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Monday, May 17, 2010

Catnip vs. Mosquitos

Researchers from the University of Iowa have reported that nepetalactone, a chemical found in the leaves of Catnip (Nepeta cataris), is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the synthetic chemical compound used in most insect repellents.

You can make some for yourself.

Catnip Mosquito Repellent

   2 cups catnip, washed
   2 cups almond oil

   Bruise catnip and pack into a clean jar.  Cover with oil, put a lid on the jar and set in a cool, dark place for two weeks.  Shake jar lightly every day, and push herbs under the oil to avoid mold.  Strain into a clean jar, seal and refrigerate for up to 8 months.  To use, rub on exposed skin.  (If mosquitoes are especially ferocious, you can add other strong-smelling herbs, such as rosemary, pennyroyal, basil.)
(Source: China Bayles' Book of Days, Susan Wittig Albert)

I have yet to try this, but it is on my list of things to do!!

19 comments:

walk2write said...

It sounds interesting, but will you then become a cat magnet?

KaHolly said...

Good question! When I try it, I'll let you know:)! ~karen

The Early Birder said...

Interesting Karen...I'll try to remember this the next time I'mm in mosquito territory.

swamp4me said...

I'll have to give this a try. Can't hurt -- almond oil is great for your skin ;)

Steve Willson said...

My daughter's cat would love me to try this. If I just walk through catnip I have to remove my shoes and leave them on the floor so he can rub on them for a few hours.

Stephanie said...

Love naturaly remedies. Hate mosquitos.

Susan said...

Amazing recipe Karen - you are such a wealth of information!

Unfortunately there is a huge bat crisis in CT due to the 'white nose fungus' which I'm sure you've heard of. We love our bats that live in our shutters, but there has been a noticible decline. At some point we are going to put up bat houses too.

My point is that as you probably also know bats are wonderful insect eaters - so....now that our mosquito population might get much stronger, this concoction will be most welcome. I'd better get cracking on it if it has to sit for two weeks!

Thanks again for the info - and for your lovely visit!

Rose said...

I am sitting here trying to imagine the reaction of my cats...it would have to be hilarious. If I can only remember to try this.

MyMaracas said...

I'll definitely try this, as skeeters are a fact of life here in midsummer. Plus, my cat will be totally blissed out in my lap all day.

Denise said...

Thank you for this. Mosquitoes love me and I am always looking for something other than the chemical sprays that one normally uses. I'll give this a try. Thank you also for stopping by and identifying my dragonfly. I love the fact that I know what it is now :)

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: That is certainly an interesting concoction.

Marvin said...

I wonder if catnip works equally well at repelling noseeums (tiny biting midges). We seldom have a mosquito problems, but noseeums can ruin a summer evening outdoors.

Unseen Rajasthan said...

This is so interesting !!I loved the post !!

reanaclaire said...

good information... u r very learned..

by the way, i m claire from reanaclaire.com

have a nice weekend..

Kay said...

How interesting! I have a pot full of catnip growing outside--think I'll try this. My sister has an herb nursery and is always telling me neat ways to use them, but I never heard of this. You are a wealth of information!
-Kay

Just Ramblin' said...

May just have to keep this in mind for the upcoming mosquito season. Have a feeling with all the rain we've had that we may be inundated with those little pests. However, I'm not sure my neighbors cat would be happy about my using up all the catnip that I've never dug up since my kitty passed away. He seems to think I've left it just for him! Nola

Audrey said...

Well - isn't that cool! I have a friend who makes bug lotion that works amazing - no deet there either. We are really trying to get away from chemicals where ever we can.

Lily Hydrangea said...

I think I may have some catnip in my backyard - I can't wait to try this!

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

I will have to try that recipe! We have lots of Mossies here too.