If you're fortunate enough to live in one of the few places where mosquitoes aren't common then lucky you! For the rest of us, especially here in Miami, we know what a nuisance they can be. But for too many of us our options for natural products to keep them away are limited. For most companies looking to cash in on the need to repel mosquitoes, the safety of people gets ignored and extremely toxic chemicals (like DEET) get used. Why is this? All that's really necessary is natural essential oils, for example citronella, cedar, rosemary, or lemongrass.
While a combination of these oils could achieve maximum efficacy, citronella essential oil on its own can achieve just as effective results, especially on a budget. But what is citronella essential oil? It's actually the oil that is created through the steam distillation of two types of grasses Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus (lemongrass is in the same plant family). It has a woody and citrusy scent with a pale to dark yellow color. Aside from bug-repelling properties, it has a host of benefits which are well-known in aromatherapy.
So how can we make sure we're really using that in a bug spray? While there are a few decent brands out there, if you're the type who would rather do-it-yourself and prefer to stretch your dollar here's a simple recipe that can yield you multiple batches for about the price of a store bought bottle:Ingredients:
12 ounce spray bottle
50 drops citronella essential oil
distilled, boiled, or filtered water
1. Fill spray bottle 1/2 full with water
2. Add witch hazel until bottle is almost full
3. Add the citronella essential oil
4. Shake well and spray to repel mosquitoes and bugs
5. Remember to apply regularly
As for outdoor candles and lamp oils, most that are labelled as citronella are usually paired with paraffin wax and chemicals whose risks outweigh any potential benefit of keeping mosquitoes away.
While you can definitely make your own citronella candles at home, the process can be much more time consuming. This is why we crafted a great smelling and long-burning 100% pure beeswax candle with therapeutic grade citronella essential oil that will keep mosquitoes away and still grant you the aromatherapy benefits while you enjoy being outside. Check it out here and let us know what you think!