Nootkatone Is a New Bug Spray Ingredient That Repels Ticks, Mosquitoes, and Other Insects—Here’s What to Know

August 14th, 2020

By Claire Gillespie, Health 

August 14, 2020 – If bugs are the bane of your life during summer, here’s some good news: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a new ingredient, called nootkatone, for use in insecticides and insect repellents.


Nootkatone, which was discovered and developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), repels and kills ticks, mosquitos, and other biting bugs, and it can keep those pests away for several hours. Nootkatone is found in very small quantities in grapefruit skin and Alaska yellow cedar trees.

“According to the CDC, nootkatone kills pests in a unique and different way, which is very important for mosquito control operations,” David Brown, who has worked in mosquito control for more than 30 years and is technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association, tells Health. 

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