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Using a Feline Favorite to Repel Insects… Naturally


DuPont has received registration from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for an insect repellent ingredient derived from the catmint plant, a sustainable resource more commonly known and loved by felines worldwide as catnip. The new ingredient, Refined Oil of Nepeta cataria, is the first new insect repellent biopesticide to be registered by the EPA in eight years.

“This new, natural ingredient is particularly exciting because it repels a broad range of biting insects with effectiveness similar to synthetic ingredients such as N,N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide, better known as DEET. Unlike other repellents on the market today, natural refined catmint oil can be reapplied often in contrast to other common repellents,” said Henry Bryndza, director of chemical science and engineering for DuPont Central Research & Development.

DuPont also has received registration from the EPA for two additional liquid formulations of the new ingredient. These end use products are currently under review with the Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency, as well.

The current market for products that protect against disease carrying pests in a variety of markets including health care, personal care and veterinary practices is about USD 800 million, Henry said. With recent outbreaks of illnesses such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease in the United States, the demand for insect control products, as well as more sustainable natural repellents, is expected to increase.


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