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Does Citronella Repel Mosquitoes? (Read This First!)

If you’re tired of mosquito bites and have itchy, bumpy skin, essential oils can help like magic. Actually, they are widely used throughout the world to repel mosquitoes. 

However, there are so many different kinds of essential oils and it might be confusing which essential oils work best against the mosquitoes.

Citronella repel mosquitoes

Among the essential oils, citronella works best repelling mosquitoes because of its incentive smell. Citronellol, citronellal and geraniol etc. are the main chemical compounds responsible for that overpowering smell. However, it evaporates really quickly and so can’t deter mosquitoes for too long.

Citronella are widely used all over the world as mosquito repellent essential oils. They can make a great barrier against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are highly afraid of this oil because of its acute, strong scent. Actually, the citronella oil is greatly responsible for making it mosquito repellent. 

The oil has some potential chemical properties that can distract them and keep them away near the house or garden. In fact, other parts of citronella can also help to deter mosquitoes. Citronella candles also work to some extent to deter mosquitoes.

Citronella plant:

Among the trees that are known as mosquito repellent plants, citronella works the best. They are the plants that carry such an acute fragrance that mosquitoes can’t bear. 

Among the citronellas, the most effective plants are Pelargonium citronellum, Cymbopogan nardus and Citronella Geranium. The candles or torches that we use as mosquito repellent, actually come from these strongest scent carrying trees. 

However, the plant itself can’t be so effective as the citronella oil. Crushing the few leaves of the citronella can help greatly ward off the mosquitoes. 

Citronella oil:

The main components in citronella oil are citronellol, citronellal and geraniol that strongly works against mosquitoes. Actually, these compounds produce a strong aroma that can distract the mosquitoes to a great extent. 

In fact, citronella oil doesn’t perish the mosquitoes, it actually irritates their nose, distracts their path and makes them feel suffocated. So, the mosquitoes try to avoid the place whenever they get the smell. It can successfully deter 75% mosquitoes.  

Citronella candles:

The raw properties of citronella oil create stronger barriers against mosquitoes than the citronella candles. 

The reason is, they don’t carry as much as citronella oil or the mosquito-repellent chemical compounds that are required to deter mosquitoes. They can work effectively in just a small area for a short period of time. 

Citronella oil works 35% successfully in deterring mosquitoes.

Citronella grass:

Citronella grass are the pseudo stems that grow from the overlapping  bases of the leaves. 

Citronella grass is not known as the mosquito repellant as it has recently proven that the oil in it, doesn’t have as much as effective properties that needs to deter mosquitoes. Among the parts of citronellas, it’s the weakest part for deterring mosquitoes.

Why does citronella repel mosquitoes? 

There are numerous explanations for why citronella repels mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are dangerous insects that pose a hazard to people. Citronella is a potent repellent that is now frequently used to keep mosquitoes away. 

Strong odors irritate mosquito olfactory nerves, which when activated, cause them to want to escape. Mosquitoes generally use their sense of smell to locate food, but when they encounter citronella, they become sidetracked and give up their search. 

Citronella assists in keeping the house free of mosquitoes in addition to repelling them.  

Citronella oils release an obnoxious element that is known to have repellent properties. Therefore, this is utilized as a natural mosquito deterrent. Use this powerful citronella repellent to stop mosquitoes from biting people or dispersing diseases. For four to five hours, citronella candles or oils can keep mosquitoes away. 

High concentrations of citronella can keep mosquitoes away by up to two to three meters. Here’s given brief discussion why citronella deter mosquitoes:  

It prevent human contact:

Citronella produces a lemony, strong smell that masks human odor, which is an important sign for mosquitoes to find humans or other animals to bite. As a result, citronella, by emitting a scent, helps in the prevention of mosquito bites. 

Mosquitoes detect humans by smelling the sweat of humans or the acid that is produced from human waste and is released into the air.

Distracts mosquito:  

When plants or citronella oil are present, mosquitoes become disinterested, which serves as a repellent. They avoid the area because of the smell’s ability to irritate their noses. 

