Do Citronella Candles Keep Bugs At Bay? - Ardent Candles Blog
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Do Citronella Candles Keep Bugs At Bay?

Posted on 12 July 2016

Citronella Candles

Don’t let the British weather fool you… it's summer!

When the sun eventually decides to make an appearance, we'll begin to make our way into the garden (especially during balmy evenings) to enjoy a barbecue or an evening meal al fresco. However, warm nights tend to bring the buzzing bugs out too. It's at this point at Ardent Candles HQ that we normally light up a citronella candle. But do citronella candles work? Do they keep bugs at bay?

What Is Citronella?

Citronella is an essential oil made from Citronella grass (a variety of lemongrass), which is a tropical plant found in Asia, Africa and Australasia. Citronella grass has a subtle, citrus lemon scent, which is intensified during the process of extracting its oil from the plant’s leaves and stems. Research has shown that Citronella oil has pesticidal properties, which has led to its fame as a repellent for certain species of insect, such as mosquitoes.

How Does Citronella Work?

As we’ve established, citronella has natural insect repellent properties. Biting bugs are drawn to other warm blooded creatures (including us) for a potential meal (especially in the case of midges and mosquitoes). Citronella doesn't kill insects looking for a free lunch, but rather deters them from being around the source of the citronella aroma.

The scent of citronella also masks the aromas and signals that warm-blooded beings create, such as sweat, carbon-dioxide and lactic acid.

How Effective are Citronella Candles?

The effect that citronella candles have on bugs has been disputed. Its certainly fair to say that if you're using your citronella candle on a windy evening, its repelling power will be diminished. However, there is much evidence to show that citronella candles do result in a positive decrease in the presence of bugs when used outside if the wind is still or very gentle.

Why Do I Like The Citronella Scent?

Regardless of whether or not citronella repels bugs, I personally love the lemony fragrance that citronella candles throw.

If I'm enjoying a summer evening with friends and family in my garden, the aroma of citronella reminds me of summer holidays, transporting me instantly (in my mind at least) to a warm and dusky mediterranean night!

Summer Candles At Ardent

We have a number of candles that are ideal for summer... they can be all be found here:

In terms of citronella candles, as of today we have lovely options by St Eval here:

I hope all of us have the opportunity to enjoy a glut of sunny days and warm evenings this summer… just don't forget your citronella!

Thanks for reading.


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