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Catnip Bug Spray Recipe

Catnip, scientifically known as Nepeta cataria, contains nepetalactone, a compound found to be very effective at repelling mosquitoes, even more so than DEET in some cases. It’s a natural and safe alternative, especially for those who prefer not to use chemical repellents. For more interesting things about Catnip, check out my Catnip-specific blog.

Homemade Catnip Mosquito Repellent Spray


  • 2 cups of fresh catnip leaves, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cups of boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon of witch hazel or vodka (helps preserve the spray and enhance the repellent effect)
  • Essential oils (optional, e.g., lavender or eucalyptus oil for additional repellent properties and scent)


  1. Steep the Catnip: Place the chopped catnip leaves in a glass jar or bowl. Pour the boiling water over the leaves and cover the container. Let it steep until the water cools to room temperature, which can take about an hour.
  2. Strain: Once the infusion has cooled, strain the liquid into another container, squeezing the leaves to extract as much liquid as possible.
  3. Add Witch Hazel or Vodka: To the catnip infusion, add witch hazel or vodka. This step is crucial as it helps the spray last longer and enhances the repellent effect.
  4. Add Essential Oils (optional): If using, add a few drops of your chosen essential oils. This not only boosts the mosquito repellent properties but also improves the scent of your spray.
  5. Bottle the Repellent: Transfer the final mixture into a spray bottle. Shake well before each use.

Usage and Storage:

  • Apply Generously: Spray liberally on exposed skin and clothes when outdoors. Avoid contact with eyes and mouth.
  • Reapply as Needed: Depending on the environment and your activity level, you may need to reapply every 1-2 hours.
  • Store Properly: Keep the repellent in a cool, dark place to maintain its effectiveness. It should be good for several weeks, especially if stored in the refrigerator.

This homemade catnip mosquito repellent is not only effective but also gentle on the skin and safe for the environment. It’s perfect for gardeners, campers, and anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors without harsh chemicals.

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