In addition, mosquitoes use their sense of smell to locate food, so citronella is employed to frighten them off and divert their attention. 

Prevents mosquito breeding:  

The most efficient way to minimize the number of mosquitoes is to stop them from breeding. 

Since mosquitoes communicate with one another by exchanging scents, citronella’s potent scent hides the odors that mosquitoes have released and stops further reproduction. 

Citronella is particularly good at repelling mosquitoes, which helps to reduce mosquito populations by diverting mosquitoes from their path. Mosquitoes may multiply quickly, so it is important to prevent their breeding.

How effective is citronella oil against mosquitoes?

Citronella oil carries various kinds chemical compounds like citronellol, citronellal and geraniol and high amounts of chemical properties such as 40.25% propanoic acid ethyl ester, 19.35% lactic acid ethyl ester and also heptanol and propanol. 

All these chemical properties togetherly produce such an incentive, weirdo smell and mosquitoes can detect smell from a far away and try to escape from the place. They are highly afraid of this active smell.

Citronella oil is used in many ways to make mosquito repellents. They are used in mosquito repellent creams, lotion, dry sheets and other various things. In fact, we find citronella oil in mosquito repellent citronella candles. 

But these candles aren’t that effective to a great extent because they can work for a small amount of time in a small area. Actually, citronella oil effectively makes a barrier against mosquitoes but as it evaporates too quickly, it only can repel mosquitoes for a short time. 

The successful rate of deterring mosquitoes by citronella oil is 56-75%.

Which citronella plant repels mosquitoes?

Most commonly, pelargonium citronellum is used to deter mosquitoes. Since this particular citronella variety has a stronger aroma than others, it works better to ward off mosquitoes. In most cases, citronella pelargonium has a potent lemony aroma that disorients insects. 

Mosquitoes can detect the aroma of this specific citronella from a great distance away. Citronella pelargonium has a characteristic, unmistakable scent that emanates from its foliage, making it an efficient method of repelling.

Besides pelargonium citronellum, some other effective citronella species are Cymbopogan nardus, Citronella Geranium or Pelargonium citrosum. They carry high amounts of citronellol, citronellal and geraniol that makes them effective repellent by producing an acute fragrance. 

Mosquitoes dislike any odor that irritates their noses. Therefore, when these citronellas generate its odor and as soon as the mosquitoes come into contact with them, they prefer to escape from the place.

How to use citronella to repel mosquitoes? 

Mosquitoes are greatly deterred by citronella. They produce such an overpowering smell that can irritate their nose or distract them. The smell  encourages mosquitoes to hide or leave the place as soon as possible. 

In addition, there are several applications and uses for it to deter insects. In addition to blending it with other essential oils or creating candies with its aroma, we can use this citronella to repel mosquitoes. 

Typically, citronella is applied at a variety of concentrations with water while monitoring mosquito response. The citronella plant’s extract can also be sprayed directly on houses and into corners to deter insects. 

Hence, it may not be effective to use citronella as a mosquito repellent on its own; thus, cloves or powerful scented oils should be added to create a stronger mixture.

Citronella spray:

To make a citronella solution that may be used in the home, garden, or other areas to ward off mosquitoes, combine citronella in the proper concentration with an acceptable amount of water. 

However, it is important to keep in mind that the citronella concentration should be higher when preparing a solution to repel mosquitoes from a great distance or in huge numbers.

Making a solution by adding citronella essence and other oils:

Citronella oil produces a potent aroma when mixed with other oils, since a concentrated citronella has a stronger effect on mosquitoes. 

However, using more essential oils will be more effective at keeping mosquitoes away. 

It is possible to infuse citronella with clove oil or mint oil in a bottle to create a solution that may be placed in a location that will perpetually exude the scent, driving mosquitoes nearby away.

Final Thoughts 

Because of the overpowering smell of citronellas, they actively work as mosquito repellent. The chemical compounds of its oil are highly responsible for it. Blending it with other essential oils will work best against mosquitoes but it alone can be sufficient to deter mosquitoes to a great extent.