Carla Delfino

Laureate 2014

Carla Delfino

ITALY
Imperial Europe
CONSUMER GOODS
ENVIRONMENT
Produces organic not-toxic repellents to control but not to kill pests.

Wherever there are humans, there are generally even more rodents below ground, prolific breeders who spread disease and chew through electric cables. When it comes to getting rid of them, solutions range from the murderous to the macabre: not only are they cruel and frequently ineffective, they’re generally toxic to pets and humans. ‘We tend to think that bio-repellent solutions that are safe for the environment will be too weak to work,’ says Carla Delfino, 54, whose company, Imperial Europe, has come up with a harmless and effective solution. Its product, ScappaTopo – which means ‘runaway mouse’ in Italian – offers a non-toxic, environmentally friendly way to control rodents instead of killing them.

Carla is a seasoned entrepreneur who spent 20 years making a very different product: false bank note detectors. The idea for ScappaTopo came to her through a friend working with a telecom firm that had issues with rats and mice chewing cables. ‘They tried poison, but rodents become resistant to it,’ Carla explains, ‘In the US rats can get so big, they need to shoot them!’ Intrigued by this scenario – and despite a very real phobia of mice – Carla set about finding a solution to repel them rather than kill them.

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