Last Updated on February 21, 2021 by Matt Gardener
Contrary to popular opinion, growing citronella plants around your yard may not exactly do a good job of keep mosquitoes away from your yard.
Research has shown that only the extracted oil from citronella grass is more effective in warding off bugs and mosquitoes.
But do citronella plants work against mosquitoes? Yes, most gardeners claim that the presence of the citronella plant in their garden repels mosquitoes and bugs.
This claim has led to the citronella plant being called the mosquito-repellant plant. This post will cover all you need to know whether or not the citronella plants work against mosquitoes.
Let’s delve in!
Table of Contents
- Do Citronella Plants Work Against Mosquitoes?
- How To Harvest Citronella Oil That is Used in Repelling Mosquitoes
- Other Methods You Can Employ to Keep Mosquitoes Away from Your Yard
- 1. Get an Outdoor Fan
- 2. Don’t Keep Water Lying Around
- 3. Build a Bat House
- 4. Maybe it’s Time to Call A Professional
- Other Plants That Work Against Mosquitoes
Do Citronella Plants Work Against Mosquitoes?
Before answering this question, it is worth mentioning that the citronella plant has two species: Citronella Grass and Citronella Geraniums.
Research carried out on the plant shows that only the oil extracted from Citronella Grass can repel mosquitoes. Research also shows that the Citronella Geraniums might not precisely be effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay.
This follows that for the citronella plant to be effective in repelling mosquitoes, you would have to extract the oils by crushing the leaves. You can apply the extracted oil to your skin.
But what about citronella candles and mosquitoes?
A test was carried out at the University of Guelph on the effectiveness of citronella candles at repelling mosquitoes. Within 5 minutes, subjects got 6, 8, and 11 mosquito bites for citronella candles, regular candles, and no candles respectively.
From the test, it was gathered that citronella candles were relatively better than regular candles in terms of warding off mosquitoes as they reduced bites by half compared to using nothing at all.
This shows that they work, a little.
How To Harvest Citronella Oil That is Used in Repelling Mosquitoes
We have already established that citronella oil is more effective in repelling mosquitoes. How then do you harvest citronella oil? Follow the steps outlined below to harvest citronella oil for your personal use.
- Mix 1 cup of olive oil with 1/4 cup of citronella grass stems and leaves.
- Put the mixture in a cooker and cook for about 8 minutes.
- Add more citronella fresh leaves and stems to the mixture for a more pronounced fragrance.
- Store in a cool, dark place for up to six months.
- You can apply it on your skin, provided the oil doesn’t irritate your skin. You can also add it to candles and lotions.
To be safe, please don’t ingest citronella oil.
Other Methods You Can Employ to Keep Mosquitoes Away from Your Yard
It might not always be convenient for you to grow the citronella plant in your yard and even take further steps in harvesting the oil.
The fantastic news is that you can employ various alternative methods in keeping mosquitoes away from your compound. This post will highlight some of these methods:
1. Get an Outdoor Fan
Using an outdoor fan can be an effective way of preventing mosquitoes from breeding in your yard. It is common knowledge that mosquitoes can’t fly against a breeze. Mosquitoes tend to fly closer to the ground, so you should aim the fan toward the ground.
2. Don’t Keep Water Lying Around
Stagnant water provides a breeding space for mosquitoes. We are quite sure that you don’t want your yard turning into a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Banish all standing water in your yard.
Pay attention to places prone to collect water like clogged gutters, pet bowls, kiddie pools, watering cans, tarps, trays underneath potted plants, etc. Also, mow your lawn regularly to prevent water from pooling in foliage.
Treat your pond with Bacillus thuringiensis. Bacillus thuringiensis kills mosquito larvae, but it’s not toxic to humans or animals.
3. Build a Bat House
Bat and dragonflies feed on mosquitoes. What is the best way of eliminating mosquitoes in your yard? by inviting the predators. One bat house contains up to 50 bats, and this is enough to thin out the population of mosquitoes in your compound.
You can either buy a bat house at a home improvement store or make your own.
4. Maybe it’s Time to Call A Professional
If none of the methods provided above doesn’t seem to do the trick, then maybe it is time to let a professional handle the tricky pests. A professional will spray insecticide in your yard to eliminate the pests.
Other Plants That Work Against Mosquitoes
Plants like lavender, marigold, lemon balm, basil, and rosemary also have mosquito-repellent properties. These plants’ scents are offensive to mosquitoes and thus keep them at bay.
To make these plants’ scent more pungent to mosquitoes, make a herbal bundle consisting of these plants and burn them. The intense aroma will keep ward off the tricky pests.
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So the answer to the question, do citronella plants work against mosquitoes? Might not be a resounding yes since the oil extracted from citronella grass is more effective in working against mosquitoes.
Most importantly, citronella oil has antifungal properties. These antifungal properties are useful in combating infections and healing wounds.