Science Daily reported in August 2001 that researchers have found that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than the DEET which is found in most commercial insect repellents.
So, what better ingredient to make an all-natural insect repellent than catnip grown in your garden (or packaged catnip found in the pet supplies aisle?) All of the ingredients in this recipe are all-natural, safe for humans and smell great. In addition to the catnip, the recipe contains vanilla, which is a scent that’s disliked by mosquitoes, black flies, gnats and ticks.
The entire recipe costs less than $1 a bottle to make. It’s a fraction of the cost of commercial insect repellent and may be up to ten times more effective – what is not to love? :->
The ingredients you will need to make this bug spray are:
½ cup dried or fresh catnip, finely chopped
2 cups commercial witch hazel liquid
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10-20 drops insect-repelling essential oil (i.e., lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, citronella and rosemary)
For safety’s sake, apply a small amount of the spray to your ankle to test for a skin reaction before using it on your entire body, and take care to avoid your facial area and eyes.
This recipe can be safely reapplied every hour as needed, or sprayed directly on bugs or on non-painted/non-varnished surfaces where insects may otherwise choose to linger.