BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to pet control devices, and more particularly, to a plug-in pet deterrent device, which, when inserted into an electric outlet, emits a vapor that is safe for humans, but deters household pets, such as cats and dogs from urinating or defecating in a specific area.
2. Description of the Related Art
It is frequently desired to exclude unattended domesticated animals from certain areas. Many times the concern is regarding “accidents” rather than the actual presence of the household pet in a specific area. It would be most desirable to provide ways of excluding such domesticated animals from leaving excrement in specific areas without otherwise limiting their freedom of movement, as would be the case with traditional alternatives, such as by caging them, or by using chairs or furniture to block off certain rooms.
In the past, attempts have been made to control domestic animals through the use of materials which would be repellent to the particular animal, and a number of animal repellent materials are known.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,344,649, issued to Mungia in 1994, discloses a cat repellant and a dispenser for the repellant using common pepper as the repellant. U.S. Pat. No. 4,804,142, issued to Riley in 1989, discloses a pest repellent article comprising an outer cover and an inner porous removable pest repellent composition carrier member impregnated with a volatile pest repellent composition.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,474,176, issued to Freeman in 1969, discloses repellents in which the active components are ketones, which provide safe, effective compositions for controlling animals. Pressurized liquid, or ready-to-use liquid products, using ketones, methyl nonyl ketone in particular, reportedly repels cats and dogs for about 12 to 14 hours, and although effective for short term protection, are ill-suited for long term protection and require reapplication of the product.
Attempting to overcome this limitation, U.S. Pat. No. 6,395,290, issued to Brown in 2002, discloses a film, sheet or shaped article incorporating methyl nonyl ketone which can be placed in an area or near an object desired to be protected and provide sustained protection.
Wicking devices for dispensing liquids other than pet repellents, such as fragrance, deodorant, disinfectant, or insecticide active agents into the atmosphere, are also well known. A typical wicking device utilizes a wick inserted into a reservoir containing a volatile active agent. A typical wicking device is described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,413,799.
A more effective set of dispensers incorporate electric heating devices for heating the active agent thereby enhancing evaporation and the dispensing of such materials as air fresheners, deodorizers, and insect control materials either emanating from a wick immersed in a liquid or from a solid tablet. U.S. Pat. No. 5,201,025, issued to Landesberg in 1993, discloses a dual-purpose electric vaporizer comprising a container having an electric heating element and an upper and lower tablet containing area, wherein an air freshener tablet and an insect repellent tablet are simultaneously vaporized. U.S. Pat. No. 5,647,053, issued to Schroeder et al. in 1997, discloses a vapor dispensing device for disinfectants, sanitizing agents, insect repellents, and insecticides. U.S. Pat. No. 5,976,503, issued to Martin et al. in 1999, discloses an electric outlet mounted air freshener dispenser device which incorporates a wicking mechanism and which may alternatively dispense therapeutic aromas or pesticides into the atmosphere. U.S. Pat. No. 6,141,496, issued to Sundberg et al. in 2000, discloses an electrically heated air freshener for producing a scent emanating from a fragrance block. U.S. Pat. No. 6,478,440, issued to Jaworski et al. in 2002, discloses an electrically heated dispenser for such active materials as fragrances and air fresheners and further comprises a plug-through capability and night light. In U.S. Patent Application No. 2002/0048530, Wohrl discloses an electronic scent delivery system having one or more cartridges filled with scented oil maintained within pockets within a tray slidably received by a housing. The cartridges are heated to an evaporative state and a blower is provided to disperse the scent.
None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus a plug-in pet deterrent solving the aforementioned problems is desired.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is a plug-in pet deterrent which provides an effective means by which household pets are deterred from soiling an area by providing a pet deterring active agent within a container sized to be received within a plug-in diffuser or fragrance warmer. Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide an effective method to deter domesticated household pets from soiling a room or area where the present invention is operating.
It is another object of the invention to provide a household pet deterrent which is effective against domestic household pets, but has no effect upon, and is unnoticeable to, humans.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an inexpensive and decorative solution to the problem of “potty training” a pet.
It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.
These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.