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"They don't like the odor they have, they don't like the greasy feel they give. And a lot of people are just concerned about putting man-made chemicals on their skin."
Dolan says nootkatone "is nongreasy, dries very quickly, and it has a very pleasant, citrus-y grapefruit odor to it."
He recently demonstrated its effectiveness as a mosquito repellent, rubbing some on his hand and then sticking it into a cage containing 50 hungry mosquitoes. When he holds the treated hand near mosquitoes, they try to get away in the opposite direction as fast as they can.
Even after five minutes, Dolan has no bites on his nootkatone-treated hand.
But that's not all — it turns out that nootkatone could be both a repellent and an environmentally friendly pesticide. That's because it doesn't just repel bugs — it kills them.