No items found.

Do Citronella Candles Work? Because the Mosquitos Are Back and They’re Ready to Feast

Mosquitoes (i.e., the bane of our existence in the summer) are not only annoying, but they’re also known disease-carriers that can pose a considerable health risk. (Think: West Nile Virus). Which is why we’ll try almost anything to banish these pests. There’s been some buzz about citronella candles as an all-natural means of keeping these pesky bugs away but before you start buying ‘em for your backyard tiki torches, it’s worth asking—do citronella candles work? (Spoiler: They don’t, but there are plenty of other products that do.)

What is a citronella candle?

As the name suggests, citronella candles are simply regular candles made with a generous amount of citronella, an essential oil derived from fragrant Asian grass belonging to the Cymbopogon genius. As such, when these candles burn, they emit the citrusy, floral scent of citronella—a pleasant but pungent smell that some folks believe repels mosquitoes. Don’t swap your bug spray for a scented candle just yet though—there’s some myth-busting below.

Do citronella candles work?

Citronella candles, like other products containing the essential oil, are touted for their bug repellent properties and they’re undeniably more appealing than DEET. Alas, according to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Insect Science, citronella candles don’t do anything to scare off skeeters—nothing at all, nada. Although some all-natural bug repellent sprays, including those that feature citronella as a main ingredient, can throw mosquitos off your scent to a degree, none of them are as effective or as long-lasting as DEET when it comes to keeping bugs at bay. As for citronella candles, the perfume might be pleasant, but it is not potent enough to mask your yummy human smell and protect you from getting bitten. (In fact, in the study cited above, the citronella candle actually seemed to attract mosquitoes albeit by a margin so small it was not deemed to be scientifically significant.)

Head here to find the complete article.

LAST UPDATED

October 27, 2023

Written by
Photo thumbnail Blog Author

Yahoo News

Media Mentions from Yahoo News

The latest news and headlines from Yahoo! News. Get breaking news stories and in-depth coverage with videos and photos. Top stories. Trusted sources. Your window to the news that matters most to you.

Explore More Content

Media Mentions

Pick up some Sawyer insect repellent from REI before hitting the trail – it’ll protect you from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes for up to eight hours.

Microsoft Start - Lisa Sammons

Media Mentions

While young babies should be protected with clothing and netting (not chemicals), older babies and children should use a suitable repellent to help avoid bites, discomfort, and insect-borne illnesses.

Molly Bradac

Media Mentions

Lucky for us trail-goers, Amazon’s Big Spring Sale has hundreds of hiking products on sale, and here are 15 of the best deals to stock up for this season’s outdoor adventures.

Travel + Leisure
Media Mentions from Travel + Leisure