Citronella: the natural repellent against mosquitoes
Published: 16 July, 2019 - Updated: 19 July, 2022 | 3'
With the heat comes the annoying mosquitoes prepared to bite the whole family, but there are plants in nature that are repellent to mosquitoes, such as basil, lavender or citronella, capable of repelling them without resorting to the use of insecticides or chemical repellents.
What does the citronella plant look like?
In specific terms, the citronella plant belongs to the family of grasses from India, which can reach a height of 1.5 m. It is a plant with a great capacity to adapt to the environment and does not require great care or very special conditions. It is enough for the soil to have sufficient nutrients and to have good drainage, something very important because it does not stand excess humidity at all well.
In addition, if the plant is indoors, it not only repels mosquitoes, but also acts against clothes moths.
Its lemon smell makes citronella commonly known in Spain as limoncillo (lemongrass), so its aromatic leaves and the base of this tender perennial plant are used to prepare tea, soups and different types of curry. Citronella is also the source of citronella essential oil.
Why is citronella a natural repellent against mosquitoes?
Because of its smell, it is used as a repellent against flying insects such as flies, mosquitoes and wasps. The citronella in MARNYS® Citronella Essential Oil works by masking other odors that are attractive to insects so that the insect does not come close to them.
Using citronella to repel mosquitoes is not a recent invention, since mankind has been using plants such as citronella to repel insects since the time of the Greeks and Romans. Today, this use continues, with citronella being popularly known as a mosquito repellent and one of the most widely used natural mosquito repellents on the market.
How to use citronella essential oil to repel mosquitoes
As we mentioned, citronella has been used since ancient times to repel insects, and there are several ways you can get a “good natural repellent” for those hated mosquitoes.
- Planting Citronella at home: If you are going to use it for the outside of the house, choose four corners to place several pots. If it is for the interior, one plant is enough for a room of about 20 m2. It is best to plant the Citronella in spring, preferably with seeds, making sure it is in a large pot with good drainage, placing the seeds on the ground and covering them. Place the plant where there is enough light, and water it two or three times a week. When yellow leaves appear it is necessary to prune them and enable the citronella plant to grow.
- Apply citronella essential oil on the skin: There are many formats of citronella essential oils that can be used topically (always try to read the supplier’s instructions). It is recommended that, for application directly to the skin, it be diluted in a base vegetable oil. For example, dilute 2 drops of essential oil in 13 drops of a vegetable oil base or similar and apply directly to the skin. Vegetable oils with MARNYS® Sweet Almond and Apricot Kernel are the most recommended. This can be used by the whole family.
- In a vaporizer to spray the environment: We also suggest as an idea of use, to spray the essential oil of citronella in the environment using an aroma diffuser. Always pay attention to the instructions for use indicated on the diffuser. For example, you can pour 4 drops of Citronella Essential Oil in the diffuser container, alone or mixed with water. The fresh, intense lemon scent will keep any mosquitoes away. In addition, the aroma of citronella is also commonly used in aromatherapy to promote recovery after headaches, chills, etc.
- Other ways: There are also countless methods to make citronella candles, in incense, even preparing at home your own Citronella oil from its leaves, choose the method that best suits you.
Citronella essential oil is a fantastic multipurpose ally and a must for your everyday life!