Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away?
You’ve probably seen citronella boasted as an effective mosquito repellent in stores and online. Citronella oil can be used in sprays, lotions, and candles. But is citronella actually an effective mosquito repellent? If you place a citronella candle outdoors during the summer, the burning oil may aid in keeping mosquitoes and other insects away.
However, any effectiveness won’t last for long. In fact, some research has shown that citronella candles may only repel mosquitoes for a couple of hours.
What is Citronella?
Citronella is a natural oil that is extracted from grass and leaves. It has a brownish-yellow color with a grassy, floral, and citrus-like scent. Citronella essential oil is used for a variety of reasons, usually as a natural insect repellent, a perfume, a food additive, a wound-healing agent, or even an antifungal agent. Citronella candles have widely popular as a product that is marketed to repel a whole host of insects, including mosquitoes.
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Do Citronella Candles Actually Work?
Citronella repels insects by covering the scents that would otherwise attract bugs. The scent of citronella can throw mosquitoes off your trail. But just how effective is citronella at repelling mosquitoes? Research has found that when combined with vanillin, citronella oil can provide mosquito protection for up to three hours. When combined with DEET, citronella products can work properly for double that time. However, on their own, citronella candles have been found to give a negligible amount of protection against mosquitoes.
Can Citronella Plants Repel Mosquitoes On Their Own?
Citronella plants like lemon-scented geraniums do not repel mosquitoes on their own. The oil within the plant must be extracted to repel mosquitoes. The leaves have to be crushed or rubbed to obtain the oil. When trying to keep mosquitoes away, it’s important to always rely on more effective and approved methods of prevention.
Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away? in Wisconsin