Introduction: Squirrel Mace! Ok Fine, Repellent.

Picture of Squirrel Mace! Ok Fine, Repellent.

This organic concoction will keep squirrels, cats, dogs, people and any other annoyances at bay.

Step 1: First on the Chopping Block, Habaneros!

Picture of First on the Chopping Block, Habaneros!

Habanero peppers are rich in capsaicin oil. That's the stuff that burns so bad when you eat them. So lets get a bunch and pop them in the blender! DANGER!!!! For the love of Pete, wear gloves when handeling these! A simple touch of the pepper and then rub your eye or nose and presto! Your in a world of hurt!

Step 2: Next Up (Hic!) Vodka!

Picture of Next Up (Hic!) Vodka!

I find the water of life best for the extraction process. Oil of any kind is soluble in alcohol, not water. If you can't get booze, use rubbing alcohol. Mind you, if you do, it will not be fit for human consumption. mix the two together and wait overnight.

Step 3: Seperate the Solids.

Picture of Seperate the Solids.

The next day, pour the concoction through a sieve into a tall narrow glass container. Let stand for 2-3 hours. You should see a separation of the oil from the vodka. The oil will be on top. You can use a turkey baster to remove either component. Otherwise you should be skilled at pouring off the top layer. The vodka is now flavoured, but not hot. The oil on the other hand is pure pain by the drop!

Step 4: Apply As Needed.

Picture of Apply As Needed.

If you have small children, take serious care not to put this where they could come in contact with it. I brushed mine onto my bird feeder and using a pump hairspray bottle, sprayed my plants too. I am now squirrel free!


surfreak (author)2008-06-07

Some bird is going to love you when it accidentally bites the feeder.

PeterP4 (author)surfreak2015-11-11

Spicy hot things do not affect birds.

Shindou (author)surfreak2010-07-10

I know MANY birds that LOVE peppers, the hotter the better, they have no saliva producing glands or whatever in their mouth, but they DO have taste buds, so they enjoy a totally different flavor than humans do. For some reason, they go absolutely crazy for peppers, they must taste extremely good if you can get past the heat....

atropos (author)surfreak2008-06-08

Birds actually have no taste and the hotness of the peppers won't phase them at all. :) It's a very common solution to coat birdseed or suet in cheyenne pepper to discourage squirrels.

yx516 (author)2008-05-07

why a squirrels a threat again? dont be hating on them squirrels :D

MandalorianMaker (author)yx5162015-11-08

Squirrels are pestilences, they are tree rats with a habit for eating bird seed and your vegetables in the garden. They have a pleasant taste though.

MisterMissanthrope (author)2008-07-02

awww poor squirrel, just sitting their all inocent then *BAM* face full a mace. I dont like the thought of a squirrel crying

Squirrels are pestilences, they are rats with bushy tails and a habit for eating the vegetables in the garden. They do taste good though.

kurtnotkirk made it! (author)2015-01-06

We just made a version of this using Thai Dragon Peppers, which are not as hot as Habaneros, but arguably close, according to one web site citing the Scoville Scale. We chopped about a cup of the peppers in a food processor, and put them into a canning jar with a pint of vodka. Will check in tomorrow, and see how it is doing.

kurtnotkirk (author)kurtnotkirk2015-01-07

As I was filtering the solids from the liquids, I spilled the jar everywhere. The dogs will not go into the kitchen now. I have capsaicin oil all over my hands and everything I have touched. Everything. Being a glutton for punishment, I went to the ABC store and to the market and bought more vodka and this time, habañeros. The second jar is steeping right now.

bakdrft (author)2014-03-17

Will grain alcohol work. I have used it for making other oils

thehbird (author)2014-01-03

nice question did the birds come after you sprayed the pepper spray on it?

zupyo22 (author)2011-03-09

by the wa will this work on feral cats have alot near where i live

1-2BGardening (author)2010-04-11

Thanks for you instructable. I used to love squirrels but now find I need to get some control over them because since I've moved where I am now they are eating all my bulbs and every last almond.  Just curious though, what is the first picture showing? Also, do you add oil or is the oil a product of the peppers? 

