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If you’ve come across this aromatic grass, we guess that a lot of people may have told about its ability to ward off mosquitoes. But is this true? Does lemongrass repel mosquitoes? And can planting it around your house do some good? Read on to find out.
Lemongrass has citronella oil in it. CC Image courtesy of Mokkie on Wikipedia
Citronella comes from lemongrass
Many people often mistake where citronella comes from and what it actually is. What most homeowners don’t know is that citronella may be the grassy plant that we place in our yards in the hopes of deterring blood-sucking mosquitoes. But it’s also the name of the oil that comes from Cymbopogon, a group of lemongrass that are found in Africa, Australia, Asia and in some tropical islands around the world. So basically, the citronella plants that the citronella oil is taken from are all just different types of lemongrass.
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Lemongrass can repel mosquitoes
One of the many kinds of lemongrass that we use for cooking is Cymbopogon citratus, a tall herb with pointy leaves and an incredibly powerful lemony scent. This herb is a staple for Asian cuisine, but it has been gaining popularity in western countries because many cooks are attracted to how aromatic it is.
Since C. citratus is classified under Cymbopogon, it has concentrations of citronella inside it, so it’s obvious that this lemongrass can repel mosquitoes. But for references’ sake, it’s important to note that this plant is supported by a Thai study published on the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine and a 2016 study from The International Journal of Research – Granthaalayah.
However, C. citratus can only do this for minute infestations. The plant can’t win against mosquito-driven places like swampy areas. And this leads us to how you’re supposed to use it.
How to use lemongrass to repel mosquitoes
Now that you know where citronella comes from. Let’s talk about how you can use this oil inside the common lemongrass. Here’s what you need to know:
- The living plant can’t completely repel mosquitoes. You can’t just plant lemongrass somewhere and enjoy a mosquito-free home. Like we’ve mentioned, this grass can’t repel heavily infested homes. That’s because even though it contains citronella, it doesn’t release all its oil to the environment when it’s still alive. You’d have to vigorously plant a lot of lemongrass if you want to see actual results.
- Make a lemongrass spray. So to make use of the citronella oil in the lemongrass, why not make a spray out of it? Put some water and lemongrass into a pot, and boil it until the water turns yellow. Cover the pot; put it in one corner, and let it sit overnight. After that, put the mixture in a medium-sized spray, and use it to scatter mosquitoes in the house.
- Burning lemongrass doesn’t work. You might think that burning lemongrass might put off mosquitoes with its smell. But doing this can irritate your nose and leave your house a bad smell that can last for hours – and that’s with no guarantee that the mosquitoes will even leave.
- Combine lemongrass oil with other essential oils. What’s great about home remedies is that you can experiment on them. So try combining many essential oils with lemongrass. You might come across something that’s really effective. Use the oils in this list for reference.
So does lemongrass repel mosquitoes? Generally, it does. But if you’re looking for something that can impact a heavy infestation, this plant may not be what you’re looking for. You may have to resort to other treatments to save your family from these disease-carrying blood suckers.
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