Catnip Offers Great Protection Against Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes were on this planet long before us. They are the deadliest animals on Earth and they are known from as far back as the Triassic Period – 400 million years ago.

Mosquitoes are especially attracted to people with a certain blood type and if you’re really unlucky, you can end up covered with itchy red mosquito bites all over your body. This can be a dangerous condition that may lead to treatment in hospital.

Did you know that catnip offers great protection against mosquitoes?

Scientists have discovered that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET — the compound used in most commercial insect repellents.

Your cat may love catnip, but rest assured mosquitoes can’t stand the plant. Why catnip repels mosquitoes is still a mystery. Perhaps they simply don’t like the smell. The good news is that researchers discovered catnip actually works against all types of mosquitoes. It should be added that catnip also repels cockroaches.

Catnip is a perennial herb belonging to the mint family and grows wild in most parts of the United States, although it also is cultivated for commercial use. Catnip is native to Europe and was introduced to this country in the late 18th century. It is primarily known for the stimulating effect it has on cats, although some people use the leaves in tea, as a meat tenderizer and even as a folk treatment for fevers, colds, cramps and migraines.

Nepetalactone is safe for people and the oil from catnip is fairly easily.

Mosquitoes bite to harvest proteins from our blood and they find certain blood types more delicious than others.

According to Jonathan Day, a professor of medical entomology at the University of Florida in Vero Beach, the two most important reasons a mosquito is attracted to you have to do with sight and smell. Studies show that about 20 percent of people are especially delicious for mosquitoes and get bit more often on a consistent basis.

Mosquitoes are most attracted to Type O blood and least attracted to Type A.

Only female mosquitoes bite humans and animals. Males feed on flower nectar. Female mosquitoes find their prey with help of sight and smell. Blood from humans and animals is used as protein for their eggs and is thus necessary in order to reproduce. Since males don’t bear the burden of producing young, they avoid you completely and head for the flowers instead.

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