Effectiveness of Citronella Candles

Effectiveness of Citronella Candles

Welcome, candle aficionados! Summer time is almost upon us and that means lots of outdoor activities for many.  Along with these activities typically comes relentless battling with hungry mosquitoes. If you’re like me you may have already lost several of these battles.

In this post we’re going to take a look at citronella candles and their effectiveness as a mosquito deterrent.

Do Citronella Candles really Work?

3 wick large bucket citronella candle

Large 28 oz. 3-wick citronella bucket candle. Click to check current price.

Yes, to some extent.  A scientific study conducted in 1995 shows concrete evidence that citronella candles reduce bites from the common mosquito by 42.3%. So that’s good news, right? Well the problem is that citronella candles only have a range of effectiveness up to a few feet, and even less if using them during windy conditions. To get the most repellent effect you’ll want to burn multiple citronella candles concurrently or go with a larger candle with multiple wicks. That should theoretically improve the overall effectiveness, but it’s still worth noting you’re not going to be able to avoid 100% of mosquitoes using these candles alone.  Scientific evidence, however, does show that they are certainly better than nothing.

What are Citronella Candles?

Citronella candles are made by infusing citronella oil into the candle wax.  The oil comes from the leaves and stems of lemongrass.  The scent of the citronella oil keeps mosquitoes away by covering up the carbon dioxide and other perfume-like scents from us tasty humans that frequently attract mosquitoes.  The citronella oil scent doesn’t kill mosquitoes but rather acts as a force field against them.  Other products made with this oil are citronella soap and citronella tiki torch oil that also provide some level of replant against the dreaded summer time blood suckers.

Skeeter Beeter Citronella soap

Skeeter Beater Citronella Soap. Click to check current price.

Citronella Candles Burning Safety Tips

  • Burn outdoors only in well ventilated areas.
  • Select a candle with a container that is not likely to blow over in the wind.  The ‘A’ shaped containers are great for that since they provide a stable base.
  • As with any candles, do not leave in the reach of children and never leave one burning unattended.

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