy2August 4, 2010

I've done some research on the internet and learned that rodents hate cayenne pepper.

But do they really?

Attached is a photo of a platform feeder that I placed right below my tube feeder hanging from a tree, to be used as a debris collector. The platform feeder is covered with cayenne pepper, as can be seen in the photo. The picture is worth a thousand words; the chipmunk doesn't seem deterred or displeased by cayenne pepper. In fact, it is happily collecting sunflower hearts mired in cayenne pepper under the metal mesh.

So, is this particular chipmunk a mutant that is somehow immune to cayenne pepper?

More importantly, does this mean vermins like mice or rats may not be deterred by cayenne pepper? I'm not so much worried about squirrels/chipmunks raiding my birdfeeder as mice/rats. I cover the birdfeeders at night but there is always the inevitable seed spillage on the ground that rodents just love to forage. Much as I like watching birds eating from my feeders, I'd rather do away with the feeders if I can't rest assured that mice/rats are being kept at bay with cayenne pepper.

Image link:

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That's a really nice feeder!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 5:19PM
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Thanks. I bought it from Lowes. manufactured by Garden Treasures. It has small irrigation holes on the bottom and also comes with the metal mesh. I think it's more functional and durable than platform feeders made of wood.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 12:20AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I've used the C&S Hot Pepper Suet and the squirrels left it alone. I've also used a pepper (capsaicin) spray on wisteria and rhododendron buds with some success. The squirrels decimate one particular rhododendron (Percy Wiseman) in late winter. Unfortunately they take a bite and don't like it. Then a day or so later one of them takes a bite and doesn't like it. After a while there are no bites left. Next winter I'm constructing a rhododendron cage.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 5:36PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

As to your original question, I have no idea if cayenne pepper deters mice and rats. It's not a problem for me.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 5:39PM
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Cayenne might not be hot enough.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2010 at 6:46PM
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