Citronella, does it actually deter insects?

I remember one chap in the Scouts you could smell him arriving, didnt seem to deter many insects. What do others think?

I use plug-in ones in the bedroom because mosquitoes buzzing around in the dark inches from my ears really annoy me. I have no idea whether they just move away from the citronella or die but for me the citronella works as I don’t get disturbed or stung when I’m asleep. I don’t like using them but couldn’t get through summer without them.

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In my experience citronella doesn’t work and neither do the plug-in repellers but perhaps northern insects are made of tougher stuff? :rofl: :rofl:

I use insectivorous plants - sundews (drosera) for mosquitos and pitcher plants (sarracenia) for flies and mosquito nets on allthe windows!

I fell for a lot of b/s for a mozzie repellant made from ‘genuine Javan citronella’. As if the rest are pants. It was rubbish.

“As supplied to the English Cricket team tour of the West Indies” Supplied? They probably just bunged them a couple of cases gratis.

Because my tour of the W.I. - Port of Spain, Trinidad to be precise - resulted in dozens of bites all over me - absolute misery - until I got the real stuff out - high concentrations of Deet.

We find citronella candles work- but it’s probably just the smoke TBH.


Define “works”. Yes the coils/candles do reduce the numbers - but they don’t create a mossie free zone

Some people swear by the personal sprays - personally didn’t rate them - compared to a good chemical repellent they’re pants.

Cant define as its too restrictive, rather have like yours what people have experienced.

Regarding citronella burners, maybe there are some brands that work and others that don’t? Any I’ve bought were hopeless. However some years ago I attended a party in a Cairo apartment which had enormous sliding doors onto the balcony (first floor so almost at street level). The host had put a single citronella coil slow-burning thingie in the middle of the wide open doors (about 20 feet of an opening?) and it kept us mozzie-free for the whole evening. I’m not sure if the same burner lasted all night or if it was replaced but there was only ever one burning (one at a time, that is). Normally, I’m the unlucky one the mozzies find and devour, but not a single bite that night . . . . . . .

We’ve got a slow-burning coil thingy and it does seem to be more effective than most - don’t think it’s citronella though :thinking:

Citronella costs… so , being cheapskates (low budget association)
we have used coffee grounds, smouldering, when doing evening, outdoor village meals…
seems to repel various fliers including wasps and mozzies…

I have a large jar all prepared for this summer… :+1:

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Those are great used outdoors in the terracotta lidded pots you can get for them.

Don’t let them smoulder away uncontained and unsupervised.

Must give off a pleasant aroma?

no-one complains… :+1:

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I’ve started to notice a few mossies around, so will be out with the plug in things with bottle of ‘liquid’ as they work very well for me, even though not so fond of having them in the bedroom. Also use a repellant spray that works well that I discovered when I was travelling alot to India. Having said all that, recently purchased some citronella essential oil to see if I can find a more natural way of fending them off this year!

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That’s interesting @letsmile . I changed from the older version with the smoke-generating tablets, much used in camping when I was younger, and found that they didn’t seem to work at all for me. Perhaps it depends on the brand :thinking:

The dreaded jungle-strength protection sprays do but they are horrible, and the (chemical) spiral smoke things for outside also work to some extent, but nothing else. It’s why I started growing carnivorous plants :rofl:

Last year, with a mass arrival of tiger mossies, we tried citronella spirals which were pretty good. We then couldn’t find them and I got some raid ones which were hopeless. We then started the coffee grounds as suggested on here and found that very good. This week I’ve started drying my grounds in preparation. I was doing some reading the other day and a suggestion I found was to use their breeding cycle against them. They have a 7-10 day cycle apparently so if you put out water for them, they lay then you tip it out day 7! I’m going to give it a go!


thanks for the 7day tip… I’ve been replacing every few days, certainly more often than once a week… now I can save a little of the precious liquid… :wink:

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Nothing precious about it round here at the moment! :roll_eyes:


Those are what I use. You can also get huge ones to hang up which are a conical coil.

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