Citronella Candles

It can be frustrating dealing with mosquitoes day in and day out. And, while insecticides and other pest killers are often the most effective way of getting rid of mozzies, you may be wondering what else you can do.

That’s where citronella and other essential oils can come in handy. In this piece, we look at what citronella candles are, how they work and how to use them.

What are citronella candles?

What exactly is citronella? Citronella is an essential oil extracted from some types of lemongrass. The extracted oil of citronella comprises several components and is commonly used in insect repellents. Citronella oil can also be mixed into wax to make citronella candles that are used to repel insects.  

Do citronella candles work?

But, do citronella candles work?

The citronella oil evaporates from the candle by means of the heat produced by the wick as it burns the candle wax. Once in the air, the oil works by masking the human scents that are attractive to mosquitoes and other insects. Although the citronella oil itself is effective in repelling insects, the duration and  effectiveness of a citronella candle product may vary depending on factors such as formulation and the size. For optimum protection, the evaporation of the oil also needs to be fairly constant.

How do I use citronella candles?

When using products such as the Mortein Citronella Candle, for best performance, use the candles in outdoor areas where there is minimal breeze such as in courtyards, decks and patio. After you light the candle allow the product to build up in the air and take effect at least 15 minutes before you use the area. These candles are intended for outdoor use only because they can lead to poor air quality when used inside, however, using citronella candles close to the entrance to your home during outdoor activities will help prevent mosquitoes from finding their way inside when people open the door to go in and out.