One thing I really dislike about the warm summer months is having to put on bug spray to keep Mosquitoes' away. I almost dislike the smell of DEET as much as I hate getting itchy bites from mosquitoes. However, I've noticed that since I've been growing catnip around my house, I really haven't had much of a mosquito issue. Could it be that catnip, an herb in the mint family that drives my cat Mr. Bean absolutely crazy, could actually be keeping mosquitoes away?


I did some searching and indeed, catnip IS a mosquito repellent. According to an article I found at, Catnip that is freshly grown in and around your home can be 'rubbed vigorously between your hands and applied to your skin to provide 30 minutes of mosquito-free time. Maybe it's only 30 minutes, but if you have lots of it, I honestly would rather smell like catnip that DEET any day.

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The article says that the compounds in catnip are at least as effective as DEET and could be up to 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes.


The article also suggested that if you want a longer-lasting effect, you can apply a small amount of catnip essential oil to your skin, or mix the oil into unscented skin lotion to make your own mosquito repellent lotion.


Catnip can spread like wildfire, so if DO plant some, you can plant it in pots and keep it indoors, or if you're like me, I let it grow wild in my backyard. My cat gets to roam about and eat it when he feels the urge, and it's also good for honeybees, native bees and other pollinators who enjoy its flowers.


Want to buy catnip?  I've found catnip plants at pet stores in St. Cloud, and have bought quite a few. I also have planted catnip seeds around my home. It can spread quickly, but my cat seems to keep it at bay.

If you'd like more information on catnip, you can click HERE to learn about the other benefits of catnip.

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