Jul
24

Citronella

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citronella repelsCitronella and Mosquitoes

Summer time, the period of the year when we all enjoy outdoor festivities.  Whether they be parties, cookouts, hiking, gardening, or just relaxing by the pool; we find reasons to be outside.  We love the gorgeous weather and the warming sun rays.  However, with the fun in the sun that we all seek, with it also comes the dreaded mosquitoes.

When the weather gets warm, these uninvited pesky critters seem to always show up in droves.  Invading not only our space, but feeding off us and our families.  The results of their feast, itchy, red, swollen bumps on our skin.

Mosquitoes have been in existence some 170 million years.  In the United States, there are currently over 175 different species accounted for.  It is safe to say that they are not going to be going any where soon, but there are measures that we can take to help ward off these insects.

Citronella has been known to repel mosquitoes for a long time. Burning citronella candles around the yard or applying bug repelling spray to ourselves can usually do the trick.  But have you ever wondered how this works exactly?

Just like a primal animal, mosquitoes are on the hunt for one thing: FOOD.  And, we are that food source.  Drawn to carbon dioxide (from our exhaling) uric acid (from our blood), and lactic acid (from our sweat glands), insects like mosquitoes are able to smell us up to an amazing 164 feet away.  Once those delectable scents are picked up by the mosquitoes, they are then able to locate us to feed.

It is commonly thought that the scent of citronella repels mosquitoes away.  In fact, studies have shown that when the citronella aroma is in an environment, mosquitoes will land around 40% less times than when it is not present.  But, the fact is mosquitoes will still land.  This is why citronella does not necessarily repel.

Instead, citronella masks.  What this means is that when the scent of citronella (whether by means of a candle or a body spray) is present the 3 most common drawing factors of mosquitoes (carbon dioxide, uric acid, and lactic acid) are covered.  It is almost as if the mosquitoes no longer have the ability to sense us anymore.  And, since they cannot smell us, they will move on to “sweatier pastures” so to speak.

Sure, any of your local grocery stores or super markets have aisles of outdoor summer time displays hosting many different bug repelling products that you can purchase.  You however can make your very own insect repelling/masking items right from your home.  You will know exactly what is in the product, and you will also save money by doing it yourself.

Natures Garden currently has four different citronella oils available.  There is the straight citronella scent, or the citronella java essential oil.  Both of these oils can be viewed by clicking on the individual link.  For those of you that do not like how the scent of straight citronella smells, we also have citronella options for you.  Citronella Berry fragrance oil is a sweeter version of citronella.  This fragrance contains the essential oil of citronella with the combined fruity notes of strawberry, mandarin, and raspberry.  There is also Lime Citronella fragrance oil.  This wonderful fragrance oil is the combination of essential oil of citronella and notes of lemon, fresh lime, and white flowers.

Now, if you are interested in viewing possible candle and body products that you can make with these scents, here are three of Natures Gardens finest bug repelling recipes.  By clicking on the link, you will be able to see the recipe.  Each recipe has the step by step instruction as well as all of the items listed that you will need to make them.
Citronella Soy Wax Candle Recipe
Bug Repelling Candle Recipe
Bug Repelling Body Spray Recipe

These recipes are all easy to make and take very little time to accomplish.  They are great ways to ward off mosquitoes and keep you and your family mosquito bite free this summer.

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