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Cayenne Pepper Rabbit and Critter Repellent

Cayenne pepper rabbit and critter repellent for your garden and yard.

A good garden, flower or vegetable, will always attract hungry little critters. These critters, especially those baby rabbits, are cute as a button until they are munching on your newly sprouted squash or your beautiful violets and clover plants. This was the scene I woke up too a few days ago. My huge clover plant (a rabbits favorite) which I spent all month watering and feeding, was gone with the clovers cut off. At first I actually thought that someone came into my yard and cut my plant with scissors. I was so mad and confused because I never had a critter problem before. My husband joked that maybe the leprechauns came and took my clover. Sticking with the, "well maybe a neighbor took my clover" until I saw my poor violets, planted only for a day. That was when I realized that I didn't have a leprechaun or a clover thief, I had hungry rabbits. 

Now everyone who gardens knows that rabbits do not like marigolds, but I wanted something that was a little more fool proof. Marigolds don't always keep out bunnies when they are determined to eat all your delicious treats in the garden. I did my research and came up with cayenne pepper for a rabbit and critter repellent. 
Cayenne pepper was the main ingredient in every DIY, homemade, animal safe repellent that I found. Many recipes called for letting the cayenne pepper along with the other ingredients to sit for 24 hours to 2 days. Not having all that time to just have my flowers and veggies exposed, I looked for dry spice solutions. The spices that came up were straight cayenne pepper or straight red pepper flakes or even a combination of both. Having both in my pantry, I chose to try the cayenne pepper since it seemed a little safer to be around my dogs, both whom which stick their noses into my flowers. I know that this pepper spicy pepper will make them sneeze or even be somewhat spicy on their nose, but cayenne is used for pain and arthritis remedies, so it seemed like the better choice out of the 2. Plus once they did get close to the smelly hot spice, they would leave the area alone. 

The process was easy. Just sprinkle the spice onto the dirt under and around each delicious plant. Sprinkle some on the leaves as well. I used a spoon to sprinkle the desired amount of cayenne onto each plant individually. I was also a little worried about my veggies. Would the cayenne effect the vegetable flavor in any way? The answers I kept getting were no. Would the flowers or leaves be discolored besides the actual spice being on them? The answer to this was also no. 

So day one of having the spice on my plants over night was a success, so far. No nibbles or broken stems. No new flowers eaten like my purple violets (now green stems). No leafless clover plants. My hopes are high! I do plan on planting some marigolds along the veggie and flowers that are at risk. My rabbit fencing is also up and in place around the squash plants. I have more cayenne ready to sprinkle if rain or wind washes the spices away. I am prepared, but if all else fails, at least I will have cute and chubby bunnies. 
Now to conquer the helicopters everywhere. 

* I am all about natural ways to repel. I am against harmful chemical repellents or ones that will kill the animals. My squash isn't that important in my eyes. I feel our commercial farms have enough chemicals. Why bring it into our yards! 

UPDATE: June 21, 2015 - The cayenne worked great. So far so good, with no more rabbits eating my flowers and squash plants. The pepper does have to be sprinkled on the plants again if it rains because the rain washes some of the pepper away. I went about 1 week without having to reapply the cayenne pepper, making sure I only watered the soil and not the leaves. When it rained, we had a heavy down pour so I had to sprinkle more on after the weather cleared up. I also planted marigolds around those yummy flowers which seems to help as well.