Catnip is known for it’s effects on the feline variety, but did you know that recently, catnip is also showing to be effective in deterring mosquitoes? Plus, catnip is readily available and easy to obtain. Here are a few basic tips on how to use catnip to deter mosquitoes around your home.
Planting Catnip to Deter Mosquitoes
It may sound silly, but even planting a few catnip plants around the yard may help deter mosquitoes from the property. However, catnip plants may also attract the attention of cats in the neighborhood. Therefore, you may want to consider planting the catnip in pots and only bringing them outside when you need them.
Homemade Catnip Sprays for Repelling Mosquitoes
Studies that have been conducted over the past 10 years have shown that catnip is more effective against mosquitoes than commonly used chemicals, such as DEET. In fact, one study by the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University found that catnip “is 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes.”
Plus, DEET can be harmful to people, especially children; so it’s no surprise that people are starting to choose homemade mosquito repellents or organic repellents over sprays and other products that contain DEET.
Fortunately, homemade catnip sprays are easy to make. One popular recipe includes using oil of catnip (an essential oil,) combined with water and isopropyl alcohol. Combine half a teaspoon of oil with one cup of alcohol and water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use sparingly on clothing, but avoid skin. However, take note that this recipe is not recommended for use on children or pets.
If you grow catnip, there are several recipes you can try at home using your own catnip plant. One recipe includes stripping the leaves from your plant, grinding them up (either using a food processor or a mortar and pestle) and then seeping boiling hot water. Let the mixture cool, strain any larger particles out and pour into a spray bottle for use. This mixture is safe for children and pets (as long as neither are allergic to catnip.)
Lastly, another popular recipe includes both catnip and rosemary. Using your food processor or your mortar and pestle, crush 1 cup of rosemary leaves with two cups of catnip leaves. Then, add the mixture either to 2 cups of essential oil or distilled water and let sit for approximately two weeks. Be sure to shake daily to keep the ingredients mixed together and refrigerate when not needed.
Seattle Pi: Grow Your Own Mosquito Repellent
DIY.com: Using Catnip to Repel Mosquitoes and Insects