How to Make Hot Pepper Spray for Bird Seed: 7 Steps to Solution for Your Garden

How to Make Hot Pepper Spray for Bird Seed, Mix cayenne powder with warm water. Soak overnight. Strain out solids. Spray the liquid onto the birdseed and let it dry. It deters mammals but not birds. When it comes to gardening, one of the common challenges many enthusiasts face is keeping pesky birds away from their seeds and plants.

Birds can quickly devour newly planted seeds, leading to frustration for gardeners. While there are several commercial solutions available on the market, such as reflective tape and scarecrows, making your own “How to Make Hot Pepper Spray for Bird Seed” can be a cost-effective and natural way to deter birds from your bird seeds. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of making hot pepper spray for birdseed, providing you with an effective method to protect your garden.

How to Make Hot Pepper Spray for Bird Seed

Materials Needed

  • Cayenne pepper powder or other hot dried pepper powder
  • Bird seed (sunflower, millet, safflower, etc.)
  • Spray bottle
  • Funnel
  • Large bowl for mixing
  • Measuring cups & spoons
  • Gloves & mask (recommended for preparation)

Instructions

  1. Gather Materials: You’ll need dried cayenne or other hot pepper powder, birdseed, a spray bottle, a funnel, a mixing bowl, measuring equipment, and gloves/mask for safety.
  2. Dilute the Pepper Powder: Add 1-3 tablespoons of cayenne powder to 1 cup of warm water in a bowl. The spiciness of the mixture can be adjusted up or down as desired. Mix thoroughly until dissolved.
  3. Transfer to Spray Bottle: Use a funnel to carefully pour the pepper solution into a clean spray bottle.
  4. Apply to Seed: Spray the pepper solution lightly over loose bird seed in batches, mixing thoroughly to evenly coat the seed. Apply in layers until the desired spiciness is reached.
  5. Mix Well & Let Dry: Make sure the seed is evenly coated. Allow to dry completely before filling feeders.

Does pepper spray work on Birds

Pepper spray is not an effective deterrent against birds. Birds do not have capsaicin receptors in their bodies which react to the oils in pepper spray. So spraying birds with pepper spray formulations made for deterring humans or other mammals would likely have little effect. The irritant chemicals simply do not impact birds in the same way.

While pepper spray vapors may cause some minor irritation to a bird’s eyes, respiratory system, or skin, it would be very temporary and not halt a bird from continuing its activity. Birds also have oil glands that protect their skin and feathers from irritants. So a bird would most likely just shake off and disperse the pepper spray rather quickly with minimal irritation.

Using physical barriers or bird repellents made specifically to target birds’ light, sound, or taste senses are better options. Pepper sprays rely on capsaicin chemical reactions that birds don’t respond to.

In summary, pepper spray has very low efficacy against deterring problem bird behaviors or movements. It would likely just coat the bird’s feathers with the oily liquid briefly until the bird-dispersed it.

Loose Hot-Pepper Bird Seed Mix

Mixing hot pepper powder into loose bird seeds is an effective way to deter squirrels and other mammals from eating the seed meant for birds. The active compound capsaicin found in hot peppers creates a burning sensation in mammal mouths but does not affect birds who lack receptors sensitive to capsaicin.

There are a few methods for incorporating hot pepper into loose birdseed mixes at home. The goal is to create an even coating of diluted pepper powder on the seed that is potent enough to deter mammals, but harmless to birds.

Using the Spicy Bird Seed

  • Shake the feeder periodically to maintain even spice distribution.
  • Reapply more pepper spray as needed after rain or snow.
  • Store unused seeds in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
  • Use caution when handling – avoid touching eyes and skin.

The diluted pepper spray is harmless to birds but acts as an irritant to deter squirrels, raccoons, rats, and other pesky feeder visitors. Maintaining the spicy seed coating will encourage birds to visit while keeping interfering rodents away.

Using Hot Pepper Spray – The Basics

Hot pepper spray is an easy, natural way to humanely deter squirrels, rabbits, deer, and other animals from bird feeding stations. The active compound capsaicin found in hot peppers triggers a burning sensation that mammals find unpleasant and irritating, but does not affect birds. Here’s an overview of using hot pepper repellent sprays in your garden.

Do birds like hot pepper

No, birds do not perceive the “hot” or spicy sensation from capsaicin as mammals do. Birds lack the specific nerve receptors that cause the burning feeling when activated by capsaicin. Eating spicy peppers or capsaicin-coated seed has no effect on birds.

Can I put hot pepper in bird seed

Yes, adding a dilute pepper spray coating to bird seeds is an effective way to deter squirrels and other mammals without harming birds. The pepper irritates mammal mouths but does not affect birds. Mixing varieties like cayenne into seeds discourages mammals from stealing the bird’s food.

How do you make cayenne pepper spray

Cayenne pepper spray can be made by mixing 1-3 tablespoons of cayenne powder with 1 cup of warm water. Mix thoroughly and let sit for 24 hours. Strain out solids and add the liquid to a spray bottle. Spray lightly over areas wanting to deter mammals. Reapply after rain.

How Hot Pepper Spray Works

The active compound capsaicin found in hot peppers activates nerve receptors in mammal mouths that sense heat and pain, producing an unpleasant burning sensation. Birds lack these specific nerve receptors and do not perceive the “hotness” or irritation. Applying diluted pepper spray creates a barrier that deters mammals but does not affect birds.

