Joe “Dee” Dussich, CEO of JAD Corporation, a Queens company that makes building-maintenance supplies, has invented a mint-scented garbage bag that, he says, repulses rats. He’s part of a long line of innovators: Dussich claims his dad invented a special trash-compactor-friendly bag in the sixties, and last year, his son Jeff started peddling BioBouncer, a facial-recognition gadget that scans bar patrons to find known troublemakers. Dussich’s Repel-X bags are now being tested by Central Park Conservancy (which says it doesn’t yet know if the bags work). But some supers are already in the bag. He spoke to Carol Vinzant.
How many other inventions does your family have?
We probably have four or five patents pending now.
What inspired Repel-X?
One of my clients calls me up. This [newspaper] picture showed little kids in little white first-communion outfits playing in front of a pile of garbage bags with half a dozen rats. He says, “It’s my building, and it’s your bags. Can’t you make a bag that can kill rats?” I said, “No, anything that’s going to kill a rat could hurt a kid or a pet. What you have to do is figure out what rats don’t like.”
What are the chemicals and what do they do?
It’s a mix of things: eucalyptus, wintergreen, mint, and there’s a couple of other items in there we can’t disclose. It repels rodents, rats, raccoons, mice, even roaches. Any animal that has a sensitive sinus, they will not like this bag.
Will the scent keep my dog from trying to sniff every bag on the sidewalk?
Even dogs will not like it, though they could lick it.
Won’t animals just get used to the smell?
Tests showed that the first day it was 60 percent effective, then they realized, “I don’t like this smell.” By day seven, it was 100 percent effective.
Do humans like the smell?
Sometimes I keep a case in my car, and when it gets hot, it smells like a spa.
What other products can we look forward to?
We’re working right now with major mass merchandisers, developing other products that repel animals. I’m just talking off the top of my head. Items used for picnicking. Right now, we’re testing it with bears. If a family of this product can work on bears, you can have a tent that’s scented. How great is that? Or tablecloths that will actually repel bees.