Nepetalactone, the primary component of catnip oil, was compared with the repellent N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (deet) for its ability to affect the host-seeking ability of Aedes aegypti (L.). A triple cage olfactometer was used to bioassay each substance and to assess its attraction inhibition (spatial repellent) attributes when combined with the following attractants: carbon dioxide, acetone, a blend of l-lactic acid and acetone, and human odors. Repellent tests were conducted with each substance against female Ae. aegypti, Anopheles albimanus Weidemann, and Anopheles quadrimaculatus Say. Catnip oil and deet were both weakly attractive to Ae. aegypti, catnip oil was the better spatial repellent, whereas deet was a more effective contact repellent in tests with all three species of mosquitoes.
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