How To Use Hot Pepper Spray In Gardens And Flowerbeds

Hot pepper spray can be used to keep rabbits, deer, groundhogs, squirrels, and other nuisance mammals out of gardens and flower beds. Here are some tips:

  • Make a diluted cayenne spray as described above. Use disposable gloves and avoid inhaling spray mist.
  • Apply spray to the perimeter of planting beds to create a barrier. Reapply after rain or watering.
  • Spot spray-specific plants are being targeted by mammals. Focus on the stems, leaves, and buds rather than flowers and fruits.
  • For new plantings, spray transplants before planting in the ground as an added deterrent.
  • Do not spray areas or plants meant for human food. Avoid contact with eyes, nostrils, and mouths.

When To Spray

  • Apply pepper spray soon after planting or transplanting.
  • Reapply every 7-10 days and after rain or watering.
  • Apply more frequently during peak feeding times (early spring for bulbs and early summer for fruits).
  • Stop spraying once plants are large enough or fruit has developed.

How To Apply

  • Use a dedicated spray bottle for hot pepper applications.
  • Spray early in the day to allow time for the spray to dry completely.
  • Focus spray at the perimeter of beds and around damaged plants.
  • Apply evenly to the stems, buds, leaves, and base of plants.
  • Reapply every 7-14 days depending on weather conditions and animal activity in your garden.
  • Wear gloves and goggles to avoid skin and eye irritation while spraying.

Homemade Hot Pepper Spray Recipe

Here is a simple recipe and instructions for making your own natural hot pepper animal repellent spray at home:

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons dried hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 quart (32 oz) warm water
  • 1 tsp mild fragrant soap (optional)
  • Spray bottle

Heating The Mix

Combine pepper flakes and warm water in a bowl. Let stand for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. The soap helps the pepper extract dissolve in the water. After 24 hours, strain out the solids through a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Transfer the liquid only to a clean spray bottle for application.

This concentrated pepper spray can be further diluted by half or quarter strength as needed. Apply diluted spray to plants, garden borders, and anywhere mammals are unwanted. Store unused spray in the refrigerator. Remix a new batch every 2-3 weeks for best results. Exercise caution when handling pepper spray and avoid contact with eyes and skin.

Conclusion

Using hot pepper spray is an effective, natural way to deter pesky squirrels, rabbits, deer, and other mammals from bird feeding stations. The active compound capsaicin triggers irritation and discomfort in mammals when contacting nerve receptors in their mouths. But capsaicin does not affect birds, who lack these specific receptors. Diluting dried pepper powder in water and applying it as a spray coating to bird seed creates an irritant barrier that keeps mammals away while allowing birds to feast unbothered. With a few simple materials and safety precautions, you can whip up homemade hot pepper repellent and enjoy watching the birds return to your feeders once again.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make birdseed spicy?

Mix 1-3 tbsp dried hot pepper powder with 1 cup warm water. Let sit for 24 hrs, then strain out solids. Spray liquid over birdseed while mixing well to evenly coat. Allow to dry completely before use. Cayenne or chili powders work well.

How do you make pepper spray for bird seeds?

Combine 2-3 tbsp dried red pepper flakes or cayenne powder with 1 quart of warm water. Let soak for 24 hrs, stirring occasionally. Strain out solids, and transfer liquid to a spray bottle. Lightly spray over birdseed, mixing thoroughly to coat evenly. Let dry fully before filling feeders.

Can I put hot pepper in birdseed?

Yes, coating birdseed with a diluted homemade hot pepper spray can deter squirrels and other mammals from eating the seed. The pepper irritates mammal mouths but does not affect birds. Mix a few tablespoons of cayenne, chili powder, or flakes with warm water. Strain solids and spray over birdseed.

How do you make hot sauce with bird seeds?

You don’t make hot sauce with bird seeds. But a diluted pepper spray added to bird seed deters mammals without harming birds. Soak dried peppers to extract oils, strain solids, and add liquid to a spray bottle. Lightly spray over birdseed, mixing well. Allow to completely dry before use.

Can birds feel hot sauce?

No, birds cannot feel the “hot” or burning sensation caused by capsaicin in peppers and hot sauce. Birds lack the specific nerve receptors that make mammals sense irritation and pain from capsaicin. Hot pepper sprays on bird seeds deter mammals but do not affect birds.

How do you add red pepper to birdseed?

Make a diluted red pepper spray by soaking 2-3 tbsp dried red pepper flakes in 1 cup warm water for 24 hrs. Strain out solids, and transfer liquid to a spray bottle. Lightly spray the pepper water over the seed while mixing thoroughly to coat evenly. Allow to dry fully before filling feeders.

Do birds like hot peppers?

No, birds do not perceive the “hot” sensation from capsaicin like mammals do. Birds lack the receptors triggered by capsaicin to cause a burning feeling. Spicy bird seed deters mammals but does not affect birds.

How do you make cayenne pepper spray?

Mix 1-3 tbsp cayenne powder with 1 cup warm water. Let soak for 24 hrs, stirring occasionally. Strain out solids, and transfer liquid to a spray bottle. Spray lightly over areas wanting to deter mammals. Reapply after rain.

Can you mix chili powder with birdseed?

Yes, make a chili spray by soaking 2-3 tbsp. chili powder in 1 cup warm water for 24 hrs. Strain and transfer the liquid to a spray bottle. Lightly spray over birdseed, mixing thoroughly to coat evenly. Allow to dry completely before filling feeders.

Have you tried using hot pepper food to keep squirrels away? What methods have worked best for you? Let me know in the comments!

About the Author: Hudaibia

My name is Hudaibia with the profound passion for our feathered friends. Birds have captivated my heart and mind since childhood. Now I share my avian devotion through my website, mybirdfeed.com.