Does citronella kill mosquitoes?

Are you tired of being constantly buzzed by mosquitoes? Do you feel like they’re just waiting to pounce on you the moment you step outside? Well fear not my friend, for there may be a solution in the form of citronella. But does it really work? Let’s find out.

What is Citronella?

You may have heard of citronella before, but what actually is it? Citronella is an essential oil that’s extracted from several different types of grass. It has a citrus-like scent and is often used in perfumes, soaps, and candles due to its pleasant aroma.

How Does Citronella Affect Mosquitoes?

The real question here is how does citronella affect mosquitoes? According to some studies, mosquitos don’t particularly like the smell of citronella. When exposed to this scent they tend to stay away more often than not. It seems as though they can detect it very easily; which leads us into how citronella works.

The Science Behind It

When mosquitos are searching for their next target, two things attract them: heat and carbon dioxide (CO2). This carbon dioxide comes from humans and animals so it makes sense that we’re such popular targets for them. However when introduced with the alternative scent produced by citriodora oils found within lemongrass (‘Cymbopogon nardus’ or ‘Cymbopogon winterianus’), mosquito behaviour transforms drastically (source: “Insecticidal Effects Of Essential Oils – Cymbopogon Nardus Against Aedes Albopictus”).

Mosquitos use their senses indiscriminately while looking for where CO2 sources are coming/ going from (including our breath) whilst using infrared sensors in order top identify warm-blooded mammals. Research done in the State University of New York has found that citronella oil can disrupt these modi operandi by flying through something called olfactory receptors. Therefore putting off scent molecules resembling a component called octenol that mosquitos trace in order to track humans (source: “Essential Oil Of Cymbopogon Nardus: Bioactivites And Potential Applications”).

So…Does It Actually Kill Mosquitoes?

Unfortunately it’s not really capable of doing so but rather merely repels them making it controversial as outsiders find other repellents more effective; better deterrents for mosquito behaviour include DEET and picaridin, both approved by the EPA.

It turns out there are differing opinions on just how effective citronella actually is at repelling mosquitoes. Some studies have shown that it can be somewhat effective- especially when used directly on skin – while others have found no real difference between using citronella products and not using anything at all (both tested versus control groups). Although effects may vary according to individual preferences(source:“Evaluation Of The Effects Amidst Natural Insect Repellent Oils From Family Lamiaciae Plants Against Mosquito Vectors”).

How to Use Citronella

If you’re willing to give (n-a) product containing citronella a try, here is what you need to know:

1. Choose Your Product Wisely

You’ll encounter many different types of products including candles, sprays, lotions, etc.
Make sure the item contains high levels of essential oils like lemongrass cymbopogon winterianus or nardus because otherwise its potency drops significantly..

Some well-known brands provide insect-repelling candles with around three percent concentrated Citriodora sourced from natural plant extracts producing an optimal mixture OR up-to six% ready made solution repellent where substance concentrations last anywhere from 30 minutes to more than an hour depending on conditions.

2. Avoid Contact with Eyes and Mouth

It’s not really fun at all when essential oils are ingested so be sure your product is used in-line with the directional guidelines. Although citronella itself isn’t toxic, it could still cause irritation when introduced to different skin types as we’re each unique (and special).

3. Apply Directly to Skin for Best Results

Consider applying a mosquito repellent directly onto areas of your skin that’ll see most exposure; you needn’t use an excessive amount or absorb too much product into direct contact (~six sprays will suffice). Mosquitoes may prefer certain body odours so they can become even more attracted -but curious- towards sweeter smells like nectar or floral fragrances(source:” Aromatherapy-Based Insect Repellents”).

4. Place Citronella Candles Strategically Outdoors

If candles are the pieces that persuade you, lighting them up around six feet between areas works best during late afternoons when mosquitos begin their hunt for potential snacks.

Other Natural Mosquito Remedies

While citronella has its pros and cons as a natural remedy against mosquitoes there other alternatives such as:

  • Neem oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
    …just to mention some examples seen across online research conducted by numerous sources.(Source: “Natural Mosquito Control That Works”)

Of course these aforementioned remedies have their own particular advantages and disadvantages just like citonrellla making efficacy something differing among testers regularly.

So there you have it! The answer isn’t entirely clear cut when questioning how effective citronella truly is against our little pesky friends but one thing is certain: testing different available solutions might take time but ideally & ultimately lead you into finding your very own mosquito system that best suits whatever needs you hold dear.Goodluck!