Apparently, catnip is just the Swiss army knife for humans. Just weeks after my WTF moment of learning how it can act as a natural sleep aid, I have now decided to use it to keep mosquitoes away, too. Catnip contains nepetalactone, and is about ten times more effective at repelling mosquitos than DEET, which is the active ingredient in most insect repellents. (And you thought the stuff was just for giving Fluffy a good buzz.)
With this knowledge, I planted some in my herb garden off of the deck. While we haven’t noticed mosquitoes around, we have noticed a new visitor:
There she is, taking a nap as she comes down from her high. Crazy little addict. She now knows where the good stuff is. You have to admit, she is kinda cute, and I guess we really can’t be surprised. It’s the equivalent of leaving beer and wings on my front step every night, and then being shocked when the neighborhood drunk shows up.
She hangs out with me while I water the garden, too. Not only does she not bother me, but if she sticks around for the summer, she will actually help keep the rabbits away. I’ll supply her with the drugs, and she’ll protect my peppers. I think I’ve just formed an alliance.
I’ve always wanted an outdoor kitty to help me. You may be saying to yourself, but Ali – don’t you have two giant bobcats that live with you, weighing in at a solid 25 lbs a piece? Why yes, yes I do. However, they can’t go outside. There are a couple of reasons for this: the first is that they’ve been indoor kitties their entire furry lives, and to let them out now wouldn’t be fair to them – they aren’t prepared for it.
The second is because, well, their personalities aren’t fit for the great outdoors, and for very different reasons: if Bear got out, he’d go on a killing spree. Every morning our deck would be full of chipmunk carcasses, rabbit heads, and quite possibly small dogs, all of which he would drop off as a sign of his love and affection for us. I want my garden protected, but I also don’t want our neighborhood ecosystem to collapse.
If Marcus got out, the only way he’d catch up with a rabbit is to tap it on the shoulder and ask if he has any Grey Poupon. (We’re talking about an animal who refuses to drink his water until I put ice cubes in it.)
So, friends, hopefully it will be a mosquito-free, rabbit-free summer. But just in case, I can always let Bear out for one night, just to show everyone who’s boss.