Animals

How to Use Citronella to Repel Flies

We all start thinking back on the pleasant summer evenings that are going to be gone as September approaches. This is the time of year when people bundle up in their bathers, light up their barbecues, spend time with their loved ones, and take cross-country trips. Aside from the sentiment that an endless summer unites us, fruit flies and mosquitoes are another annoying pest that we all detest at the height of summer!

An enjoyable evening is swiftly turned into an excruciatingly miserable experience by these bothersome insects. Despite the fact that there are innumerable bug lights and zappers available that promise to keep these intruders away. One substance that nature has given us as a remarkable remedy is citronella! Perhaps you’re wondering how citronella works or how soon you might find some. Now let’s get started and see how to utilize citronella to ward off flies!

Citronella: Nature’s Very Own Insect Repellant

Two types of grass are used to make the oil citronella. Distillation is the method used to obtain this oil.It smells like grass or flowers and is described as “yellow to brown” by the National Pesticide Information Center. In 1948, citronella oil made its debut on the American market. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes it as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Citronellal, citronellol, and geraniol make up its composition.

The scientific name for a citronella plant is Cymbopogon nardus or Cymbopogon winterianus. It is a type of grass that has a characteristic citrus scent. Many cultures have been using citronella for centuries as a traditional insect repellent, especially against flies and mosquitoes.

How Does It Work?

Because citronella contains a high concentration of citronelles, its scent can be so strong that it overwhelms the senses of many insects. Its potent scent and distinct chemical makeup serve as an impenetrable barrier against ticks, mice, rats, and flies in addition to mosquitoes.

In actuality, the active ingredients in it, like geraniol, citronellal, and citronellol, interfere with insects’ ability to smell. These bugs find it extremely difficult to find their target because of this aroma, which deters them from their intended path. Mosquitoes, for instance, feed on the lactic acid and carbon dioxide that humans exhale during perspiration. The overpowering scent of citronella suffocates them when you light a candle or plant citronella in your backyard. These pests are prevented from getting too close by it acting as a barrier. Citronella works to ward off a variety of fly species.

Are There Other Options?

Comparing this natural substitute to its chemical-based rivals like Picaridin, it is more environmentally friendly. When applied topically or in the form of incense and candles, it is generally regarded as safe for human use and biodegradable. Citronella not only smells good but is also soft on clothes. For people who love being outside but still want to protect their outdoor clothing, this is the best option available.When compared to topical solutions like Off! or Repel, citronella essential oil presents itself as a more natural and allergy-friendly option.

Making the Citronella Shut Off the Flies

Now that you know the science behind citronella, including its components, potency, and substitutes, let’s talk about the various products you can employ to ward off those bothersome animals.

There are several methods to incorporate this substance into your daily routine. Every method is equally easy to follow. After you see the effects, you’ll be looking for more opportunities to use citronella in your life.

Basically, you need to increase your citronella if you want to keep those houseflies away. It’s simple to do this. You may produce:

Lights, Essential Oil, Torches, Purchasing Plants

You’ll feel some relief from all of these things. I’ll describe how.

1. Come Up With Candles

After lighting the candle outside in an area where bugs are known to attack often, the mosquitoes and flies should disperse after 15 to 20 minutes.

It’s important to remember, though, that not all citronella candles work. As a matter of fact, lighting any candle that emits smoke is nearly as effective as lighting the citronella candles that you see in stores these days. Furthermore, this option performs poorly in windy or wet conditions. Before purchasing this product, make sure you do your own research and read product reviews because many of the ones that are advertised may be scams.

An excellent tutorial on creating citronella candles and using them as insect repellent can be found on HGTV.

2. How Essential Oil Repels

There are more uses for citronella oil than just keeping bugs away. Its antifungal and antibacterial qualities are also employed! Therefore, carrying this small but powerful instrument is usually a smart idea if you plan to spend some time outside.

Make sure you dilute concentrated, pure citronella oil with a carrier oil, like coconut or jojoba, before applying it directly on your skin. For a more durable result, you can spray this mixture on your clothing or rub it onto your skin at a 1:1 ratio. Reapply this mixture every one to two hours, please. Use this more often if you engage in physically demanding or perspiration-producing daily activities.

3. Light the Way With Citronella

To help protect you and your guests in style, citronella torches are available in a variety of designs. Citronella oil is used by these torches to feed the flames, sending a potent aroma into the atmosphere. After placing these torches in strategic locations across your outside area, turn them on, and relax for a bug-free evening.

To assist you precisely measure the quantity of citronella you want to use for each burn, torches are also available with wick sizes that can be adjusted. Because this equipment works with fire, it’s vital to remember to keep it away from extremely flammable areas and other objects that easily catch fire. Citronella torches should never be left unattended, and the flame should always be extinguished after each usage.

4. Procur a Citronella Plant

For those with green thumbs, an excellent way to keep insects away from the place outside you spend the most of your time is to grow a citronella plant. Planting this perennial in the spring, when there is no chance of frost, is ideal. It’s also advised to place these plants in individual pots so that you can better regulate their lighting and water requirements.

High humidity, bright light, and a well-retaining potting medium—like peat moss—are preferred by these plants. It’s crucial to understand that this plant won’t effectively keep pests away on its own. You can help yourself with the pest control process by crushing a few leaves and releasing their scent.

Now that we’ve talked about it, you can repel the bugs that are giving you so much stress in your life by [just] adding citronella to your life. Let’s also discuss the things you should be monitoring.

Safety Measures to Consider

Even though most people think citronella is safe to use, everyone is different! It’s crucial to adopt the following safety measures:

Avoid Ingestion:

Only apply citronella oil externally. It can be toxic if consumed, so avoid doing so.

Keep Pets and Children Away from Citronella Products:

Candles and citronella oil should be kept out of children’s and dogs’ reach to avoid accidental touch or consumption.

Patch Test:

To be sure you won’t experience a negative response, patch test your skin before applying citronella oil. A tiny patch of skin should be applied, and after 24 hours, any signs of irritation or allergic responses should be monitored.

Store Citronella Oil Safely:

Citronella oil should be stored in a dark, cool place away from heat sources, water, and direct sunlight.

Other Great Sources

We also discuss the plant and its cousin in our article Citronella Plant vs. Citronella Grass. The citronella plant and the citronella lemongrass plant are contrasted in this article. Although they are clearly different from one another, they are frequently confused.

Our piece is about citronella. A Perennial or Annual talks about how long a plant can live and what conditions are ideal for a long, healthy life.

In summary

You can repel flies with whichever product you choose as long as you include citronella in your daily regimen. It is crucial to bear in mind that although citronella can be an effective weapon in your toolbox, in heavily infested areas it might not offer total protection. The best way to guarantee a bug-free experience is to use citronella in conjunction with other preventive measures, like wearing long sleeves or using mosquito nets, in addition to a bug zapper.

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