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Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away?

For decades, citronella has held the reputation of preventing mosquitoes. Citronella oil itself works to keep mosquitoes away with its scent, which has been formulated into sprays, lotions, and more. But do citronella candles actually work to repel mosquitoes? 

Although citronella candles may repel mosquitoes and other bugs for a short period of time, any effectiveness will wear out in just a couple of hours.

Do citronella candles keep mosquitoes away in Eastern and Central Virginia - Loyal Termite & Pest Control

What is Citronella and How Is It Used?

Citronella is a naturally occurring oil that is extracted from leaves and grass. Citronella oil, then, is a characteristic yellow/brown color with a grassy citrus scent. This essential oil is used for many purposes, including as 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 a variety of other bugs that are considered to be a nuisance outdoors as well.

Do Citronella Candles Work For Mosquitoes?

Citronella oil repels insects by masking the scents that otherwise attract bugs. The strong 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 give barely any protection against mosquitoes, making it important to not rely on them alone.

Do Citronella Plants Repel Mosquitoes?

A citronella plant is often sold as a geranium plant. These plants themselves do not repel mosquitoes—it’s the oil within the leaves and stems that work to keep mosquitoes away. 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 the advice and recommendations from a professional mosquito exterminator.

Do Citronella Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away?​ in Virginia

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