puzzlejunky
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Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:44 pm
Location: Southwestern PA, zone 6b

Cayenne Pepper to deter rabbits

We had one of our tomato plants' leaves eaten by what I think was a rabbit. We liberally sprinkled the remaining plants with cayenne pepper powder (from the spice aisle). It seems to be working, as whatever it was is leaving the remaining plants alone.

The plants still look healthy after a week. I'm guessing we'll have to re-apply after a rain, or will the local critters get "trained" not to touch them? It seems harmless albeit irritating to the rabbit.

Will this have any effect on the plants? So far so good..the plants look healthy.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Cayenne Pepper to deter rabbits

It won't harm the plants. What kind of damage was done to the tomato plant leaves? I'd be surprised if it were rabbits eating them, as tomato leaves are somewhat toxic.

"I asked a veterinarian friend about the tomato toxicity problem, and here's what she had to say.


Question: Are tomato leaves toxic to rabbits?

Answer #1: Possibly. Tomato plants contain tomatine, an alkaloid glycoside, that yields tomatidine when hydrolyzed. These are similar to solanine, which can be a gastrointestinal irritant and cholinesterase inhibitor. However, the tomatidine is poorly absorbed and appears to be of low toxicity. On the other hand, there have been reports of deaths in pigs and cattle grazing on tomato plants. So best to avoid tomato leaves in any animal.
>
Answer #2:The Solanacea or nightshade/potato family is of considerable economic importance as it includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, cayenne peppers, tobacco and belladonna.
>
> The cultivated tomato contains alpha-tomatine. It is found throughout the plant, but especially in flowers and leaves. Concentrations are also high in young, green fruit, but decline markedly during ripening. Tomatine can be weakly cardiotoxic, but is poorly absorbed.
>
> The highest clinical concern for tomato plants is herbivores eating large amounts of leaves"
https://rabbittalk.com/should-rabbits-ea ... t4411.html

that's not to say that they couldn't eat them or that it would kill them, but animals tend to stay away from stuff that makes them sick.

They always say putting cayenne pepper on your birdseed will keep the squirrels from eating it. Maybe we didn't use enough, but anyway it didn't work.
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puzzlejunky
Cool Member
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 4:44 pm
Location: Southwestern PA, zone 6b

Re: Cayenne Pepper to deter rabbits

It looked as if the whole top part of the plant had disappeared. We have a groundhog living in a woodpile nearby. Could it have been him?

I don't think it was insects, as there was no trace of the top of the plant anywhere. We don't normally get deer. My home is in the city.



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