Plants Pills, Keeping Pesks Away

By KBJR News 1

August 19, 2010 Updated Aug 19, 2010 at 10:24 PM CDT

DULUTH, Minn. - It's a pill for plants meant to stop unwanted guests from nibbling at their buds, but how does this small tablet, created by the Natural Resources Research Institute, work?

If your plants are showing all the symptoms of visiting four-legged foragers, why not give your greens a spicy dose of Repellex Systemic.

"It's much hotter than Tabasco," scientist Tom Levar explained.

The tablet doesn't appeal to animal tastes.

"It's a very intense, very concentrated hot pepper."

Levar says the active ingredient is the pepper concentrate, which is benign, safe, and natural.

"The genetics of the plant are not modified. It is all naturally fortified from within," Levar said.

It works by placing the tablet in soil at the base of the plant and watering it. It dissolves and the plant takes in the ingredients through the roots, making the whole plant taste like pepper, deterring animals.

Levar says it beats other products because it's internally in the plants, not exposed to weather elements on the outside that could cause it to come off, leaving the plant exposed.

A company near Alexandria says they were able to control their mice problem 100 percent for tree seedlings.

But there are some plants you wouldn't want to use this peppery tablet on.

"Any edible plant where you're going to be eating the leaves of the plant."

That is, unless you're craving spicy, hot lettuce.

Repellex Systemic should be available to retailers by planting season next spring.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike