Do Citronella Candles Repel Mosquitoes?

by Nathalie Allard February 22, 2015

Do Citronella Candles Repel Mosquitoes?

The word citronella means “lemon-like” and the essential oil distilled from the leaves of an Asian grass, that's a close cousin of the lemongrass, is used in Thai cuisine. 

Before headed to the stores to stock up citronella candles, the questions one might likely ask is, do citronella candles really work? Do citronella candles repel mosquitoes and other insects?

Let’s get straight to the point. Citronella and lemongrass essential oils are cousins and are popular as a 'natural' insect repellent. Their mosquito repellent qualities have been verified by research. According to a study carried by the Department of Parasitology ”citronella candles reduced the number of female mosquitoes caught in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention traps by 35.4%”.

Citronella-based products, which vary in efficacy, repel other various insects, including wasps, bees and ticks. 

Citronella candles release fresh lemony smells that you will love, but wasp, bees, fleas etc. stay away from the smell because it has a distinctive odour which may make it difficult to locate a host. According to Quinessence, spearmint, cinnamon and patchouli essential oils can be blended to citronella or lemongrass to repel a wide range of biting, flying insects.


What kind of insects do the lemongrass and citronella candles repel?

In order for scented candles to be effective against insects, you need to get the right scent. A varying mixture of lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, spearmint and lemongrass oils are regarded the most powerful in this regard. This combination of these oils makes an excellent natural insect repellent.

Below is a list of common household insects that lemongrass candles can repel:

Midges: Lemon grass candle oils are effective against midges. Biting midges can be a nuisance to campers and others, who spend time outdoors during early morning and evenings. They will readily bite humans; the bites are irritating, painful, and can cause long-lasting painful lesions for some people.
Mosquitoes: The mosquito is often a carrier of diseases, such as malaria, encephalitis, yellow fever, dengue fever. A combination of spearmint and lemongrass oils will do the magic. The scent from the lemongrass candles help ward off mosquitoes because it can confuse the mosquitoes and prevent them from smelling you.
Mice: Do you know that lemongrass candles blended with spearmint, peppermint or eucalyptus oil can deter mice from coming into your home? This is an unknown secret. You should try this.
Spiders: Spiders are creepy and crawly Buy several lemon grasses candles and melt them down.
Spiders have taste and smell sensors on their feet and they do not like lemongrass candles, so they won't crawl near or acros it. Trust me, it works and lasts for a few months.

Summer festivities period will drive people outdoors to celebrate, but don’t allow wasps to ruin the moment. Look for lemongrass or citronella candles and enjoy summer to the fullest.

What experience do you have of Citronella candles?


Nathalie Allard
Nathalie Allard


Nathalie Allard is an Artisan Perfumer and the founder of Petits Rituels. She’s known for creating beautiful room-transforming 100% natural fragrances with real therapeutic benefits.

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