Within the battle of you versus blood-sucking bugs, you most likely need to do every thing you possibly can to forestall painful, itchy mosquito bites this summer time. That often means defending your self with extra apparent ways, like making use of an insect repellent and avoiding peak mosquito hours (nightfall and daybreak).
Nonetheless, the pests can develop into insufferable while you’re attempting to get pleasure from your personal yard, so it’s possible you’ll need to take issues to the subsequent stage to try to repel them out of your garden. One common methodology? Many individuals put money into sure vegetation which might be mentioned to repel mosquitoes, like citronella grass.
However can including citronella vegetation round your house really hold mosquitos away out of your property, and extra importantly, your pores and skin? We requested entomologists (aka insect specialists) to weigh in.
What’s a citronella plant, precisely?
You’re most likely aware of citronella as a scent that reveals up in a variety of mosquito-repelling candles and torches, however that scent really comes from a plant referred to as Cymbopogon nardus. This plant is a member of the geranium household, they usually type of appear like spiky ferns.
“Citronella is the title of the important oil originating from these vegetation,” says Edward Walker, an entomologist at Michigan State College who researches mosquitoes. “When utilized to the pores and skin, it has some minor and short-term repellent properties in opposition to mosquitoes.”
So, do citronella vegetation work as a mosquito repellent?
If a citronella plant accommodates oils that repel mosquitos, then having the plant itself in your property will do the identical factor… proper?
Sadly, that’s not the case, says Walker, and he doesn’t suggest counting on citronella vegetation to repel mosquitoes, since conventional insect repellents are far simpler.
The Greatest Tick Repellents to Stop Bites
Are You Allergic to Mosquito Bites?
“In case you simply have the vegetation round, that’s not sufficient to maintain mosquitos away out of your yard except you will have so much,” provides entomologist Roberto M. Pereira, PhD, an insect researcher with the College of Florida.
Translation: Until you need to plant a citronella discipline in your yard, its repellent properties merely aren’t robust sufficient to utterly hold mosquitoes out of your yard. (Bummer, we all know.)
That doesn’t imply you’re completely losing your time in the event you use these citronella candles or torches, although. “The odor of citronella, in a extra concentrated means such as you get with a candle’s scent, is repellent,” Pereira says. Simply be aware that the smoke or scent really has to get between you and mosquito to maintain them away out of your pores and skin, which will also be difficult.
One of the best methods to maintain mosquitoes out of your yard (and off of you)
In case you occur to love the look of a citronella plant and need to have them round, there’s no hurt in doing so—simply don’t anticipate that they’ll repel mosquitos on their very own.
It’s best to nonetheless take different, simpler measures to maintain mosquitoes out of your yard to forestall bites that would result in potential mosquito-borne ailments, like West Nile or Zika virus. Specialists suggest the next:
Put money into an outside fan
Mosquitoes can’t fly in opposition to a breeze, so utilizing an outside fan is usually a actually efficient means of stopping them from coming close to you. Intention the air movement towards the decrease half of your physique, since mosquitoes are inclined to fly nearer to the bottom.
Rechargeable Outside Excessive Velocity Flooring Fan
Eliminate standing water
Blow-up swimming pools, chicken baths, and even water sitting round your vegetation are breeding floor for mosquitoes. Clear your yard of any standing water to maintain them from hovering round.
Put on a repellent
Walker recommends counting on good old school mosquito repellent utilized to your pores and skin and garments. It’s not as thrilling as a mosquito-combating plant, nevertheless it’s rather more efficient. Search for ones that comprise energetic components like DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, picaridin, or IR3535 (a variety of 10 to twenty p.c is stable).
Name within the professionals
In case you can’t stand the quantity of mosquitoes hanging round throughout your yard barbecue, hiring an expert to spray your yard with insecticide can take the burden off your shoulders.
Ought to you find yourself with disagreeable bumps anyway, attempt these house treatments to do away with mosquito bites.
Keep up to date on the newest science-backed well being, health, and diet information by signing up for the Prevention.com publication right here. For added enjoyable, observe us on Instagram.