Citronella Candles: Do They Really Work?

Citronella Candles: Do They Really Work?

Citronella candles are a popular choice for outdoor gatherings, promising to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay. But do these fragrant candles live up to their reputation? Let's dive into the science behind citronella and explore whether these candles are effective in repelling those pesky mosquitoes.

The Power of Citronella

Citronella is derived from lemongrass and is known for its strong, citrusy scent. It's a natural insect repellent and has been used for generations to ward off mosquitoes. Citronella candles work by releasing the aroma into the air, creating a barrier that interferes with mosquitoes' ability to locate their target.

Understanding Mosquito Repellency:

Mosquitoes are drawn to humans by the carbon dioxide we exhale, body heat, and certain scents. Citronella disrupts their ability to detect these cues, making it harder for them to find and bite us. While citronella doesn't kill mosquitoes, it acts as a deterrent, keeping them at a distance.

Effectiveness Factors:

1. Concentration: The effectiveness of citronella candles depends on the concentration of citronella oil in the wax. Higher concentrations typically provide better results.

2. Wind and Airflow: Citronella works by creating a protective barrier. Wind and strong airflow can disperse the scent, reducing its effectiveness. Placing candles strategically in less windy areas can enhance their performance.

3. Size of the Area: Citronella candles are most effective in smaller, confined spaces. Consider using multiple candles if you have a larger outdoor area.

Tips for Maximum Effectiveness:

- Use candles with at least 3% citronella oil concentration. Hampshire Candles all have 10%.
- Keep candles lit continuously for consistent protection.
- Position candles strategically, considering wind direction.
- Combine citronella candles with other mosquito prevention methods for comprehensive coverage.


Citronella candles can be an effective tool in your arsenal against mosquitoes, providing a natural and pleasant way to enjoy outdoor spaces. While they may not offer complete protection, when used correctly, citronella candles contribute to creating a more mosquito-resistant environment. Experiment with different concentrations and placements to find what works best for your outdoor activities.

Hampshire Candles Citronella Candle

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