Catnip as Insect and Rat Repellent There is a long tradition of planting catnip near a house or barn to repel mice and rats and to keep insects away. Research has shown that both mosquitoes and some biting flies as well as deer ticks are deterred from biting by catnip.
Research has also shown that DEET-based insect sprays can also be repellent to bed bugs. The length of that repellency is directly dependent upon the percent of DEET in the spray. Meaning the higher percentage of DEET, the longer it will be repellent.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria), more commonly known as catmint or catswort is one of the best essential oils to repel bugs naturally. Besides emitting a fresh, unique aroma, it is a well-admired medicinal herb to treat different ailments.
Rub fresh or dried leaves of anything in the mint family all over skin to repel insects (peppermint, spearmint, catnip, pennyroyal, etc. or citronella, lemongrass, etc.). Basil is also said to repel mosquitoes and I've used fresh basil leaves in the garden with great success before.
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I used catnip, mint, yarrow, and lemon balm. Pour the witch hazel over the herbs in the jar. Use a wooden spoon to poke the liquid and herbs, in order to get rid of air bubbles. You can also put the cover on, gently shake it to get rid of air bubbles, and then open it up and top it off with more witch hazel.