The southern flying squirrel (Glaucomys volans) is an important kleptoparasite of cavities excavated by the imperiled red-cockaded woodpecker (Dryobates borealis). Flying squirrel usurpation of cavities may affect woodpecker productivity, but current efforts to manage flying squirrels are costly and time consuming. We assessed whether capsaicin could deter flying squirrel use of woodpecker cavities on a site in southwest Georgia, USA. Twenty-nine cavity tree clusters received 4 treatments: capsaicin, water, air, and a control (no treatment). Only capsaicin both removed more flying squirrels from the cavity immediately after its application and decreased the probability of a flying squirrel occupying the cavity the next day. The data presented supports the potential of capsaicin to provide a more efficient way for dealing with this common kleptoparasite.
Meyer, Robert T. and Cox, James A.
"Capsaicin as a Tool for Repelling Southern Flying Squirrels from Red-cockaded Woodpecker Cavities,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 13
, Article 12.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol13/iss1/12