With summer on the horizon, it is time to stockpile your summer essentials. Sunscreen, summer clothes, beachwear, and bug repellent are all necessary things to make your summer as good as possible. When it comes to bug repellent though, the challenge is in finding a natural and safe mosquito repellent. Most mosquito repellents these days are made with chemicals that you certainly do not want to put on your skin, which is why natural is best. What you may not know though is that your natural mosquito repellent may be planted right in your backyard. Experts are now saying that Citronella Grass may just be one of the best options for natural mosquito repellent.
What is Citronella Plant?
Scientifically known as Cymbopogon nardus and commonly referred to as lemongrass is one of the most popular and natural ways to repel mosquitoes. While the plant itself does not repel the mosquitoes, the plant's essential oils are what do. These oils are also found in commercial candles due to their fragrant and soothing properties. Citronella is a type of perennial plant that can reach heights of about 5 to 6 feet. The great thing about this plant is that it can be placed within the home or planted in your yard, thus effectively keeping away mosquitoes.
Where Citronella Grass Grows
Citronella grass is native to tropical climates, most commonly growing in India and Asia. Due the plant's highly fragrant and citrus flavor, these cultures use this plant in their cuisine and in many of their beauty products. A great feature regarding the growth of this plant is that it is extremely versatile. It can be grown nearly anywhere in the United States, which is why many homes have been placing them in their yard and even indoors.
The key to growing this plant though is sunlight, as it thrives when it is in direct contact with light. If you decide to plant it in your yard, keep in mind to also choose a location where it gets an average amount of water and where the land is fertile. Once planted, no further maintenance is needed. If you decide to grow the plant indoors, simply place in a large pot and place in a sunny area of the home.
How it Repels Mosquitoes
The citronella plant's replant properties come from the plant's extremely fragrant oil. When placed in your garden or indoors, the plant produces this oil, which then creates a citrus aroma. Mosquitoes are unable to handle this aroma, which is why they are repelled. Unfortunately though, while this plant keeps the mosquitoes away, it does not kill them. If you are looking to exterminate mosquitoes in your home, simple traps are also effective. For the best results, it is recommended that you place the plant in areas that you most frequent. This way, the chances that you will get stung by a mosquitoes reduce dramatically. If putting this plant in your home or yard is unappealing, then you can also use candles and products that contain citronella oil. The oil placed in products does the same job and works just as well as using the plant does.
This plant can be found at nearly any home and garden store. Prior to its use as a mosquito repellent, the plant was relatively cheap, costing about $30-$40 on average. Currently, due to demand and repellent properties, a plant now runs about $90 on average. While this may be a bit costly for a shrub, for many its repelling properties are worth the cost. If you do not want to buy the shrub, you can also purchase the plant's oils, which can run anywhere from $20-$50, depending on how pure the oil is and which brand is selling it. Regardless of your decision, both are great investments if you are looking to keep pesky mosquitoes away.
As a natural way to rid the home of mosquitoes, citronella use has become extremely widespread. Dozens of products like candles, fragrances, and mosquito-repelling products use citronella. In addition, the increased demand can also be noted through the increase in price for the plant. In 2013, the average cost has risen about $50 dollars, making this plant an expensive but worthwhile investment, especially if you have a mosquito problem in your home.
If you are looking for a natural way to repel mosquitoes, then buying yourself a citronella plant for your indoor space or yard is a great solution. You can also buy products that contain this plant's oils, as they also get the job done. The greatest thing about his plant is it sure is an excellent option compared to using harmful and damaging chemicals that other non-natural repellents contain.
By Eszter Hazai, PhD Google+