How to Use Citronella to Keep Mosquitoes Away
Citronella is a plant that has many therapeutic properties but that, above all, has become popular due to its use as a mosquito repellent, as it can repel them efficiently. It is ideal to make sure these annoying insects don't come close to us and avoid mosquito bites. Citronella is contained in many candles, torches, liquid repellents or moisturizers; but one of the most effective solutions is planting it in our garden or terrace, or place pots near windows, terrace or garden. If you suffer from insect bites, on OneHowTo we explain how to use citronella to keep mosquitoes away.
Citronella has turned into the most used plant to keep mosquitoes and other insects away from homes, as it is certainly the most effective way to repel mosquitoes naturally. This is due to the intense, citrus fragrance it has, which is very unpleasant for mosquitoes and flies, repelling them efficiently. Not only this, but the aroma of citronella is so evolving and strong that it's capable of camouflaging any other type of scent that is pleasant for the mosquito and could attract them.
This is why citronella has turned in to the main ingredient in many mosquito repellents on the market. Another natural mosquitoes repellent is neem oil.
As we've mentioned, you have several ways to use citronella to repel mosquitoes at your reach in order to avoid them invading your home and causing painful bites. One of the most simple ways is to plant it directly in your garden or in pots so you can arrange them around the house. To do so correctly and make sure it works against mosquitoes, it's important you take the following tips into account:
- To plant citronella in your garden you should dig a hole and place the seeds in a soil that has been properly drained. If you're planting it in a pot, you must cover the seeds with a mix of 1 part earth and 3 parts fertilizer. It's important for the earth to be fertile so it grows properly.
- Citronella needs abundant sun, so you should place it in a sunny spot in the garden or by the window so it can receive maximum sunlight.
- This plant does not tolerate too much humidity, so you should try to place it in a place that is not too humid. Try to protect the plant from frost during autumn and winter.
- Water your citronella plant frequently and prune any yellow leafs that may appear.
- Apply a specific substrate for this plant every 15 days.
If you take these tips into account, your plant will be in perfect conditions and it will be a good defense mechanism against mosquitoes; discover more details in our article on how to care for Citronella.
You'll find many different mosquito repellent lotions on the market that have a citronella base, though if you buy citronella essential oil you can make your own by following any of the two recipes mentioned below:
- Liquid repellent: You only need to dilute 10 drops of citronella oil in 30 ml of vegetable oil, such as olive oil or almond. This mixture is fundamental, as if you apply the citronella oil on your skin, it can irritate it. To use it, pour two drops of repellent on your wrists and ankles to be protected properly. Another option is to dilute 20 drops of the oil in 100 ml alcohol and use it to scent the air around you.
- Moisturizing cream and citronella: To obtain a softer repellent, you can also mix 100 ml in a neutral moisturizing cream that you may have at home with 20 drops of citronella oil. Apply on the area of your skin that is most visible, avoiding the face.
If you're not quite sure about the use of citronella, we invite you to take a look at our article: Do Citronella plants really repel mosquitoes?
Anti-mosquito citronella candles are a great option to repel mosquitoes, especially in exteriors such as gardens, terraces and balconies, though you can also use them indoors. You can buy these candles in specialized shops, light them up whenever you want and it will keep mosquitoes away. It's important to take precautions when using it, such as keeping candles out of children and animal's reach as well as from other sources of heat. You shouldn't leave the candle unsupervised either or leave it on while there's nobody at home.
For those who spend many hours outdoors, there are several alternatives in pharmacies and specialized shops that sell citronella collars and bands so you can repel mosquitoes whenever and whatever you are doing.
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- Avoid direct contact of citronella oil with eyes and mucous membranes.