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Does a Citronella Plant Really Repel Mosquitoes? Here's What Studies Say
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Does a Citronella Plant Really Repel Mosquitoes? Here's What Studies Say

citronella plant

What Is A Citronella Plant?

A citronella plant is a species of perennial grass native to Asia that is both fragrant and useful. A citronella plant is known for its natural citronella oil that has been found to be effective in repelling mosquitoes. The most common citronella plant used for this purpose is Cymbopogon nardus, otherwise known as citronella grass or lemongrass. Citronella plants grow well in full sun and moist, sandy soil and can reach up to five feet in height. Additionally, citronella plants are also used as ornamental garden plants due to their soft foliage and sweet scent. With its multiple uses, the citronella plant is a great addition to any garden!


Does a citronella plant repel mosquitos?

Citronella plants have a common reputation for warding off mosquitos, due to their citronella oil content. However, citronella plants may not be as effective at repelling mosquitos as many think; studies have shown that citronella plants are typically only effective if they are kept close and the oil is regularly refreshed. In some cases, the citronella oil must be directly applied to skin or clothing to be truly effective. While citronella oil has repulsive properties for mosquitos, its is only present in very small amounts less than 0.1% in the plant. Citronella plants can still act as an enjoyable addition to gardens and provide a pleasant aroma alongside other mosquito control methods.

citronella plant

Does Rubbing Leaves On Your Skin Help Ward Off Mosquitoes?

Rubbing citronella plant on the skin may seem like an effective solution to ward off insects, however the reality is that it does not have any positive effect. Research studies have shown that citronella plants do not produce the more powerful Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, which is a natural oil derived from certain lemon eucalyptus trees used in insect repellents. Therefore rubbing citronella on your skin does not work as a natural bug repellent as hoped for; for this reason, other means should be sought out to make sure you're shielded from annoying mosquitoes and other bugs.


Is Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus More Effective

Mosquitoes can be a pesky distraction in the summertime and citronella oil is often used as an effective repellent. However, recent evidence suggests that Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus may be even more efficient at keeping mosquitoes away. Compared to citronella oil, studies have shown that OLE provides over two hours more of protection - with nearly four hours of total protection time - making it a more reliable option when needing to keep pests away. OLE has also been found to be safe for children over the age of 3, giving parents an added layer of peace-of-mind when choosing mosquito repellents for their families. Whether it’s a backyard barbecue or a camping teardrop adventure, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus can help ensure an enjoyable experience free from pesky mosquitoes.

Most Effective Repellent Oils

PMD is the compound responsible for repelling insects found in essential oils like citronella oil. While untreated citronella oil typically contains only 2% PMD, a treated oil of lemon eucalyptus (citriodiol) can contain up to 64%, providing a even powerful natural alternative to chemical deet-based repellents. Citriodiol has proven to be more effective than citronella in both laboratory studies and field evaluations, making it one of the most reliable and potent natural insect repellents on the market today.


Growing Citronella Plant for Fragrance

The citronella plant may not be an effective insect repellent; but it provides a wonderful aroma for your home. A delightful and pleasant smell that will fill any room of the house. It’s easy to grow this lovely perennial, and all you need is access to some partial shade or direct sunlight, fertile soil, and plenty of water. Once planted, citronella will quickly provide a sweet fragrance throughout its growth period—which can last year-round in the right climate. Investing in a citronella plant is not only beneficial for gardeners, but also offers those looking for an entertaining and enjoyable gardening experience with a distinctive scent to relax with.



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