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Get Catnip and Say Hello Kitty, Goodbye Mosquito

August 28, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Catnip, the stuff that drives felines wild, also appears to drive away mosquitoes, preliminary research suggests.

Laboratory experiments at Iowa State University suggest that the oil in the catnip plant is 10 times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET, the chemical in many commercial insect repellents.

The bigger question--at least for non-cat lovers--might be whether such a repellent would turn humans into cat magnets.

"If you sat near a cat, you might generate more interest than usual," said Joel Coats, chairman of entomology at Iowa State.

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