Instructables
Hot peppers are a well known approach to deterring dogs from relieving themselves where you don't want to step in it.  It's effective, but not toxic to dogs, people, or anything else.  But if you just sprinkle Tabasco sauce or cayenne powder, it's likely to wash away (if it's rainy) or blow away (if it's not).  My solution is to mix cayenne powder with oil, and dribble that on the ground around the area you want to protect.  The oil not only helps prevent the rain from washing it away (and the wind from blowing it away), but it also helps bring out the capsaicin, the active chemical in hot peppers, which is soluble in oil but not in water .

It's worked for us to solve a regular problem, and has lasted through several days of very heavy rain.


 
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Step 1: Ingredients

There are just two ingredients: cayenne powder and vegetable oil.  If you have cayenne that has been sitting around for a long time, it might have lost strength.  It can't hurt to go ahead and try it, but you might need some fresh stuff.

If you buy cayenne in fancy bottles, it can be pretty expensive, as much as $75 per pound , including shipping.  But if you buy it from the bulk section of a grocery store, or in bulk packs with free shipping from Amazon, it can be less than 1/10 the price.  Avoid getting too large a package, because its strength will decay with time after the package is opened.  Two 1-lb. packages from Amazon for $14.24 seems like a great deal, if you are serious about this.  Each pound is good for dozens of applications.  Or you could opt for the organic variety .

For oil, you could use any vegetable oil you have handy.  I used mustard oil , because I had a bottle of it around, and I thought it might help deter dogs.  (I bought it for cooking, but haven't used for cooking after reading about occasional problems with it being mixed with Argemone mexicana oil , which is toxic, and because the bottles you can buy in the US are labeled for external use only, it's hard to be confident that  it has been carefully prepared to food-grade standards.  But I digress--any vegetable oil will work.

The wildflowers aren't needed for anything, but why not?  Anything's better with wildflowers.


caried12 years ago
Anything is better with wildflowers. I like your style.
l8nite3 years ago
I used a similar concoction when my dogs were pups and chewing EVERYTHING. I used a red water "hot"sauce and some (lite) cooking oil and rubbed a little onto every surface imaginable, chair legs, window sills, electrical cords, the drain for the hot water heater... they totally avoided the areas treated and were content with the large bones and hide chews I gave them. Now I keep a spray bottle full of the mix and use it to discourage digging around the pool and gardens, it also helps repel cats, squirrels, possums and other unwanted critters. I spray the perimeter of the yard and some areas inside about once a week or after a heavy rain
Batness3 years ago
Awesome! Never thought of this. :P

I wonder, how does it affect plants? I don't have a rocky yard, I have grass and vines. :P

I also wonder if it is too thick to be "sprayed" along the edge of sidewalk/grass.
LowEnergy (author)  Batness3 years ago
I don't think it would hurt plants, unless you totally coated a leaf to the point that it couldn't breath.

I went for dribbling, not spraying. It would likely clog a spray bottle.
gross pic to have among all the food...
LowEnergy (author)  craftreporter3 years ago
Sorry about that...at least I didn't show the actual poop!
wilgubeast3 years ago
Oh man. This would have been great when I was a kid responsible for taking care of the canine deposits in the back yard. There were few chores more odious than trying to scoop fresh piles out of the decorative rocks along the side of the house. A little hot sauce pretty much takes care of everything.