Future Bug Repellent: Grapefruit? All-natural chemical sends mosquitos, ticks fleeing By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Apr 18, 2011 5:53 PM CDT 6 comments Comments Grapefruit could hold the key to a new wave of bug repellents. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – Repelled by bug repellent? The answer to your bug-blocking needs may be found in a grapefruit. A chemical called nootkatone found in citrus fruit and certain Alaskan trees works wonders against mosquitos, ticks, and probably bedbugs—and it’s likely safe enough to drink, NPR reports. “If you've had a grapefruit, you've consumed some nootkatone,” says a scientist. In a demonstration, the researcher stuck a ootkatone-coated hand into a jar full of mosquitos for five minutes, and didn’t get a single bite. Instead, the mosquitos flew in the opposite direction. Indeed, the substance can actually destroy them: “It kills very, very quickly, usually within a matter of about 15 seconds,” says the scientist. The Centers for Disease Control are working hard to get the product on the market; trouble is, it currently costs some $4,000 per kilogram.