Let’s talk about mosquitoes, and throw in a little chemistry, shall we?

In 2001, research conducted at Iowa State University found Catnip to be 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than the compound used in most commercial bug repellents, (DEET) and this is at a 1% ratio, concentration! (to read more on this study, click here)
There are many people who believe citronella repels mosquitoes, as we see a lot of the citronella candles, and torches during summertime barbeques.
Here are the facts: Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide (what we exhale.) The reason folks may believe citronella works, is because of the simple mechanism (in citronella) that interferes with carbon dioxide, but doesn’t actually repel the mosquito. Researchers report that nepetalactone, which is the primary chemical component found in catnip is what truly gives the plant its characteristic odor, AND could very likely be an irritant to the pesky bug. With that said, catnip is a pheromone to the mosquito that tells it to stay away! Catnip is non-toxic, whereas DEET is, in addition to the disturbing fact that the chemical compound found in DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide) and other commercial repellants have been known to cause Toxic Shock Syndrome in children. (This is a good indicator as to why the label says, wash off as soon as you go indoors)
Mosquito can be quite the nuisance here in Wisconsin. There are plenty of DEET alternatives out on the market that are safe! We use a blend including catnip hydrosol to help keep from getting bit in our family, and have found it to be super effective.