Back to West Nile Virus

Catnip Mosquito Repellant (Nepeta Cataria)

(Picture credit:

- Pick a handful of fresh catnip leaves (flowers and stems okay to add, but leaves most potent

- Crush with pestle and mortar (or spoon in bowl, or blender).

- (Use as much oil from crushed leaves as possible by rinsing it out with a little olive oil.)

- Put in jar and pour olive oil over crushed leaves until just covered.

- (Choose smallest jar available, but big enough to shake mixture well.)

- Seal lid tightly.

 - Keep in warm, dark place.

- Shake jar daily at least once.

(If necessary add more oil if absorbed and no longer covering leaves to avoid mold.)

 - After two weeks pour oil through sieve into clean container.

- Put leaves into sieve and press oil out with spoon or pestle until leaves are almost dry.

- Make sure to scrape oil off bottom of sieve (it is the most concentrated and potent).

- Pour oil into small containers (preferably dark glass, like old dropper bottles).

 - Apply oil before mosquito exposure (pour or squeeze dropperful in hand, rub hands together, and quickly spread over face, neck, arms, and any exposed skin).

 Can be stored in refrigerator or in dark place in tightly sealed container. Test for rancid smell or loss of catnip smell (Olive oil does not go rancid quickly and does not need to be refrigerated).

 Note: Cats love catnip. Something to consider when on safari or camping where there are wild or feral cats. Catnip oil can be easily washed or wiped off. You may want to keep a container with a tight sealing lid in your tent for any oily rags.