I have been researching natural ways to get rid of or at least repel those nasty irritating mosquitoes and other insects. The chemical repellents work, but get expensive after a while and truthfully aren't that good for your horse or environment. It doesn't take long to work up an area to plant this herb all over where your horse resides and you may even notice a change in attitude in your horse too.
Studies find that catnip is 10 times more effective to repel mosquitoes than DEET. Imagine having several catnip plants around your barn alone and how much money you would save in the long run not to mention how happy your barn cats and horses would be!
It's an easy-to-grow perennial herb and you can use some of the dried leaves crushed or pulverized in a spray bottle with some water to spray on your horse. The best time for gathering above ground parts is just after it blooms usually between June and September. It's a low maintenance plant which is awesome for those of us who would rather be riding than gardening. It prefers chalky or gravel type conditions, but ultimately it will grow just about anywhere. It doesn't require much water and can be planted in full sun to partial shade, which I take to mean morning sun afternoon shade especially if you live in the southern United States where the humidity can get outrageously high in the summertime.
It is thought that cats roll in it to repel fleas and other biting insects, which suggests it would be great to crush some of the leaves and wipe it on your horse. Maybe they'll just roll in it and save you that trouble too. lol! You can also give it to your horse for diarrhea, nervousness, excitement and tension. It's considered to be a sedative when taken orally, although if you've watched a cat roll and play in it you would think otherwise. lol!
It attracts good insects and repels the bad ones. Catnip oil can repel cockroaches and according to research it effects the central nervous system and reproductive system in some insects. Which is great news right? If they can't reproduce all the more better to plant Catnip!
As soon as I am able "fund wise", I plan on planting it all over my yard, front and back. Ok maybe not "all" over, though I do plan on planting quite a bit in the back around Cookie's paddock. Any help with mosquitoes and flies that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and that is SAFE for her to be around in my books is well worth the effort to get it planted. An added plus for the neighborhood bobbed tail cat who hangs around also. Maybe she'll knock down some of the mockingbird population too as they are eating most of my fruit before it's even ready to be picked.
Also an update on Cookie. I chatted with a gal who knew the guy we had gotten Cookie from and according to her best recollection Cookie was in with a stud just before we went to get her. So, if that's the case we still have at least 3-4 months yet to go "if" she is bred before we see any real evidence of it. I'm not ruling out that she may be bred because of the odd shaped belly she sometimes has. Currently she has been home since mid October of 2012. She is at least 7 months, give or take. So I'm going to relax about it, keep blogging about her and see where we are in late summer. :)
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