Max Loskutnikov and Dino Alexander have lived on Duncan Avenue in Cornwall-on-Hudson for two years. They enjoy hiking Mount Beacon and Storm King Mountain, as well spending time at Donahue Memorial Park with their two dogs Jack and Vicka. What they don’t like is having to apply bug repellent containing chemicals, so they decided to create and market an all-natural alternative.
“I have allergies to most of them,” Loskutnikov said. “You have to apply a lot in order for them to work. We were looking for something with fewer chemicals and safer to use. We started researching and found the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
The CDC’s web site lists natural products, which come from fungi and plants and are effective in repelling or killing ticks. Using a combination of lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, and essential oils, Loskutnikov and Alexander developed a product which has successfully kept away ticks and even mosquitos. Not only that, but it smells better than the products which contain chemicals.
The product, which comes in a spray and hand/body lotion, was placed on their web site among the other natural products they offer.
Loskutnikov said they don’t need a patent for the repellent because the ingredients are all-natural.
Since the start of the hiking season, about a month ago, the repellent has become their top seller, reaching hundreds in 23 states including California, Washington, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey.
“It is very unfortunate that medical professionals often push pesticides as a solution, however, there are many healthier and natural options available out there,” said Loskutnikov.
While the natural repellent is marketed toward humans, it’s also effective on pets who spend time outdoors. Loskutnikov said other natural products turned their dogs’ white fur yellow, but have found their product does not cause any discoloration. It’s been so effective, they’ve avoided having to use collars or topical medications often recommended by veterinarians to ward off pests.
To market the repellent, Loskutnikov and Alexander have attended festivals geared toward selling local items created in the Hudson Valley. They also use Google Advertising, so whenever someone searches for products containing essential oils, their site is listed.