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Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away?

For decades, citronella has been listed in every article for mosquito prevention or repellent. Citronella oil has been formulated into sprays, lotions, and candles. But how effective is citronella at keeping mosquitoes away? If you place a citronella candle outdoors in the summer, the oil-burning may aid in repelling mosquitoes and other insects. Unfortunately, citronella is only a short-term solution for mosquito problems. Some studies have shown that a citronella candle may only work for an hour or two to prevent mosquitoes in your yard.

Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away in Bristol TN - Leo's Pest Control

Is Citronella a Mosquito Repellent?

Citronella oil is a yellow or brown oil derived from leaves and grass. This oil has a signature grassy, citrus or floral scent, which helps to repel insects like mosquitoes that rely on their scent to locate people. 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 also other insects that are common in outdoor areas.

Are Citronella Candles Reliable to Prevent Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes use scent to locate people to feed on. With a strong scent like citronella in the air, a candle may be able to deter mosquitoes and keep them from finding you in the first place! But just how effective is citronella to keep mosquitoes away? Research has shown 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 give barely any protection against mosquitoes.

Should I Plant Citronella to Prevent Mosquitoes?

Unfortunately, citronella plants, typically 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 more effective and approved methods of prevention to keep mosquitoes away.