Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bear Eats Repellent -- by Irene Shonle

Who knew?
  I've been making a fairly effective home-made critter repellent to ward off the deer, bunnies, ground squirrels and voles that sometimes chow on my plants.  The repellent is based on putrescent egg solids, capsaicin (the "heat" in hot peppers) and garlic, which have all been shown by research to have a repellent effect (recipe below the picture).  The directions say to store the repellent outside, in order to let it fully develop that lovely "eau de rotten egg".   I was pretty happy with the effect it was having on my plants, and was leaving the bottle on my porch steps to ripen -- until one night, my husband woke to hear the sounds of a large animal chewing on something.  Turns out, the repellent was attractive to bears!  I had no idea -- we're so careful to bring in everything else that might attract bears (the poor things are especially hungry, with this drought), but I never even considered that a repellent might be a problem!!!
The sprayer, chewed by a bear

Critter repellent recipe

  • 1-2 beaten raw eggs
  • One or more chopped Habanero pepper or hottest pepper you can find
  • 4-5 cloves garlic (optional: rabbits)
  • 1 quart or less water
      Shake well or blend.
      Strain with cheesecloth or very fine strainer  into sprayer.
      Let it “ripen” a bit – putrescent (rotten) egg solids most effective.
      Spray on plants you wish to protect.
      Rinse sprayer with clean water to avoid gumming.
      Reapply after each rain
      Store leftovers outside out of the sun (but not someplace a bear can get to it!!!)

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting Irene! I wonder if the bear would do it again after the habaneros hit him...