Repellency of novel catnip oils against the bed bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)

Xianhui Shi, Changlu Wang, James E. Simon, William Reichert, Qingli Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The common bed bug, Cimex lectularius L., resurged as an important urban pest in the last 20 yr. Yet, there are no commercial repellent products labeled for bed bugs available in the United States. We evaluated the repellency of two catnip oils from newly developed cultivars, CR3 and CR9, and compared each to 10 and 25% N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET). CR3 contains 63.4% E,Z-nepatalactone and 27.5% Z,E-nepatalactone, and CR9 contains 94.9% Z,E-nepatalactone. Arena studies showed that CR3 and CR9 oils were more effective than DEET within a 24-h period. At 10% concentration, both CR3 and CR9 oils exhibited a repellency of over 94% during the first 8 h. At 25% concentration, the repellency of CR3 and CR9 oils increased to 100%, and repellency of DEET was 92% during the first 24 h. Repellency of 25% CR3 and CR9 oils became lower than 25% DEET after being aged for 3 d. After 28-d aging, repellency of 25% CR3, CR9, and DEET reduced to 25, 64, and 92%, respectively. Soiled socks were placed above repellent treated bands to determine if the repellent can protect soiled socks from being infested. The 20% CR3 oil prevented 100% of bed bugs from infesting soiled socks showing that it was more effective than DEET. These results indicate that catnip oils from CR3 and CR9 cultivars are more repellent than DEET over a 24-h period following application, but their longevity is shorter than DEET after 72 h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-534
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of medical entomology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Bed bug
  • Catnip oil
  • N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide
  • Nepetalactone
  • Repellent


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