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Black Pepper Can & Should Be Used Outside of the Kitchen

From herbal tinctures to beauty treatments, black pepper certainly has more uses than most people would even dream of.

You can add a noticeable bite to a culinary creation by grinding fresh black pepper over the dish as you near the end of its cook time. Knowing how to use black pepper to your advantage can give you a simple way to change the flavor of a wide variety of dishes. But what about knowing how to use it outside of the kitchen?

If you're on the hunt for a more natural way to protect your home garden from pests, the answer is black pepper! According to a study published in Parasites & Vectors, black pepper works as a natural larvicide against even insecticide-resistant bugs. It's also useful in repelling mammalian pests that could get to your plants, like groundhogs, dogs, cats, and squirrels (via United States Environmental Protection Agency).

It even has antibacterial properties that can help reduce the spread of disease from plant to plant, all without the negative impacts of chemical pesticides.

Why? All of these benefits are possible because of one unique compound. Black pepper contains piperine, an alkaloid that kills insects. Piperine acts as an antibacterial agent and gives pepper its distinctive flavor. Nosy critters are repelled by black pepper's strong smell and harsh flavor. That means they're more likely to pass on taking a few nibbles from your home-grown vegetables in favor of something with a bit less bite.


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