The CDC is working on a natural insect repellent made from a chemical called nootkatone, which is found in Alaska yellow cedar trees and citrus fruit, and is nongreasy, dries quickly, and supposedly smells good.
It works against mosquitos, ticks, bed bugs, head lice and possibly other insects.
It is already an approved food additive and is classified as “Generally Considered Safe.”
It kills insects in 15 seconds by blocking receptors on insects’ nerve cells for a neurotransmitter called octopamine, which makes the insects hyperactive. Although humans don’t have octopamine receptors, scientists don’t yet know whether there’s any cross-reaction between nootkatone and adrenaline receptors.
Marc Dolan of the CDC’s vector-borne infectious diseases laboratory in Fort Collins, CO states:
“Tests so far indicate that nootkatone is highly effective as an environmental insecticide, and not just against mosquitoes. “A single application of a 2 percent solution of nootkatone will control ticks for up to 42 days at greater than 97 percent efficacy.”
It breaks down quickly and doesn’t create a lot of soil or groundwater contamination or have a great impact on other insects such as butterflies and bees.
The CDC owns patents on nootkatone and has licensed them to two companies, one to develop a repellent, the other to work on insecticides, but it is expensive — $4,000 per kilogram for highly purified food-grade product.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imG0kIX-eLc&feature=youtu.be View video footage of an untreated finger exposed to ticks vs a finger treated with nootkatone, See more at: http://www.evolva.com/products/nootkatone/#sthash.EQwxPIx7.dpuf
Evolva received approval from the EPA for the classification of biochemical pesticide active ingredient (a subcategory of biopesticide) in early 2015. This classification allows for a potentially expedited process for registration of nootkatone for use against pests. It will take an estimated 2-3 years of regulatory work to get nootkatone approved as an insect and tick repellent in the USA.