Saturday June 7, 2003

Herbal Mosquito Repellant

Want a natural way to fight mosquitoes? Something without nasty pesticides?

Try catnip! Apparently it repels mosquitoes (and your cats will love you for it).

A natural way to fight mosquitoes

by Richard Fagerlund (The Bug Man)
The San Francisco Chronicle, June 7, page E4

Q: We have a problem with mosquitoes every year. Is there anything we can do to alleviate the problem?

A: You need to try to find out where they are breeding. If you have standing water on your property, you need to eliminate it. If they are coming from somewhere else and you can't locate their breeding area, then all you can do is to make sure your home is well screened and to wear a repellent when you go outside.

There are a number of repellents on the market. Unfortunately, most of them contain pesticides, particularly a pesticide known as DEET. Although the government says using DEET products is safe if label directions are followed, I personally have a problem spraying pesticides on my skin.

There are natural alternatives that work just as well as DEET products, including catnip. Until recently catnip oil had to be applied by smearing it on the skin. Now there is a catnip spray available that is not only effective, it is not expensive.

I used it all last year because I have lots of mosquitoes where I live. I found it to last almost two hours before having to reapply it. As anyone knows who reads my columns, I never recommend anything that I haven't personally tried and catnip, in my opinion, is the best alternative to pesticides in repelling mosquitoes (and my cats love to be carried around when I am wearing it). One distributor of catnip mosquito repellent is www.insectrepel.com ; the toll-free number is (800) 356-5099.

c.f. S.F. Chronicle article

Herbal Mosquito Repellant ( in category SciTech ) - posted at Sat, 07 Jun, 22:43 Pacific | «e»