Don’t Bug Me: The Comprehensive Guide to Citronella Candles

What you need to know about citronella candles

Citronella candles are a great way to keep pesky mosquitoes and other bugs away from you while outdoors. They are made of a natural oil that is extracted from the lemon grass plant. This oil is known for its bug-repelling properties.

What is citronella?

Citronella is an essential oil made from lemongrass.  It’s used in candles, soap, incense, and other products to keep bugs away, including mosquitos.  It’s natural and non-toxic.

There are two types of citronella, cylon type and java type.  The Java type originated from Indonesia, but both originally came from wild mana grass in Sri Lanka. Today, the two main producers of citronella are China and Indonesia.

Other plants can naturally repel mosquitos too, including lavender, oleander, lantana, and ageratum.  If you’re in a climate where these can grow, they can be a good addition to your flower garden.

How can I use citronella candles to repel mosquitoes?

Citronella candles are effective at repelling mosquitoes because the smell of the citronella oil repels the mosquitoes. When a mosquito smells the citronella oil, it will fly away.

The best way to use a citronella candle is to place it near the area where you will be spending the most time. For example, if you are sitting on your porch, place the candle on the porch railing. If you are sitting around a campfire, place the candle nearby.

What kind of citronella candles are available?

There are three types of citronella candles available: liquid, solid, and electronic.

Liquid citronella candles are the most common type and are made of a liquid citronella oil and a base oil, such as soy or vegetable oil. The oil is then burned in a candle flame, and the heat from the flame vaporizes the oil, releasing the citronella scent.

Solid citronella candles are made of a solid block of citronella wax. The wax is melted and then poured into a candle mold. The candle is then allowed to cool and harden.

Electronic citronella candles are powered by a battery and do not require a flame. The citronella scent is released when the candle is turned on.

What to look for in a citronella candle

Some candles are just citronella, while others are a blend of citronella with other essential oils for a more pleasant fragrance experience.

Another factor to consider is burn time.  Candles made from different kinds of wax will burn longer or shorter.  Candles made from beeswax, soy, or coconut wax will burn longer but be more expensive than candles made out of paraffin wax, for instance.

How to use citronella candles safely and effectively

When using citronella candles, be sure to keep them away from children and pets. Additionally, be sure to place them in a safe place where they will not be knocked over. Finally, be sure to extinguish the candles before going to bed.

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