Lemon Grass and Citronella oil in glass bottle and glass dropper on wood table background.

Citronella vs. Lemongrass: What Repels Mosquitoes?

When it comes to keeping pesky mosquitoes at bay, various natural remedies are available. Two popular options are lemongrass and citronella. These plants are known for their intense scents, which many believe have mosquito-repelling properties. But which one is more effective? Let’s dive into the world of lemongrass and citronella to find out.

Key Pest Points:

• Lemongrass contains citronellal, which is a compound with insecticidal qualities. Citronella oil also has insecticidal attributes, making it an effective mosquito repellent.

• Exploring uncommon methods such as catnip, marigolds, and lemon eucalyptus oil can provide unique yet effective ways to repel mosquitoes.

• Incorporating strategies like using fans, dressing strategically, and eliminating standing water can enhance your mosquito-fighting efforts and create a more enjoyable outdoor experience.

Understanding Mosquito Repellents

Before we delve into the specifics of lemongrass and citronella, it’s crucial to understand how mosquito repellents work. Mosquitoes can detect the carbon dioxide we exhale and certain scents and chemicals our bodies produce. Repellents function by masking these attractants or creating a barrier that repels the mosquitoes.

There are effective chemical-based repellents available. However, many people are turning to natural solutions such as lemongrass and citronella for their mosquito-fighting needs.

A glass bottle of lemon grass essential oil with fresh lemon grass.

Does Lemongrass Repel Mosquitoes?

Hailing from the Cymbopogon genus, lemongrass is a fragrant grass native to India, Thailand, Burma, and more. Known for its zesty, lemony scent, lemongrass has found its way into cuisines and herbal remedies worldwide.

Lemongrass mosquito repellent contains citronella oil, which the insect hates. Citronella oil is derived from the leaves and stems of lemongrass and possesses strong insect-repelling properties. When applied topically or in diffusers, lemongrass oil can effectively ward off mosquitoes and other biting insects.

Does Citronella Repel Mosquitoes?

Let’s move on to citronella, the contender in this lemongrass versus citronella face-off. Citronella mosquito plant is an aromatic grass that belongs to the Cymbopogon genus, just like lemongrass. It’s commonly found in tropical and subtropical areas across the globe, including parts of Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

Citronella oil, extracted from the leaves and stems of the grass, is often used in candles, sprays, and lotions marketed as mosquito repellents. The distinctive odor of citronella is believed to confuse mosquitoes, making it harder for them to detect their human targets.

Flame of candle for mosquito repellent.

Lemongrass vs. Citronella: Which is Best?

When it comes to repelling mosquitoes, both lemongrass and citronella have their strengths. Let’s compare them on various factors:

  • Effectiveness: Both lemongrass and citronella contain citronella oil, a proven mosquito repellent. Therefore, both can be effective in keeping mosquitoes at bay. However, the concentration of citronella oil may vary in different products, affecting their overall efficacy.
  • Duration: The longevity of mosquito repellency is an important factor to consider. Studies suggest that citronella oil can protect for up to 2 hours, while lemongrass oil may offer protection for a slightly longer duration of 2.5 hours. Reapplication may be necessary after a couple of hours to maintain effectiveness.
  • Application: Both lemongrass and citronella can be used in various forms, such as essential oils, candles, lotions, and sprays. The choice of application depends on personal preference and the desired level of convenience.
  • Natural vs. Synthetic: One advantage of using lemongrass or citronella as mosquito repellents is that they are natural alternatives to synthetic chemical repellents. This can be appealing to those who prefer natural products or are concerned about synthetic repellents’ potential side effects.

Ultimately, the choice between lemongrass and citronella boils down to personal preference and availability. Some individuals may find the aroma of lemongrass more appealing, while others may prefer the distinct scent of citronella. Experimentation with different products and forms can help determine what works best.

Other Effective Ways to Repel Mosquitoes

While lemongrass and citronella are popular natural remedies for keeping mosquitoes at bay, other uncommon yet effective methods exist to repel these pesky insects. Let’s explore some unique techniques that you may not have heard of before:

  • Catnip PowerNepetalactone, the essential oil found in catnip, is even more effective than DEET, a standard synthetic mosquito repellent. You can crush catnip leaves and rub them directly on your skin or create a catnip-infused spray to keep those mosquitoes away.
  • Marigold Magic: Marigolds add a pop of vibrant color to your garden and act as natural mosquito repellents. The flowers contain a compound called pyrethrum, commonly used in insecticides. Planting marigolds around your outdoor living areas can help create a mosquito-free zone while adding beauty to your surroundings.
A bottle of rosemary essential oil with fresh blooming rosemary twigs on a wooden background
  • Rosemary Repellent: Rosemary is a versatile herb known for its culinary uses, but it can also work as a mosquito repellent. It’s woody aroma acts as a natural deterrent for mosquitoes. You can burn dried rosemary leaves in a fire pit or incorporate rosemary essential oil into candles or diffusers to keep those annoying insects at bay.
  • Dress Strategically: What you wear can make a difference in mosquito attraction. Mosquitoes are more likely to be drawn to dark colors, so opting for light-colored clothing can help reduce their interest. Loose-fitting garments also provide an additional barrier between your skin and mosquitoes, making it harder for them to reach you.
  • Install Bat Houses: Bats are natural predators of mosquitoes, and having them around can help control the mosquito population in your area. Installing bat houses in your yard provides a safe and inviting habitat for bats to roost. Not only will you enjoy their nocturnal acrobatics, but you’ll also reap the benefits of reduced mosquito activity.
  • Eliminate Standing Water: This tip may not be uncommon, but it’s worth emphasizing. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so eliminating potential breeding grounds around your home is crucial. Regularly check for empty containers that can collect water, such as buckets, flower pots, or bird baths. Doing so will reduce the number of mosquitoes buzzing around your living space.

By incorporating these unique methods into your mosquito-fighting arsenal, you can lower the mosquito’s lifespan and reclaim your outdoor living spaces. It can also be hard to tell the difference between a crane fly and a mosquito or a bed bug bite to a mosquito bite, so understanding these pests can help you take necessary preventive measures.


What kind of bugs does lemongrass keep away?

Lemongrass is effective against mosquitoes, ants, fleas, ticks, and flies. The strong citrus aroma acts as a natural deterrent for these pests.

Is lemongrass toxic to dogs?

Yes, lemongrass is toxic to dogs and should not be used on or around them. Dogs may experience gastrointestinal upset if they ingest lemongrass, so avoiding using this substance near them is best.

Is citronella toxic to dogs?

Citronella is also toxic to dogs and should be avoided. Avoid using citronella candles, sprays, or diffusers around dogs as they may be exposed to the oil and experience irritation or other adverse reactions.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *