Move away DEET! Here comes catnip insect repellent

For the first time in eight years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a new biopesticide, this time made from catmint plant – a feline’s favorite catnip, according to its developer DuPont.

The refined Oil of Nepeta cataria can reportedly repel a broad range of biting insects with effectiveness similar to synthetic ingredients such as DEET. Sales for natural insect/pest repellents are expected to increase said DuPont.

“Potential markets for the new insect repellent include topical personal care products such as sun block lotions, sprays, wipes and insect repellent candles. This product could also potentially be formulated into sunscreen because of its ability to be reapplied,” said Henry Bryndza, director of chemical science and engineering for DuPont Central Research & Development.

The company established an agreement with Marrone Organic Innovations Inc. in 2007 to develop several other natural product discoveries from DuPont as biopesticide products.

The company has been actively promoting their investments in renewable materials. DuPont’s Senior Vice President and Chief Science & Technology Officer Uma Chowdhry recently said that the company and its affiliates now offer more than a dozen products containing a minimum of 20% renewable content by weight to industries ranging from consumer apparel, cosmetics and personal care, to industrial applications such as aircraft de-icing.

2 Responses to Move away DEET! Here comes catnip insect repellent

  1. Joseph Chang 28 April, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    As long as it doesn’t attract mountain lions and Bobcats, I’d try this next time in the woods.

  2. Jack 12 May, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    DEET, even though it is a powerful repellent, is very harmful to our health. Now, with the development of several effective and long lasting natural mosquito repellents, the dependency on DEET-based products have reduced considerably. Natural mosquito repellents are very friendly to the body and do not cause any irritation or discoloration.

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