Aerospaced (author)1-2BGardening2010-04-11

The first pic is a combination of a pic from a news article regarding rioters at a college and a squirrel. The young man was picking up a tear gas canister to throw it back at the police. 
 You should use a veg oil to carry the capsicum better. 

mowie (author)2008-07-10

i dont get it wats so bad about squirrels

dewa2258 (author)mowie2009-06-02

Squirrels have gotten into my attic...they have eaten boards all over the house to get inside to build nests for the winter. I can't begin to tell you how much this cost. Squirrels are the biggest cause of unexplained house fires. They are just rats with furry tails. I don't want to share my home with them.

mowie (author)dewa22582009-06-10

haha ok im australian so i had no idea. Thanks.

simplesimones (author)2009-05-18

do you have a specific recipe? i got lost on step 2 can't wait to try on these pesky squirrels who have ate up just about all the apricots on my tree!

Aerospaced (author)simplesimones2009-05-19

It's really very simple. Get as many habaneros as you can, blend them up and add alcohol. Let set for a few hours, strain out the liquid. Wait until you see the mix separate and use a straw to draw off the oil. Apply as needed to whatever you are protecting.

SG1Oniell (author)2008-09-04

due if you make actuall mace and mix it with the powder in one of those long thin flourescent light bulb you get hydrochlauric acid! It's awesome!

Aerospaced (author)SG1Oniell2008-09-04

"Put the bong down and step away from the bag!" The "powder" is a phosphor. I don't believe you have all the facts straight. Perhaps you could cite a reputable source on this. Considering your considerable spelling errors, the foremost statement may be accurate.

SG1Oniell (author)Aerospaced2008-10-23

I've got the materials! Chloroacetophenone + diluted sulfuric acid(this is the chemical mace part) + oxidized flourine(the lightbulb part)= hydrochlauric acid.

SG1Oniell (author)Aerospaced2008-09-05

yeh, I was in a hurry. But it does make acid, I'll look for a source, but Mathew Rilley did the research and used it in one of his books.

Bando_Red (author)2008-07-13

Any reccomendations for a small container so it could be suited to a self defense role.

Aerospaced (author)Bando_Red2008-10-02

Sorry I hadn't responded sooner. If you have a harbor freight tools store near you, you can buy a small, refillable spray can that charges using a bike pump. It has a schrader valve on it. It's about 6" long and 2" in diameter.

lobo_pal (author)2008-09-05

I've done that eye thing before, it does hurt. plus my jerk of a friend put it in my backpack, it got on my pen, and then I scratched my eye with my pen.

vanbo (author)2008-08-30

Now wouldn't it just be terrible if such a concoction found it's way into your sushi.
Kid these days... *shakes head* >:-) MUAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Aerospaced (author)2008-08-12

The secret behind the spiciness in some chili peppers and the lack of it in others resides in a long-lasting battle for the perpetuation of the species. To be more precise, the chilis become hotter as they are more exposed to the attack of a fungus that enters the chili peppers and destroys their seeds. In a study published in Tuesday’s edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and partly funded by the National Geographic Society, researchers reveal chilis’ very own defense mechanism against unwanted intruders, who could interfere with the natural dispersal of their seeds. Joshua J. Tewksbury, from the University of Washington, and his colleagues, explained that as the primary function of a fruit is to attract animals capable of dispersing viable seeds, the fruit also needs to defend itself from unwanted predators, and in this case, it’s a chemical fight. Capsaicinoids are not only known to be the chemicals responsible for the pungency in the chilly peppers, but humans have been using them for their antimicrobial properties. They can be found within the fruit of Capsicum species, and their function is restricted only to the fruit of the plant. Researchers have taken into consideration for this study the Capsicum chacoense, which is native to the Chaco region in Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay. Covering a 300-km-long study area in southeastern Bolivia, they found a mixture of plants that contain capsaicinoids and plants that are similar on nutritional level but lack capsaicinoids. They drew three major conclusions: (1) Microbial fruit pathogens have a large negative impact on non-pungent chili fruits; (2) Capsaicinoids reduce microbial damage to chili fruits and seeds; (3) Among populations, the proportion of plants producing capsaicinoids will increase as the intensity of microbial attack increases. Microbial infections are primarily provoked by a single fungal species, Fusarium semitectum, causing discoloration, killing seeds and thus reducing chances of survivability. The fungus has easy access into the fruits through pierces made by insects. A fungus infection is very easy to spot - the surface of the fruit turns black as the infection spreads. But this is where the chemical defense mechanism comes into play: by experimenting with pungent and non-pungent plants, the team of scientists discovered that seed-infection rates are twice as high in non-pungent fruits. However, although pungent fruits seem to have a better defense mechanism, they also lack something non-pungent fruits have: a seed-coat thickness that better protects the seeds as they pass through the digestive track of animal dispersers. On the other hand, as capsaicinoids are responsible for protecting the seeds and keeping the fungus away, it doesn’t seem to have the same effect on birds, which means it’s role is indeed a protection one. The chemical response to the fungal attacks has not only captured the interest of scientist, but also the interest of humankind. People have been using spicy chili peppers for ages, and they even domesticated the species to better take advantage of its properties: antimicrobial protection and food preservation.

