I am wondering if a systemic granular product called Repellex and containing 0.3% Capsaicin purchased to repel deer and rabbits from ornamental plants...
Deer repellent Capsaicin affecting bees? #555323
Asked April 23, 2019, 5:39 PM EDT
I am wondering if a systemic granular product called Repellex and containing 0.3% Capsaicin purchased to repel deer and rabbits from ornamental plants will affect bees and other pollinators. The directions say to apply this to the soil and it will be transported into the plant through the root system. It is a one time application.
Thank you for any help, Meg Storkamp
That’s an interesting question. Good for you for thinking
about bees and other insect pollinators. One question to think about is whether
or not the flowers of the plants that you plan to treat are visited by bee or
other insect pollinators. If there are no flowers, then Repellextm should
not cause a problem since the insects would have no reason to visit the plants.
It is worth noting that this product should not be applied to plants that you
intend to eat.
According to How to Reduce Bee
Poisoning from pesticides , a Pacific Northwest Extension publication,
“This product, (Capsaicin), is toxic to bees exposed to direct
treatment or residues on blooming crops or weeds. Do not apply this
product if bees are visiting the treatment area.” This does not say that using
this product as a systemic is a problem. Be sure to follow the label directions
to ensure the best results. I include a link to the EPA
Pesticide Product label for Repellextm which makes no mention of
toxicity to bees.
The National Pesticide Information Center’s fact sheet on capsaicin does say the
“capsaicin should not be very mobile in soil based on its chemical properties
and that half of the capsaicin applied to soil broke down in 2-8 days.” It
would be worth considering how effectiveness of this product.
Thank you for your patience while we were researching this
answer. Hope the deer in your area decide to dine elsewhere.
This work is supported in part by New Technologies for Ag Extension grant no. 2020-41595-30123 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.