…That is also NOT poison!
I spent literal days trying to find a way to protect my family from the mosquitoes in our yard. I tried…
Tiki torches with citronella fuel
Store purchased spray that was supposedly natural (It wasn’t)
Multiple different recipes utilizing essential oils from around the web. Citronella, peppermint, geranium, lemongrass, and more.
The tiki torches had me sold, especially with the claim on the bottle of the “bitefighter” stuff.
We ended up buying 4 tiki torches and set them up in a square 5 feet from one another, with 3 candles in the middle, and various sprays in conjunction with everything else.
They didn’t even seem to do anything!
I was about ready to cover my daughter’s and my exposed skin with mud as I refuse to use poison.
After probably hundreds of Google searches, of different tactics, like which plants could be planted in our yard, attracting dragonflies, even building a bat box to attract those to the yard. After reading through hundreds of pages of info and tons of recipes etc. I decided to start doing some research on using diffusers to repel mosquitoes and I finally came across a couple scientific studies testing the efficacy of citronella.
I came across the following study: Efficacy of the botanical repellents geraniol, linalool, and citronella against mosquitoes
Indoor Study Results
- Citronella candles - 14%
- Citronella diffusers - 68%
- Candles reduced them by 50%
- Diffusers reduced them a whopping 97%
- Diffusers - 93%
Outdoor Study Results at 6m (about 20 feet)
- Citronella diffusers - 22%
- Linalool diffusers - 58%
- Geraniol diffusers - 75%
All of the tests were measuring female mosquitoes, which are the only ones that feed on blood. Males feed on nectar from plants.
Geraniol is a monoterpenoid and an alcohol. It is the primary component of rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil. - Wikipedia
Linalool is a floral and spicy terpene alcohol. It is found in over 200 plants such as citrus fruits and lavender. Concentrations of linalool above 20 ppb have been shown to give a fruity hoppy aroma to beer. - ScienceDirect
So… Why Citronella?
It really blew my mind that outside, the citronella diffusers only had an efficacy of 22% at 20 feet. The really crazy thing is that this study used a 5% concentration of citronella and didn’t even reduce them by 25%. That bitefighter garbage is not even a quarter of a percent.
That is literally 25x less than the amount they used to get that minuscule 22% efficacy. Admittedly, it does also have cedar oil, but according to this study, cedarwood oil literally provides zero reduction in mosquitoes at 10%.
According to the study, Clove oil and Geranium oil, or Clove oil with Thyme oil at 50% concentrations each did provide an undisclosed amount of protection for up to 2.5 hours.
How Can I Use Geraniol and or Linalool?
Since I had a big thing of that useless bitefighter stuff, I simply added some geraniol to the fuel.
The study used a 5% concentration, and the tiki torches I have are equipped with 12oz fuel canisters.
12oz is equal to 354ml.
1 Teaspoon is just under 5ml.
5% of 350 is 17.5.
That would be about 3 teaspoons per 12oz of liquid to acheive a 5% solution
I Decided to start low, and simply mixed in 1.5 Teaspoon with 12oz of the useless (not anymore!) fuel.
I Was Absolutely Blown Away!
So far I’ve only used them for about a day, but with one torch lit, and it seems to be effective probably about 50 feet away. This is a drastic improvement compared to having 4 lit and them not doing anything, even five feet away.
One of the 4oz bottles should last pretty long. You can make about 16 of the 12oz canisters full with a 4oz bottles, probably a couple more if you reduce the amount a tiny bit. 1 Teaspoon is probably very effective as well. I’ll update this post with more info about that soon.
Where To Buy It
I have only tried using Geraniol, but according to the study, Linalool is about 2/3 as effective as geraniol. I bought a bottle of each, planning on mixing the two at lower concentrations, but will need to update on my escapades in the future with different recipes.
I will be doing some experiments with different recipes for bug spray, and flea/tick preventative in the next few days. Check back soon if your interested in those recipes.
Both Geraniol and Linalool are pretty cheap on Amazon, no prime shipping for either. Linalool has free shipping, Geraniol cost me $6 to ship.
Here are my affiliate links for both of them. If you enjoy reading things like this then please consider bookmarking the link and using it to make your amazon purchases, as it’ll not cost you anything and pay me a tiny amount.
TLDR: Linalool is more than twice as effective as citronella, and Geraniol is almost 4 times as effective when used in a diffuser.
Let me know how it works for you in the comments, and stay healthy!
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