Catnip naturally contains an oil that is an insect repellent called nepetalactone. Fresh catnip when steeped in water and sprayed on plants will send flea beetles scurrying. Freshly picked catnip placed on shelves will repel black ants.
Catnip has a chemical compound similar to certain predatory insects such as the walkingstick – which ejects a spray similar to this compound to deter it’s enemies. However, be careful where you plant catnip as cats really do love it and will rub themselves on it sometimes crushing the plant and others around it.
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