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Essential Oils

Essential oils are volatile oils which are extracted from a wide variety of plants. They are generally extracted by distillation, and catmint oil is no exception. Common examples include peppermint, lavender and eucalyptus.

They tend to be produced for the fragrance (or essence) or for medicinal purposes. A number have been used as insect repellents, but only catmint oil and, in particular, refined catmint oil, have proven repellency properties.

Catmint Oil

Catmint (also known as catnip) oil is an essential oil and part of the mint family. It is currently grown, in a manner similar to peppermint, in the US, Canada, the UK and elsewhere on a relatively small scale, where it is used in a variety of cat toys. This operation would see Essentica becoming one of the world’s largest producers of refined catmint oil.

Refined Catmint Oil

Refined catmint oil acts as powerful insect repellent. It will therefore become the natural, active ingredient in a new suite of effective insect repellents, to compete with synthetic DEET-based insect repellents.

It is as effective a repellent against common insect nuisances and disease-carrying insects as DEET (the current gold standard of repellents), but is cosmetically more appealing with a better health profile. Furthermore, DEET is effectively a solvent and can dissolve some clothes, such as rayon, spandex and leather. Refined catmint oil does not suffer this drawback.

RCO has a unique safety profile which will support products for repeat application as well as use with children. Initial work also indicates that the unique safety profile should support applications as an area repellent product – a potentially disruptive product opportunity.

It has been approved by the US EPA for use in the US and by the PMRA in Canada for use as a bio pesticide / insect repellent. EU approval is currently being sought.



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