Newest Review: ... really being bothered by insects while I am away but I do buy the candles a lot. Citronella candles are great are stopping insects from ... more
Natural insect repellent
Member Name: jipp05
Advantages: More natural and less harmful, candle is effective
Disadvantages: The spray makes me feel a bit sick and the plug in didn't work for me
Citronella is an oil that is derived from the Cymbopogon nardus plant and has a few different functions but almost exclusively it is used as a natural insect repellent. It repels flying insects such as flies and mosquitos so is often used as a more natural alternative to other chemical based repellents as it has minimal side effects.
I have personally used Citronella for years in different preparations especially when I am going on holiday. You can buy it on a spray to spray on clothing and skin and it is also widely available in citronella candles. I don't often buy the spray unless I am really being bothered by insects while I am away but I do buy the candles a lot.
Citronella candles are great are stopping insects from ruining your night out on a balcony or terrace as they really do work to help keep insects to a minimum. When it is dark and you are sitting outside on a terrace or balcony you can be swarmed by insects which does ruin the relaxing environment but they really do seem to hate this stuff so if you light a candle most of them should stay away so that you are not bothered as badly.
It is not as effective as using a fly spray to kill the little blighters but it is much more environmentally friendly and not as damaging to us humans and other animals. It is much better at just keeping them at bay rather than killing them. Some flies and mossies will be braver than the rest and still come to you but I find the majority of them will stay away and I don't mind swatting a few it is when there is a swarm of them that I don't like.
As well as the candle and the spray you can also buy plug ins which are supposed to keep the insects away while you are sleeping. I have only used one of these once but really didn't find it effective in helping to keep the room clear and think that the candles are much better and more effective.
Citronella is lemon scented but it has a funny tinge to it which I just don't like. I wouldn't use the spray unless I had to as I find that when it is that close to my skin and nose it actually makes me feel nauseous but in candle form the scent is less offensive to me and I find it bearable and occasionally it can even be pleasant as long as it isn't in an enclosed space. Some people I know love the smell of citronella and use it almost as an air freshener but for me it is a smell that isn't particularly pleasant.
Citronella is a good alternative to chemical insect repellents. It is quite effective though not as much as DEET but for something natural it does help and I really do think the candles work wonders outside in summer to help keep insects to a minimum.
Summary: A natural insect repellent
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