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Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Citronella has long been known as a repellent for mosquitoes. Citronella oil has been formulated into a number of products, from sprays and lotions to candles and lamps. But how effective are citronella candles? If you place a citronella candle outdoors in the summer, the oil burning may aid in repelling mosquitoes and other insects.

However, citronella candles are not a long-term prevention method for mosquitoes. In fact, some research has shown that citronella candles may only be effective for a couple of hours.

Do citronella candles keep mosquitoes away in Iowa - Springer Professional Home Services

What is Citronella Used For?

Citronella is a naturally occurring oil that is derived from leaves and grass. This gives the citronella oil a characteristic 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 just mosquitoes but other insects as well.

Are Citronella Candles Effective?

Citronella scent is used to repel insects like mosquitoes by overpowering the scents that would otherwise attract the bugs (like our breath and sweat). So, the scent of citronella can make it difficult for mosquitoes to locate you. But just how effective is citronella to keep mosquitoes away? Research has found that citronella oil, when combined with vanillin, can provide mosquito protection for three hours. When combined with DEET, a citronella product can protect you for over six hours. However, citronella candles alone have been found to only be effective for a couple hours.

Do Citronella Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

Citronella plants, often sold as lemon-scented geraniums, do not repel mosquitoes. It is the oil within the leaves that contains the properties needed to repel mosquitoes. The leaves must be crushed or rubbed to extract the oil, which could help to keep mosquitoes at bay. When it comes to repelling mosquitoes, it’s important to always rely on a professional mosquito exterminator who can prevent the pests.

Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away?​

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