1. Understanding Citronella as a Natural Mosquito Repellent

Citronella is a popular natural ingredient often used in mosquito repellents due to its effectiveness in repelling these pesky insects. Derived from the Cymbopogon genus of plants, specifically Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus, citronella oil is known for its strong mosquito-repelling scent. It has been used for centuries as a traditional remedy for insect bites and as a natural insect repellent.

The active ingredients in citronella oil are citronellal, geraniol, and citronellol, which contribute to its mosquito repellent properties. These compounds work by masking the human scent, making it harder for mosquitoes to find and bite us. Citronella is generally considered safe to use and is a popular alternative to chemical-based mosquito repellents.

2. Gathering the ingredients

To make your own citronella mosquito repellent, you will need a few key ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Citronella essential oil: This is the main ingredient and is easily found in health food stores or online. Choose a high quality citronella essential oil for the best results.

  2. Carrier Oil: Citronella essential oil should be diluted with a carrier oil to make it safe for topical use. Common carrier oils include coconut oil, jojoba oil, or almond oil. These oils help spread the citronella oil evenly and provide moisturizing benefits to the skin.

  3. A small spray bottle: This is used to store and apply the citronella mosquito repellent.

3. Mixing the citronella repellent

Now that you have gathered your ingredients, it’s time to mix them together to create your citronella mosquito repellent.

  1. Start by choosing your carrier oil. Measure out about 2 ounces (60 milliliters) of carrier oil and pour it into a clean, empty spray bottle.

  2. Add 15-20 drops of citronella essential oil to the carrier oil. The exact number of drops may vary depending on your preference and the strength of the citronella oil you are using. You may experiment with the concentration to find what works best for you.

  3. Close the spray bottle tightly and shake the mixture vigorously for about 30 seconds. This will help ensure that the citronella oil is well dispersed in the carrier oil.

4. Application and Use of Repellent

To use your homemade citronella mosquito repellent effectively, follow these guidelines:

  1. Shake the spray bottle well before each use to ensure that the ingredients are properly mixed.

  2. Spray a generous amount of repellent onto exposed skin areas such as arms, legs and neck. Avoid spraying around the eyes and mouth.

  3. Reapply every 2-3 hours, or more often if you sweat a lot or swim. Citronella oil tends to evaporate relatively quickly, so regular reapplication is necessary to maintain its effectiveness.

  4. It’s important to note that while citronella is an effective natural repellent, it may not provide complete protection against mosquitoes. It is recommended that additional protective measures be taken, such as wearing long sleeves and pants, using mosquito nets, and avoiding times of peak mosquito activity.

5. Storage and Safety Precautions

To ensure the longevity and safety of your citronella mosquito repellent, follow these storage and safety precautions:

  1. Store in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight. Exposure to sunlight and heat can degrade the efficacy of the essential oils.

  2. Keep the repellent out of the reach of children and pets. Although citronella is generally safe, it is important to exercise caution and prevent accidental ingestion.

  3. Perform a patch test before applying the repellent to larger areas of skin. Apply a small amount of the mixture to a small area of skin and wait 24 hours to check for any adverse reactions or allergies.

By following these steps and guidelines, you can create your own citronella mosquito repellent that is both effective and safe to use. Enjoy the outdoors without the annoyance of mosquitoes while enjoying the pleasant scent of citronella.


How do you make citronella mosquito repellent?

To make citronella mosquito repellent, you will need the following ingredients:
– 10 drops of citronella essential oil
– 2 tablespoons of carrier oil (such as coconut oil or almond oil)
– A small spray bottle

To prepare the repellent, follow these steps:

Start by pouring the carrier oil into the spray bottle.

Add 10 drops of citronella essential oil to the bottle.

Close the bottle tightly and shake it well to ensure that the oils are mixed thoroughly.

Your citronella mosquito repellent is now ready to use!

To use the repellent, simply spray it onto your skin, clothing, or surrounding areas where mosquitoes are present. Remember to reapply the repellent every few hours for maximum effectiveness.

Is citronella oil effective in repelling mosquitoes?

Yes, citronella oil is known for its effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes. It contains natural compounds that have been found to deter mosquitoes and other insects. While it may not provide complete protection against all mosquito species, citronella oil can help reduce mosquito bites when used properly.

Are there any precautions or considerations when using citronella mosquito repellent?

Yes, there are a few precautions and considerations to keep in mind when using citronella mosquito repellent:
– Citronella oil should not be applied directly to the skin without dilution. Always mix it with a carrier oil or use a commercial citronella-based repellent.
– Some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to citronella oil. It’s recommended to perform a patch test on a small area of skin before using it extensively.
– Citronella repellents may need to be reapplied more frequently than chemical-based repellents, as their effectiveness tends to last for a shorter duration.
– While citronella oil is generally safe for most people, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Can I make citronella mosquito repellent at home using fresh citronella plants?

While fresh citronella plants have a strong aroma that can help repel mosquitoes to some extent, making a highly concentrated repellent solely from fresh plants may not be as effective as using citronella essential oil. The essential oil contains higher concentrations of the active compounds that repel mosquitoes. However, you can still try crushing fresh citronella leaves and rubbing them on your skin or placing them in the vicinity to help deter mosquitoes.

Are there any other natural ingredients that can be combined with citronella to enhance mosquito repellent properties?

Absolutely! There are several other natural ingredients that can complement the mosquito repellent properties of citronella:
– Lemon eucalyptus oil: Like citronella, lemon eucalyptus oil contains compounds that repel mosquitoes. You can mix it with citronella oil and a carrier oil to create a more potent repellent.
– Lavender oil: Lavender has a calming scent and can also help repel mosquitoes. Combining it with citronella oil can create a pleasant-smelling repellent.
– Peppermint oil: Peppermint has a strong odor that mosquitoes dislike. Adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your citronella repellent can enhance its effectiveness.
Remember to always dilute these essential oils and perform a patch test before using them extensively.