octavian234 (author)2008-07-11

how many habenaros you never specified

sona (author)2008-07-03

*sigh* to be too young to buy liquor. maybe i should break into mothers cognak... >:D

boygenuis32 (author)2008-06-18

I LOVE spicy food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

F1X0R (author)2008-06-10

capsaicin is the stuff used to make pepper spray so this could in theory well, hurhurhur.

PhotoPeng (author)2008-03-07

Hey man, That's awesome! I wonder what the scovel units are compared to Dave's Insanity sauce. Using alcohol it would be safe to put a drop or two in soups or chillies. How many habaneros did you use to produce that much oil? You can use Acetone for extraction, it's cheaper and evaporates just as fast as alcohol. I am told acetone doesn't leave any residue behind when it evaporates. If so, it's safe for the animals and plants.

Spokehedz (author)PhotoPeng2008-05-06

Pure capsaicin is 6 million on the scoville raiting. It is the most intense pain you have ever experienced. Mainly because you might die after trying to eat it straight up.

And it should never come into contact with any part of your body. A single grain of crystalline capsaicin can kill you if inhaled, or will leave a nasty and very painful burn anywhere.

I call B.S ! Someone forward that one to the Mythbusters.

Though one grain doesn't sound like much, 1 grain of pure capsaicin contains quite a bit of the stuff. So much that you would have to dilute it 16 million-fold until you couldn't taste it in water. (it has a 16000000 scoville rating.)

That's only because water is a poor solvent of capsaicin.

See section 11. One grain will hurt, but you're going to need more to die.

surfreak (author)surfreak2008-06-07

Er, my reply is a bit unclear. 16 million fold doesn't have anything to do with the amount of capsaicin in a grain of it. It's relative. My point was that the 16 million fold dilution is misleading. Capsaicin is relatively insoluble in water, so that's why you need so much to dull the heat.

Pure capsaicin is 16 million on the scoville scale.

surfreak (author)PhotoPeng2008-06-07

Any pure volatile solvent will leave no residue when allowed time to completely evaporate. Any "residues" are impurities.

Rishnai (author)PhotoPeng2008-05-24

I've heard of that stuff. An old martial arts instructor of mine had a bottle of that stuff heat up in his apartment over the summer and blow up. As soon as he got home he said his eyes started watering and his nose started running, and the place was practically uninhabitable for a week until the weather cooled off and it had aired out more, at which point he rented a Rug Doctor and shampooed it out of his carpet. Since hearing that story I'm uninclined to buy some Insanity Sauce.

Aerospaced (author)PhotoPeng2008-03-08

2 dozen.

thinkahead (author)PhotoPeng2008-03-08

...humm... I think he left out the step where you add the olive or other oil, with which the capssasine oil combines so there is enough volume to easily handle. Otherwise you would need like a truckload of habaneros.

Browncoat (author)2008-03-09

Hmmm... My dad grows Habaneros. Maybe he could spare some for me to try this...

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-07

Hahaha, awesome! The pictures are nice, I like that last one. :P Nice job.

About This Instructable



Bio: I am an aerospace engineering assistant in the research and development department.
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