Dog Fennel As Insect Repellent

Dog FennelIn my neck-of-the-woods in Northwestern North Carolina this wispy plant is commonly found, especially in fields. It is known as Dog Fennel. Although it has a pleasant appearance it is the bane of farmers and considered a nuisance.

I recently visited a new neighbor who had acquired some acreage and was preparing to build a new home. We gazed over the pasture where he had begun to mow the tall grass and he mentioned that the plumes of Dog Fennel was his next chore to remove.

As I inquired about the name and nature of the plants he explained to me that some folks use it as an insect repellent by crushing the foliage and rubbing it on their exposed skin such as their arms, legs, neck and head. Because It contains insect repellent chemicals (alkaloids) it can also be spread as a ground matting in an animal pen to help control fleas and ticks.

As with any herb or plant that you may personally use with skin contact it would be wise to test a small portion of your skin at first to see if there is any adverse reaction before further use.

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