7 Household Uses for Cayenne Pepper

By Adam Verwymeren, Networx

The fiery bite of cayenne pepper can make food sing with flavor, but did you know that this dried spice also has many practical uses around the home, too?

Here are the top seven ways you can put cayenne to work around your home.

1. Protect your bird feeder: According to a plant regulatory officer from the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, birds are immune to the sting of chili peppers, while we mammals are most certainly not. By adding a little cayenne to your bird feed, you can ensure the food goes to the birds, while bullying squirrels are kept at bay.

2. Get rid of ants: Ants are insidious creatures, exploiting any opening in your home to get at your food. Try cayenne pepper for a natural ant control solution.

3. Curb kitty’s curiosity: Cats are fiends for cables and cords. I have no idea why, but the mere sight of a power cord or a pair of headphones can set a cat to “kill mode.” If you’d like to cure a curious cat of its chewing habit, rub a raw, sliced hot pepper on your cords, or whip up a quick hot sauce by dissolving ground cayenne into some vinegar. Apply to dangling chords on a regular basis to protect them from kitty’s wrath.

4. Protect your garden: If rabbits and rodents are chewing through your garden at night, you can protect your plants with a simple mixture of cayenne and water. Fill a spray bottle with the mixture and keep your plants coated, sending Thumper to your neighbor’s yard in search of a free meal. Steve Graham of Ft. Collins, CO said on Hometalk.com, “I sprinkled cayenne pepper and cut-up orange peelings in a planter that had become quite the litter box for neighborhood dogs and cats. It worked perfectly. You have to re-apply regularly, particularly during the warm season, when you are watering the flowers.”

5. Reduce joint pain: Capsaicin, the burn-inducing substance in hot peppers, is also a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, topical application of capsaicin can ease achy joints caused by arthritis.

6. Cure scaly skin: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, capsaicin cream can help reduce itching and skin inflammation caused by psoriasis.

7. Lose weight: Although we don’t officially endorse it, quite a few celebrities have lost weight quickly for film rolls by subsisting on a diet of cayenne pepper “lemonade” and water. Some studies claim that cayenne works as an appetite suppressant. As with all herbal remedies, check first with your doctor or a reputable homeopath before using cayenne pepper remedies.

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Image: Paweł Zawistowski/stock.xchng


Mary E.
Mary E5 years ago

I had no idea there were so many uses for Cayenne pepper. Thanks for sharing

Laura M.
Past Member 5 years ago

Great tips! Thank you!

J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

I think I'll see if it keeps the deer from eating my rose bushes.

Joan Mcallister
5 years ago

Some interesting tips, though I think I will pass on #7, on second thoughst if someone was offering me over 1 million for a part in a movie, I just might give it go.

Bee Hive
Fiona O5 years ago

I would never treat any animals in the ways recommended. I will look into the weight loss usage.

Peter Mengos
Peter Mengos5 years ago


Margie B.
Past Member 5 years ago


Miriam N.
Miriam N5 years ago

Is there not a screening by Care2 for the articles'contents? I mean, keep little playful animals away from your stuff by smearing PEPPER on it ? Squirrels, cats, and what not? As far as I am concerned, this is a totally primitive sadistic method. I TEACH my cats, even if I have to shout at them from time to time, some learn more quickly than others. A good way to shoo tehm from something is to have a WATER SPRAY BOTTLE nearby, a little spary doesn't hurt them And having pets has its price, so from time to time, especially when there are kittens around, there are DAMAGES. Not big ones. Learn to fix DIY way, or buy again. It comes with the territory. If you can't take it, don't have pets !

Masha Samoilova
Past Member 5 years ago


Valli Sarvani
Valli Sarvani5 years ago

Thanks for the info.