Citronella Candles - Nature's Insect Repellent
The familiar scent of citronella oil is one of the most evocative summer fragrances in the world. From insect sprays to patio and garden candles, citronella candles has long been used to deter insects from nibbling. The citrus aroma of citronella is clean-smelling and freshly scented, keeping summer insects away and allowing you to enjoy the outdoors in peace.
There are two distinct types of citronella grass, which are sometimes labelled as different species: Ceylon citronella, and Java citronella. The Ceylon type is the original cultivated variety. It grows on the island of Sri Lanka and Java citronella is sourced from Indonesia.
Until the early part of this century, Ceylon citronella was the most widely produced citronella oil. Gradually Java citronella has come to dominate the market due to its higher yield of oil. It's grown commercially on a worldwide scale in places like Haiti, Central America, the South Pacific and tropical Africa.
Citronella's main constituents are citronellal and geraniol. Together they produce a rosy-floral, lemony aroma. Research has shown geraniol to be an effective plant based insect repellent, thus Citronella and geraniol are two of the most important and widely used perfume building blocks. Nowhere else do they occur together in such large amounts as they do in the Java type citronella oil.
Using Citronella Candles at Home
Oil of Citronella has been used for 60 years as an insect repellent and as an animal repellent. It is found in many familiar insect repellent products: candles, lotions, gels, sprays and towelette wipes. These products, which vary in efficacy, repel various insects, some of which are public health pests, such as mosquitoes, biting flies and fleas. When used according to the label, citronella products are not expected to cause harm to humans, pets or the environment. It works on insects without harming or killing them. It has a distinctive odour which may make it difficult for some pests to locate a host. The length of repellence time varies with the inert ingredients and the amount of citronella oil in the product.
How Safe is Citronella?
In studies using laboratory animals, oil of Citronella shows little or no toxicity. The only concern is skin irritation. Because some products are applied to human skin, EPA requires proper precautionary labelling to help assure safe use. Therefore, if used according to label instructions, citronella is not expected to pose health risks to people, including children and other sensitive populations.
Oil of Citronella has been used extensively since 1948 without any reports of adverse effects of concern. Based on laboratory animal studies oil of Citronella poses minimal or no risks to wildlife. Due to the low toxicity and limited uses of oil of Citronella, it is not harmful to the environment. No adverse effects are expected for use around the home.
If you do not like flies buzzing around your living room on a warm summer evening Citronella is a well known insect repellent. It is far more attractive to have a citronella candle burning quietly away on your coffee table than a jumbo can of fly spray.
If you are having a quite evening sitting in your garden and are being bitten by midges, why not place citronella garden candles randomly around you open space as well as lighting a citronella table jar candle or tea light to place on the garden table. Citronella candles are free from artificial chemicals, making them a great way to keep summer insects at bay whilst enjoying the outdoors.
Featured Citronella Candles