Iowa Public Television


Catnip Control

posted on August 31, 2001

A must for future cookouts ... it's catnip.

Research at Iowa State University indicates catnip is 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than the chemical compound used in most commercial bug sprays.

Catnip contains an essential oil known as nepetalactone, which gives the plant its odor. Researchers placed groups of 20 mosquitoes in a glass tube treated with a high dose of nepetalactone. After a few minutes, an average of 80 percent of the bugs had moved to the untreated side of the tube.

No animal or human tests have been scheduled for catnip, a perennial herb in the mint family that grows wild in most parts of the U.S.


Tags: insects news plants