The scent of citronella is unmistakable – strong, sweet, and herbaceous. It’s said to repel insects naturally, acting as a potent bug repellent without the need for harsh chemicals or heavy sprays.
Insomniacs have taken note, too, with many praising the soothing aroma of citronella candles that can help with relaxation and promote a feeling of deep tranquility in their sleep environment.
But does citronella actually work to keep insects away?
Studies have shown that citronella can effectively repel insects and pests, particularly mosquitoes, but results can vary depending on the concentration, among many other factors.
The citronella plant is a type of grass native to Asia. Its leaves contain oils that are known to have powerful insect-repelling properties.
When the plant is crushed, it releases these natural compounds, which can help to keep certain types of flying insects away. Additionally, these compounds are also used in many commercially available bug sprays and candles, with all the buzz and hype surrounding their effectiveness.
The efficacy of citronella as an insect repellent has been widely studied, and the results are generally positive. While the plant itself may have shown a weak to moderate repellent effect, more concentrated forms of citronella, such as the oils extracted from the plant, have been found to be more effective.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness can vary depending on a few key factors – such as the concentration of citronella oil and the type of insect being targeted.
More Information About Citronella Oil
Oil of citronella is a highly beneficial, naturally occurring oil extracted from two varieties of grass. This essential oil is usually a yellow to brown-colored liquid with a distinctive grassy and floral aroma.
While the exact composition may vary depending on the type of grass used in production, the main components are typically geraniol, citronellol, and citronellal.
Additionally, this powerful oil is frequently used as a flavoring agent in many types of food and beverages due to it being classified as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the Food and Drug Administration.
In 1948, oil of citronella was first registered for use in the United States and has since been placed on the U.S. EPA’s list of minimum-risk pesticides.
It has also become an invaluable insect repellent due to its ability to ward off bothersome bugs in both indoor and outdoor environments.
In fact, its astonishing effectiveness can be attributed to its potent blend of chemicals that work together to effectively repel annoying pests like mosquitoes and other biting insects.
Oil of citronella can also be used for medicinal purposes ranging from reducing inflammation to treating skin infections when applied topically.
Moreover, it works wonders when added to homemade cleaners or diffused into the air using an essential oil diffuser, providing an effective way to naturally eliminate odors while creating an inviting environment filled with soothing scents.
Does Citronella Repel Spiders?
Could the sweet, summery aroma of citronella really keep spiders at bay? It’s a question many have pondered – and the answer is an unequivocal YES.
Citronella has been proven to be one of the most effective natural spider repellents, with studies showing that its overpowering scent can make spiders think twice about entering your home.
Mix citronella oil (or leaves) with lemon peel and lavender to make a powerful spider repellent that will keep spiders away.
This spray also doubles as a natural deodorizer, making it perfect for use in small spaces such as closets and cupboards.
Aside from the use of essential oil and natural citronella leaves, the scent coming from a citronella candle may be sufficient to help deter spiders, as the combination of scent and heat encourages them to search for shelter elsewhere.
Does Citronella Repel Mosquitoes?
A gentle summer evening filled with refreshing, fragrant air is all that’s needed for the perfect outdoor experience. As we enjoy our time outdoors, however, an unwelcome guest may interrupt our relaxation: mosquitoes.
The buzzing sound of mosquitoes may be the bane of many outdoor enthusiasts, but luckily, citronella is here to save the day. Luckily, citronella is a great natural remedy to help protect against these nasty insects.
Although mosquitoes are not prominent in colder climates, they can be a nuisance during the warmer months; and citronella oil is one of the most effective ways to help keep them away.
The scent of citronella oil is proven to effectively repel mosquitoes for up to two hours. This can be used directly on the skin or burned in candles for that mosquito-repelling barrier.
So whether your evenings are being disrupted or your earning summer mornings are being ruined, citronella can help protect you and your family from the pesky mosquitoes.
Does Citronella Repel Flies?
Whether in the summertime or through the heat of a humid day, flies are a common nuisance that can disrupt any outdoor event or summer party.
Unlike mosquitoes, flies aren’t necessarily targeting you for a bite- they just want to settle somewhere warm and close. But no one wants to deal with the annoying buzz of these airborne pests, not to mention the hundreds of diseases they can spread.
Aside from the strong aroma citronella emits, when used as a candle, the heat that citronella candles emit is another deterrent for flies.
The combination of the candle’s warm glow and the aroma of Citronella creates an environment where flies are less likely to settle.
Does Citronella Repel Ants?
It is certainly a telling sight to witness countless ants in your garden, particularly if they are devouring your vegetables. While we know some various methods to kill ants, what if there was a way to prevent them from coming in the first place?
The use of citronella on various insects, including ants, has been proven to be an effective deterrent. First and foremost, ants don’t have a sense of sight.
