Do Citronella Candles Repel Mosquitos?

Do Citronella Candles Work to Repel Mosquitos?

Mosquitoes can be real pests, especially during the summer months. This is because while male mosquitoes only feed on nectar, female mosquitoes must draw blood in order to produce eggs. There are plenty of reasons you might not want to be bitten by a mosquito. Not only do they leave big, red blemishes that itch like crazy for days afterward, but they can also carry around some dangerous diseases. 

Granted, in the United States, the likelihood of encountering a mosquito that’s carrying a disease is lower, these bugs can be dangerous to humans because they can carry West Nile virus, yellow fever, dengue, Zika virus, and malaria. And those are just a few of the diseases that mosquitoes can transmit. 

It’s important to protect yourself when you go outside during mosquito season for this very reason. Plus it will save you a lot of grief when you don’t have to deal with insanely itchy spots on your arms and legs. These bites can also interfere with your everyday life. No one likes when they’re up the entire night itching their extremities, then waking up tired the next morning. 

So, because mosquitoes are so bothersome and potentially threatening to our general health, we as humans have come up with several different ways to ward off these pests. The most popular method of keeping mosquitoes at bay is using repellent products that contain DEET or picaridin. These repellents contain pesticides that block receptors that draw mosquitoes to humans. Since there is nothing for the mosquitoes to detect, they stay away. 

There are also other, more natural repellent products that claim to ward off mosquitoes, although there has been no notable research that suggests many essential oils actually do repel these bugs. Though, it has been a trend online for bloggers to tout more natural remedies as equivalent to traditional bug sprays. In this article, we’ll discuss how effective it is to use other types of repellents for mosquitoes. 


What is Citronella? 

Citronella torch


If you’ve been bothered by a plague of mosquitoes recently and have been doing research on how to naturally repel them, chances are you’ve stumbled upon citronella oil. Essentially, citronella oil is made by steam distillation of citronella grass, which is most commonly found in tropical areas of Asia. 

Some people swear by citronella as a natural repellent for mosquitoes, but when you look at the data, you might question whether the oil is actually as effective as mosquito repellent should be. When you apply citronella oil to your skin, you have to be sure that you dilute it, otherwise it could cause damage to your skin. Sometimes, when applied and exposed to the sun, oils can develop blisters on the skin. In addition to this, one has to apply the oil to their skin every twenty minutes or so, as it wears off quickly. 

Using citronella on your skin can be somewhat effective, but not everything made with the oil is going to have the same function. Many people have invested in citronella candles to keep mosquitoes out of sight, but research shows that it might be even less effective than applying the oil itself to your skin. 



Mosquito Repellent

Now there’s more to getting rid of mosquitoes than simple repellent sprays. As humans, we’ve gotten so irritated with the little pests that we’ve found more and more unique ways to get rid of them over the years. More recently, bug zappers have become popular with homeowners. Unfortunately, the light from bug zappers doesn’t really attract mosquitoes the way it does other bugs. 

Then, there are mosquito traps. These have been around for some time, and these traps have also proven not to be incredibly effective against fighting off mosquitoes. Of course, no mosquito repellent is completely and totally effective. However, some certainly work better than others. These include many sprays that contain pesticides like DEET, as well as a simple fan to stop mosquitoes from getting to you.


Mosquito Candles

mosquito candle

A recent trend online has been to use candles as repellents for mosquitoes and other bugs. This is part of the passing fad that many bloggers have engaged in online: exaggerating the effectiveness of natural repellents onto readers. Citronella candles have been declared one of the best ways to keep mosquitoes out of your space, however, the evidence shows that’s not really true. 

Essential oils only block a few of the receptors in mosquitoes, which is why they make a worse repellent than DEET based sprays. These other repellents block a larger number of receptors, thus making the mosquito less likely to notice and latch onto you. 



How to Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes

There are plenty of ways for you to keep yourself safe from the threat of mosquitoes during the summer. One of the best ways to repel mosquitoes is, again, to use spray or other repellent that contains DEET or picaridin or some other similar substance. If you have any questions about repelling mosquitoes, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Skeeter Beater. 

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