SOCORRO, NM -- NEW MEXICO TECH'S CHILE REPELLENT EFFECTIVE AGAINST PESTS
Scientists throughout the world are finding that New Mexico
Tech's patented process of molecularly bonding the natural "heat"
(capsaicin) of chile peppers onto paints, stains, plastics, and
other rubberized materials successfully repels a variety of
destructive pests--everything from mice and woodpeckers to zebra
mussels and termites.
The essential oils and capsaicin from the Habaņero chile
pepper--which experts say is 50 times hotter than an ordinary
jalapeņo--have been bonded to numerous surfaces and have proven
remarkably effective at repelling a wide spectrum of pests.
Researchers at New Mexico Tech invented and patented the
process which utilizes the naturally repelling qualities of the
Habaņero in practical applications as a powerful, inexpensive,
all natural, and environmentally sensitive repellent for a host
of land and aquatic animals, birds, and insects.
Recent studies conducted at Texas A&M University have
confirmed that termites--among the most pervasively destructive
insects on Earth--were effectively repelled by Habaņero-laced
materials created by the patented bonding process.
Grady J. Glenn, an entomologist and termite researcher at
Texas A&M, said, "These preliminary tests were quite positive.
With any choice, the insects fled the area containing the
experimental material and stayed away. . . . An ecologically
sensitive repellent of this type could be very beneficial."
When provided with a choice of wood treated with
experimental material or one of a number of alternate materials,
the termites moved from the experimental material each time.
When given no choice but materials impregnated with essential
oils and capsaicin of Habaņeros, the insects totally avoided the
Preliminary studies to investigate if fire ants and other
nuisance insects will also be repelled by materials created by
the New Mexico Tech patented process are currently underway.
Prior research has demonstrated that the Tech-developed
repellent also successfully repels a variety of freshwater and
saltwater mollusks, including the zebra mussel which currently
plagues the Great Lakes and which has spread into many of North
America's other freshwater lakes and rivers.
Controlled bench tests and field tests involving the effects
of chile pepper-based repellent on zebra mussels and other
freshwater species of mollusks were conducted in Lake Michigan
under the auspices of the Aquatic Research Institute in Indiana.
"We believe the repellent created by this new process will
be of significant benefit in our efforts to reduce the industrial
and environmental impact of the zebra mussel," said Timothy A.
Early, director of the Aquatic Research Institute.
Where zebra mussels have proliferated--as has occurred in
the Great Lakes--they attach themselves to virtually every
available smooth surface, including docks, piers, boat hulls,
water intakes, and even drive mechanisms and other moving parts
of marine engines.
It now cost tens of millions of dollars annually to remove
zebra mussels from those surfaces, costs that are eventually
passed on to consumers and taxpayers.
"We are pleased that the use of this all-natural invention
can help mitigate that negative impact," Early added.
The patented process of molecularly bonding capsaicin to
materials which was discovered by New Mexico Tech is exclusively
marketed by MEDD4, a company based in Santa Fe, which specializes
in technology transfers, financing, implementation, and
production of new products and innovations developed by New
Mexico universities and laboratories.
For more information, contact:
newswriter/public information officer
New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
gzamora at nmt.edu
Web site: <http://www.nmt.edu>
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