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Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away?

You’ve probably seen citronella advertised everywhere as an effective choice for mosquito repellent. Citronella oil has been made into candles, lotions, and sprays, but how well does it actually work to keep mosquitoes away?

If you light citronella candles outside during the summer, the scent of the burning oil may keep mosquitoes and other insects away. However, the effectiveness doesn’t last for long. Some research indicates that citronella candles may only work well for a couple of hours.

Do citronella Candles keep mosquitoes away - Active Pest Control

Where Does Citronella Come From?

Citronella is a naturally occurring oil that is derived from leaves and grass. This gives the citronella oil a characteric yellow/brown color with a grassy, floral, and citrus scent. Citronella essential oil is used for many purposes, namely a natural insect repellent, as perfume, as a food additive, to promote wound healing, and even as an antifungal agent. Citronella candles have since become a very popular product that is marketed to repel not only mosquitoes but a variety of other insects as well.

Citronella oil is produced inside leaves and grass. It has a yellowish-brown color and its scent is a mixture of grassy, floral, and citrusy tones. Citronella oil has many uses: it is used as a natural insect repellent, a perfume, a food additive, a wound-healing agent, and an antifungal agent. Most popularly, citronella is taken from plants to be marketed and used as an insect repellent, targeting mosquitoes and more.

Are Citronella Candles Helpful?

Citronella repels insects by covering up the scents that would be attracting other bugs. The scent of citronella distracts mosquitoes and makes it difficult for them to get to you. But how well does it actually work? Research has shown that citronella oil can aid in mosquito protection for about three hours when combined with vanillin, and double that when combined with DEET. Unfortunately, citronella oil by itself barely provides any protection against mosquitoes at all. 

Do Citronella Plants Repel Mosquitoes By Themselves?

Citronella plants like lemon geraniums do not repel mosquitoes because the oil within the leaves is what produces the scent required to distract them. The leaves must be rubbed together or crushed up to take the oil out. You will always have a better chance at avoiding mosquitoes when relying on more trusted methods of mosquito control.

Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away? in Georgia

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