This is one product that fulfills it’s promises, and a little bit can go a long way!
The short answer is that it could be harmful if trace amounts of the Theobromine oil in the shells are retained after their processing, and your pet would have to eat a large amount of the shells. Theobromine oil, which is poisonous to pets in large doses, is present in large amounts in the cocoa bean itself, the cocoa shells have much smaller amounts of the oil in their raw state.
Cocoa shells like any other live tree bark, or shredded wood must go through a composting process that starts the decomposition process, and makes the product safe for use around plants. In the case of the cocoa shells, the process to make them market ready involves heating them up to extreme temperatures to dehydrate them and remove any residual oils.
When pruning, or removing Caster plants from either the garden, or woodlands the only part of the plant that is dangerous to humans is the seed. The seeds resemble in shape an engorged wood tick, for which their latin name was derived. Each seed is a shiny and wholly unique design much like a human fingerprint, and care must be taken to keep the seed pods away from inquisitive children and pets.
Caster bean plants are part of a poisonous but very useful family of plants, the Euphorbia family. Plants in this family include The Rubber tree, and Tapioca plant, but while the milky white sap from many of the plants from this family are poisonous, in the Caster plant this is not the case. The plant originates from Africa, but has become naturalized accidentally in many places across the United States. It is in no way an actual bean.
The best way to remove this plant is by hand, and the plant should be discarded from the seasonal garden in a plastic bag to prevent its spread. Seeds may be saved from year to year to replant, but in a natural setting the suggested method is complete removal, to prevent the plant from taking over habitat area useful for native plants.
Photos Courtesy of: mccheek,
Messina Wildlife has a great organic, deer repellent spray that is safe on everything from your Pansies to your veggies. Tested and given the seal of approval by the “National Home and Garden Club,” this ready to use pump spray bottle is easily used, and comes in 1 quart containers that will cover 1,000 square feet.
The product repels Elk, Moose and Deer, and the active ingredients are Eggs, Rosemary Oil, and Mint Oils, so you will feel no guilt in the process! I use the product myself commercially, and find that it works for the average of 30 days, making the plants inedible for grazers. The formula takes 20 minutes to dry and leaves a light herb smell in the area that is not unpleasant, or offensive. For a moderate deer population this product will end the desruction of your garden plants, and will need to be applied about every 30 days for season long deterrence.
I picked up my trial bottles at Home Depot, but they are sold nation-wide at home and garden centers in the pest control isles. I highly recommend this product for its “green” ingredients, and its effectiveness. Try this product next if you have a deer problem in your neighborhood!