They strongly rely on their sense of smell, and ants leave a trail of pheromones for the rest of their colony to follow. The scent of citronella can disrupt this process and prevents them from entering your home in search of food or shelter.
A mixture of citronella oil, some witch hazel, and water mixed on surfaces where ants are commonly seen can help keep them away. This can also be sprayed around the walls of your home and in plants to keep ants away from your garden.
Does Citronella Repel Rodents?
Trying to find a way to naturally and safely keep rodents from invading your home is not an easy task. The fact that you have to deal with rodents alone can make homeowners feel uneasy.
It’s true – there are various products out there promising magical solutions. Some may work, but some aren’t simply good enough. But the problem is when a single rat gets through your home. Today, it’s just one, and the next thing you know it – you have a full rat problem on your hands.
Keeping your backyard and entire property clean is one of the best things you can do to ensure that rats and other rodents stay away.
Rats usually find their way towards your home because they’re attracted to food sources – it could be an open trashcan or a kitchen full of leftovers. Even small bed crumbs that may have been kept beneath your bed or furniture can attract them.
But aside from keeping your entire home clean, the scent of citronella, when used as a spray or a candle around the external and internal sides of your home, can also be helpful.
Citronella, as we all know it, has gained attention and the hearts of homeowners, thanks to its abilities to repel different insects.
We’ve outlined above some of the most common insects that can be kept away, but you’ll love citronella even more when you find out that it can also repel rodents.
The herbaceous scent of citronella is strong enough to keep rodents like rats and mice away. Sure, it still this doesn’t kill them, but this lovely scent (at least, for us humans) is enough to send them running away from your home and yard.
For pests, there are certain things that are too overpowering for their senses, making it hard for them to endure. Citronella is one of them, therefore, can act as an extra layer of protection to keeping these gnawing rodents out from your living space.
Does Citronella Repel Bees?
Many people are drawn outdoors, especially when the temperatures start to rise, and the snow starts to melt. Summertime is a great time to be outdoors, and if you’re there to witness your plants bloom and the wildlife around you, all of these things can be a great sight – until bees start to appear, then it can be a bit of a stressful time.
Bees are necessary for pollination, and they’re beneficial to have around. However, this doesn’t mean that we want them taking refuge or building their nests near our property.
Bee repellents can be found in sprays or candles, and citronella is one of the most common ingredients among them.
Unlike mosquitoes and other pests, bees aren’t typically attracted of fond of human scent. They aren’t drawn to humans because they want to bite or sting us.
Bees are attracted to bright colors and sweet scents, like flowers, sugary drinks, and perfume.
If you’re trying to keep bees away from your home, there are natural scents that could effectively deter them, and citronella, is one of them.
Aside from citronella, bees distaste the scent of vegetable oil, lavender oil, olive oil, neem, eucalyptus oil, cloves, lime, and even lemon oil. All of these scents have a strong smell, so strong that it can be too overpowering for bees, who will then fly away and go somewhere else.
We’ve established citronella being an all-around pest deterrent, but one of the best things about this is that because it’s a natural ingredient, it won’t harm your family – even bees or other beneficial insects.
Again, it won’t kill bees – its scent will simply drive them away and keep them off your property.
For bees, there are various options you can try. First of all, if you have a nice spot in your garden, you can plant citronella around your home’s perimeter.
When the warm breeze brushes against its leaves, its scent will spread and keep bees away. If you don’t have the luxury of space or time, you can always use citronella-scented candles and sprays, as it will still work just as effectively.
You may also spray this along the interior and outdoor walls of your home or around your garden’s perimeter.
Does Citronella Repel Cockroaches?
Have you ever opened up a cupboard late at night, only to be confronted by the all too familiar rustling of cockroaches scurrying away in search of cover?
The thought of having cockroaches crawl inside your cupboards is disgusting enough, so the idea of having them running around your home is a nightmare.
And guess what? Citronella is here again, yet to save the day. You may have fresh citronella leaves around your home.
Alternatively, you may get a paper towel with citronella oil and wipe it along the counters, cupboards, and inside the drawers. If you’re feeling a little extra, you may also put the oil around the doorways and windows of your home or any other entryway the cockroaches may use.
Cockroaches are a tough species to repel and even tougher to kill as they have a habit of coming back. However, it’s been proven over time that citronella has a high effectivity rate in terms of repelling cockroaches.
As a bonus, your house will smell fresher and cleaner when using it as a cockroach repellent.
Does Citronella Repel Insects: Final Thoughts
While citronella, in any form, doesn’t kill any insects, its potent aroma does effectively keep them at bay. Not only does it smell great, but its natural properties make it one of the most effective insect repellents around.
They’re not just for mosquitoes, either – citronella is also useful against a variety of other pests, including flies, spiders, fleas, cockroaches, and even bees.