Hot Peppers Tested as a Rodent Deterrent
MISSOULA, Mont. — Researchers in Montana are testing hot peppers to see if they will deter deer mice from eating grass seeds, the Helenian.com reports.
Dean Pearson, a research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station, is toying with ways of attaching the powder derived from the bhut jolokia pepper – one of the hottest known to man – with the seeds of native plants used in restoration work.
“I’ve done work to show that mice can have a big impact on seeds,” said Pearson. “When they put the seeds down to plant, the rodents come and eat them up. So we’re looking to use a cheap and dirty method to protect seeds from mice.”
That cheap and dirty method involves the bhut jolokia pepper, which is used in parts of India to keep elephants away. It also has been considered as a non-lethal weapon to flush criminals and terrorists from hiding places.
One man who ate a bhut jolokia pepper on a dare allegedly spent hours vomiting, sweating and hallucinating. Pearson said such reactions to the pepper pertain to mice and men alike, along with all other mammals, making it an effective deterrent.
Peterson added that he and his team have experimented with waxes and oils, each of which have shown effectiveness, but also have drawbacks.
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