Natural Mosquito repelent with no deet

Owosso, MI(Zone 5b)

My husband recently told me about this artical that he read in his Popular Mechanics magazine and I want to try it here is the article word for word.
Let me know how it works I would like to try it just need to acquire some catnip. I have Agastache not sure if it is the same.
Repel Mosquitos. Deet apparently can kill you. And Citronella candles always tend to fill with rainwater and burnt match heads. Try catnip instead. The Iowa State University Department of Entomology found catnip's essential oils to be 10 times more effective than Deet. Here's gardening expert Ann Lovejoy's recipe:
Rinse 2 cups steamed catnip.
Roll lightly with a rolling pin, then place in quart jar and cover with 3 to 4 cups of mild rice vinegar.
Seal the jar and store it in a dark cup board shaking once a day for two weeks.
Spritz on your skin or anyplace in the yard where you wish to be left alone.
Avoid cats.

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Kensington, NY

Thanks for this!!!
But why avoid cats? It's fun to watch them have a high old time!
Heather Y

(Zone 5a)

Interesting. I use GreenBug and it works pretty good for mosquitoes. It has a strong cedar smell, though.

We have a lot of unwanted catnip, but I cannot tolerate that smell; worse than cedar. It's bad enough just trying to pull it. We don't care for cats, or non-native plants on our property, so I do what I must. :)

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

thanks for posting, might try it sometime. I at least have tried rubbing fresh catnip on me for quick temporary repellant while working in the garden. Maybe cats are 'meant to' like it to repel fleas.

(Zone 5a)

Someone was telling me about a vanilla, lemongrass stuff she used, but for it to be effective she has to supplement it with DEET. ??? She also mentioned putting on a dot of diluted vanilla will keep some type of gnat away, but I am not sure I've been bothered by those.

I rarely remember to put on the GreenBug, so I end up doing the slappy dance when out in my yard. What a first impression of humans I gave those young Kestrels. :D

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

I still forget spray in my own yard, where I am bothered by skeeters the most and even some ticks. But I am using it more regularly when we go to the park/ woods.

By the way, who says DEET can kill you?

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

I'm making some right now. I'm using a handful each of Catnip, Oregano, Lemon Balm and Chocolate Mint on low heat in Sunflower Oil for about 3 hours. I'll strain it and mix it with something to make a cream or a spray...depending on what I decide. I'll let you know how it works!

(Zone 5a)

I wonder if catnip by itself does not work. I was yanking some of the stuff while being bombarded by skeeters last week.

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Chillybean, I'd try it. My concoction worked but not as aggressive as I'd like. I wore it all day and got one bite at the end of the day. I also didn't care for the method I used, the greens smell cooked. I'll try the rice vinegar next time.

Kensington, NY

A thing called "Mosquito Beater" is working pretty well in dry weather. It is tiny corn cob bits soaked in essential oils ( geranium, catnip or other mint type stuff I think, also Peppers flakes)

I add more garlic flakes and Mexican or Italian dried spice mixes to stretch it.

I am thinking about drying to duplicate it, as I have not very good access to dryed chopped corn cob but excellent access to pure essential oils of almost every kind. I am thinking of egg carton cardboard reduced to small pieces after soaking it with essential oils. Then, into the food dryer for however long it takes.

I would guess the drying process would distribute the smell, which could do some good also.

I am thinking that the only way I will get the experiment done before First Frost will be to run an extension cord out in the garden so I can check on it frequently.

Heather Y.

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

Heather- some natural cat litter might make an OK substrate for that, So do you sprinkle it around areas where you want to repel the mosquitoes?

Kensington, NY

SallyG- Yes. The instructions on the store product says to sprinkle it over the entire area
even on pavement, about an hour before you want to use the space.
Heather Y

Kensington, NY

OFF THE SHELF: Cutter Naturals had a formula which was Geraniol, one other essential oil and then "inert ingredients". Pretty good results.

Now I have found "Swamp Gator" in the hardware
store, and it is all essential oil Geraniol, peppermint oil, soybean oil lemongrass + at least two more I can't recall ATM- the point is it all oils and all adds to 100 per cent-and has not clogged
the sprayer yet. Very good results so far.

will check out Green Bug.

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