JACKSONVILLE, Fla -

There's no need to suffer long-term and serious health consequences to ward off pesky mosquitoes. Instead, choose a natural alternative that's proven to work as effectively, or in some case, more effectively than DEET.

Try catnip it drives cats wild and makes mosquitoes run in terror.  An Iowa State University study shows the essential oil in catnip is 10 times more effective than DEET in repelling mosquitoes, apply it topically.   

Neem oil also works, which comes from the Neem plant that grows in India. A study by the US National Research Council shows Neem oil more effectively repels mosquitoes than DEET does.   

Try using lotus flowers for relief. Research shows they're natural mosquito repellants and also help kill mosquito larvae.  Lotus grows in the water and you can use it in backyard ponds or in other water features instead of something that's applied topically.