Machine Design

Chile peppers repel pests

The natural oils of the chile pepper allow capsaicin to be molecularly bonded into various materials. It can be compounded into plastics or included in a coating prior to application.

There's now a process that molecularly bonds the natural "heat" (capsaicin) of the Habañero chile pepper into plastics, paints, stains, and other rubberized materials. The capsaicin successfully repels a variety of destructive pests including termites, mice, fire ants, and woodpeckers. Researchers at New Mexico Tech, Socorro, N.M., invented the process which is said to be powerful, inexpensive, and provide an effect that remains active for the life of the treated material.

Potential uses include rodent control for fiber optic or traditional cabling runs. Maritime coatings could benefit both freshwater and saltwater vessels. Another possibility is as a termite or woodpecker deterrent for wood products. Other potential pests such as beaver, deer, and gophers find the chile repellent distasteful as well.

MEDD4 LLC, 6542 Prairie Dunes Dr., Houston, TX 77069, (281) 895-7999, fax (281) 895-7788,

TAGS: Materials
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