Cayenne red pepper is often touted as a natural insect repellent, particularly for use against ants and other crawling insects. While there is some evidence to support this claim, the effectiveness of cayenne red pepper as an insect repellent can vary depending on a number of factors.
The active ingredient in cayenne red pepper that is believed to repel insects is capsaicin, which is a natural compound found in chili peppers. Capsaicin is known to cause irritation and discomfort in insects, which can discourage them from entering an area.
One study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology found that cayenne pepper powder was effective at repelling red imported fire ants in a laboratory setting. However, the study also noted that the effectiveness of the repellent would likely decrease in outdoor settings due to weather conditions and other factors.
Another study published in the Journal of Insect Science found that a mixture of cayenne red pepper and other natural ingredients was effective at repelling mosquitoes in a laboratory setting. However, the study noted that the effectiveness of the repellent may vary depending on the specific species of mosquito and other environmental factors.
Overall, while there is some evidence to suggest that cayenne red pepper can be an effective natural insect repellent, its effectiveness may vary depending on the specific type of insect and the environment in which it is used. It may be worth experimenting with cayenne red pepper as an insect repellent, but it should not be relied upon as the sole method of insect control.