According to the World Health Organization, mosquito-borne diseases kill 725,000 people yearly. The mosquito species Anopheles, Aedes, and Culex, are responsible for most of these illnesses. You should use a natural mosquito repellent to avoid becoming sick from mosquito bites. One containing citronella oil and no other harmful chemicals is your best bet.
Mosquitoes may be small, but they are one of the most irritating pests because of their constant buzzing and whirling about your head, and their tiny, painful bites can cause itching and irritation. The worst part is that you can’t swat them away until they’ve already bitten you, and since mosquitoes are known to spread disease, it’s not a gamble you want to take.
Which option is preferable? Push them back. Create a barrier that will cause people to look away and avoid touching it. However, before you start complaining about chemical repellents, know that there are natural, fragrant repellents like citronella oil that target insects and not people. Let’s investigate this in more detail.
What is Citronella oil?
The leaves of the Cymbopogon plant (also known as lemon balm and lemongrass) are distilled to produce citronella oil. Citrus and floral aromas emerge, as may be expected. Compounds such as geraniol, citronellol, and citronellal give it a yellowish-brown colour and aroma.
Like many essential oils, this grass-based oil has a history of usage in traditional Chinese and Southeast Asian medicine. Some medical issues, such as rashes and infections, can be alleviated using it. The potent scent of the oil drives away bugs efficiently.
Today, citronella oil is the active ingredient in nearly all kinds of natural insect repellents. It’s commonly used with other fragrant items to keep insects out of the home. Of course, the citrus scent also lifts your spirits, revitalizing and energizing you.
Insects are repelled by citronella oil due to their strong odour, which has already been mentioned. This is because it covers up odours like lactic acid and carbon dioxide, which draw mosquitoes and other insects to you. This grass-based oil has been widely misunderstood as an effective insect repellent. Oil can be used to relieve itching from mosquito bites.
Chemical insect repellents have a longer effective period than citronella oil, which only lasts for 20-30 minutes before it needs to be reapplied. Sadly, these chemical-based repellents aren’t risk-free. Therefore, natural repellents, such as citronella oil, remain the go-to for keeping mosquitoes at bay.
How to use citronella oil to repel mosquitoes?
The adaptability of essential oils is one of their most remarkable features. There are many effective methods to put them to use. The same is true for when you want to keep mosquitoes away and use citronella oil. You can find some of them in the following examples:
- Citronella candles: Made by blending the oil into paraffin or beeswax, citronella candles can be used both indoors and outdoors, like on the porch or veranda. They are easily found in stores, or you can try making them at home too.
The best way to use them is to place several candles in and around the area you would like to keep insect-free. Once lit, the fragrance is slowly released into the air and acts as a deterrent to mosquitoes.
Caution: You should be careful with open flames and take necessary precautions based on the space. Its fragrance can be dispersed quickly and not be potent enough to repel insects in large open areas with free-flowing air.
- Citronella torches: Citronella torches are better suited for outdoor get-togethers and camping activities. The torches are essentially large oil laps that diffuse the fragrance into the air as they burn, banishing airborne insects.
They are also used by some elite hotels and event planners to host evening barbeques or garden parties.
- Citronella bath oils: A widespread use for citronella oil is in bath oils and soaps. In this form, the oil can be applied directly onto the skin while bathing, forming a protective barrier and masking the scent that draws mosquitos in.
Note: Its efficacy has a short time limit, making it unreliable.
- Citronella moisturizer: Take a dollop of your regular skincare moisturizer, add a drop of citronella oil, and apply it to the skin until it is completely absorbed. This is a widely used hack to use this grass-based oil as a natural repellent.
This lotion, an emulsion of oil and water, is swiftly absorbed by the skin without leaving any greasiness or a whitish residue, and it is easy to use. When applied after a shower, it outlasts traditional bath oils in keeping insects at bay. Additional methods for topical administration of citronellas, such as homemade lotions or sprays.
Getting the dilution just right is crucial. When using essential oils, more is not necessarily better. Try not to get it in your eyes or anywhere near your face. Reapplying the cream, lotion, or spray as directed will ensure continuous protection.
If you want better results, try using Mamaearth Natural Mosquito Repellent Patches. These are a natural and hassle-free solution to keep mosquitoes at bay, as they contain Eucalyptus Oil, Peppermint Oil, and Lemon Oil.
Applying a few drops to your clothing or wearing a patch is all it takes to be ready to face off against the little nasties. These natural mosquito repellent patches are packaged in a resealable packet to ensure their effectiveness. These patches can be used to repel mosquitoes from baby strollers and cots.
Youngster-friendly citronella wristbands are designed to keep insects at bay for hours. It’s made to last several hours before needing to be reapplied, so you can rest easy knowing you won’t have to worry about staying protected.
Mosquito repellents containing citronella oil work well; however, some people have reported irritation when using them. Due to the potential for an allergic reaction, it is wise to perform a patch test before full application. It is crucial to double verify the dilution and strictly adhere to the directions when using citronella oil, especially in do-it-yourself projects.
Before using a new topical treatment all over your body, it’s a good idea to conduct a patch test. In addition, it’s a good idea to get advice from an expert before using it. It is not suggested that pregnant women or nursing infants apply essential oils topically.
Although citronella oil is most commonly used as an insect repellent, its uses extend far beyond that. The natural perfume and lack of harmful chemicals mean mosquitoes won’t be drawn to it, but you won’t have to worry about them. Although it can be moulded to fit a variety of situations, it should be used with care to avoid skin irritation or allergic responses.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is citronella?
The Asian grass species citronella, also known as lemon grass and lemon balm, is the source of the essential oil known as citronella. An intense lemony scent permeates this oil’s yellowish-brown colour. Treatments for arthritis, tension, and exhaustion are all possible thanks to the oil extracted from the plant.
It’s also used to cure infections and minor skin irritations thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Its strong odour makes it an effective component of bug sprays. It is harmless to everyone, including young children, the icing on the cake.
What is the primary use of citronella oil?
Citronella oil uses are varied. However, its powerful citrus-like aroma is most commonly used to repel insects, especially mosquitos. This aroma masks the scent of lactic acid and carbon, which attracts mosquitos and deters them from getting too close.
Some other uses of citronella oil include:
A. Using aromatherapy: Add a few drops of citronella oil to the diffuser well and let the fragrance cleanse your home.
B. Treating health issues: Add a drop or two of citronella oil to a cotton ball and inhale it. It can help to reduce the intensity of a migraine and nausea.
C. Using it topically: Mix a drop or two of citronella essential oil with a carrier oil and massage on pain-inflicted areas to alleviate it. Then, apply this oil topically to reduce the pain caused by arthritis.
D. Apart from these, citronella oil today is widely used in skincare, cosmetic and fragrance products.
What is citronella used in common ways?
The essential oil of citronella has several applications due to its adaptability. Its antifungal qualities make it useful for combating pathogenic fungus. It may speed up wound recovery and work as a weight reduction aid.
Aromatherapists utilize it to help people relax and fall asleep if they’re having trouble doing so. This natural oil extracted from grass effectively treats various ailments, including migraines, motion sickness, neuralgia, infections, and arthritic pain. It is also utilized in skincare and deodorant products that aim to soothe skin irritations like bug bites.
What is the best oil to keep mosquitoes away?
Some essential oils have strong odours that repel insects. These scents mask mosquito-attracting lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
Oils like citronella, which have a zesty, floral scent, are included. Mamaearth’s Natural Mosquito Repellent Spray is an option, as it contains oils of lemon, eucalyptus, and peppermint in addition to DEET to repel mosquitoes and relieve itching.