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Tabasco as a Repellant


AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch farmers have devised a hot and spicy way to stop rabbits and rodents from munching their lettuce, carrots and wheat.

Spraying fields with the American sauce Tabasco sends the rabbits “three feet in the air” with shock and running for cover, said a spokesman for a local agriculture cooperative.

The Dutch animal protection society is happy with the spicy repellent, unworried by the possibility of burned bunny mouths. “Preventive measures are exactly what we want. It’s better than going into the fields with a shotgun,” said animal welfare spokesman Niels Doorlandt.

The farmers will now try to make Tabasco an officially recognized pesticide for subsidized use on a larger scale. At least five small supermarket-sized bottles of the spicy sauce are needed for spraying 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of crops.

Although rain washes the Tabasco off, the crops are only sprayed in the first phases of growth to spare the taste buds of human consumers.

Everyone that is, except for the rabbits, who farmers say jump a meter in the air and run for cover after tasting the spicy sauce. Farmers say its working. And animal protection spokesman Niels Doorlandt calls it a wonderful alternative to the shotgun.

“This initiative is a perfect example of how you can get rid of the problem without killing the animals or harming them in any way,” he says. “It could be possible that the lips of the rabbits are hurt by the Tabasco, but the next time the rabbit will think, ’Don’t do this again,’ so they won’t use their teeth to eat our precious crops.”

Local farmers tried other remedies first: garlic sauce and Worcestershire sauce. But apparently nothing keeps the rabbits and rodents away quite like Tabasco. So far, it has been used on lettuce, green beans, barley and wheat, with tests under way on young apple and cherry trees. It takes about five small bottles to spray one hectare of crops.

The Dutch distributor says farmers have had problems keeping the spicy sauce on the crops because of the rainy Dutch climate, but they believe they have solved that problem by mixing the sauce with a sticky substance. The concoction is only sprayed on parts of the plant that are not harvested to spare the taste buds of consumers.

There still needs to be more research before Dutch officials give Tabasco use their stamp of approval, allowing distributors to sell it on a large scale. Meanwhile, the Tabasco company is said to be happy, although they are not advertising this latest use of their product, yet. (Lauren Comiteau, October 22, 2004)

I’ll have to experiment with this and see how it works on the squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons!
So far the rabbits only eat the seeds that are dropped from my bird feeders and pretty much leave all of the other garden plants alone. They had a taste for my newly planted Caladiums when the new shoots were young and tender, but now that they are bigger the rabbits tend to ignore them..

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Is this the answer to my prayers? Do you think this would work with herbaceous perennials in the border? After having so many newly planted things decimated by rabbits, I'm willing to give it a go. I can't see that it would harm the plants in any way, can you? It's off to Tesco to stock up with Tabasco!!

28 Jul, 2009


this is amazing, garlic sauce works wonders to keep hubby away just think what tobasco could do for me


x x x

28 Jul, 2009


Another great product that I have been testing is called "Deer-Scram" and has been effective on the rabbits, and repels them from my Caladiums. You have to double up on the application for rabbits, but it does work rather well..
Best of all is the organic ingredients in "deer-scram" works out to a 7-1-0 organic fertilizer and feeds roses and caladiums very well! :-)

29 Jul, 2009


the poor rabbits I just bet they jump a meter in the air when they taste the Tabasco!! lol But it's better than a shotgun, of course.

29 Jul, 2009

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