Heat summer time temperatures have everybody out in droves, together with the mosquitoes. We’ve all heard about West Nile virus, Zika and Malaria, so summer time is an effective time to seize not solely the sunscreen however the citronella candles too. Citronella is a standard identify for Cymbopogon nardus, a sort of perennial grass with lemon-scented leaves. Important oils distilled from the grass is usually used as a repellent towards mosquitoes, fleas and biting flies and is alleged to masks scents that entice the pests. The query is, does it work? And at what price? Let’s evaluate the professionals and cons of citronella for pest management.
Citronella Execs and Advantages
(Amy’s viewpoint) Sure, repellents that include DEET are more practical, however I are typically leery of names like diethylnetatoluamide, if solely as a result of I can’t pronounce them. Pronunciation apart, I discover that there are different advantages of citronella. Earlier than of us used citronella or DEET, they had been relegated to utilizing smoky fires or daubing themselves with mud to beat flying pests. Whereas these practices may go, they aren’t very sensible. So, in fact, individuals needed to discover a higher solution to repel bugs, particularly those that trigger painful, even lethal, bites. Enter citronella, the perfect insect repellent to date.
Utilizing citronella for pest management was really an accident, however it beat smelling like a campfire with mud plopping off your nostril, and I actually can’t see any purpose to not use citronella. Right here’s my reasoning.
It’s pure and been round a very long time. Oil of citronella is the energetic ingredient in merchandise equivalent to citronella candles. It’s derived from two varieties of perennial grasses which are cultivated and harvested for his or her important oils. It’s a pure product that has not been chemically altered. For lots of of years, it has been used medicinally, and right this moment, is utilized in a wide range of meals and drinks. Its insect repellence was by chance found in 1901 when it was used as a perfume in salon merchandise.
Conversely DEET is an artificial compound that outcomes from a response of toluic acid with thionyl chloride adopted by a response with diethyl amine that was first synthesized in 1955. I don’t have a doctorate in chemistry, so I want to make use of merchandise that come from nature, like grass, which I perceive. Anyway, citronella has 54 years of use on DEET, a confirmed monitor report.
Citronella is protected and unhazardous. One other citronella professional is it’s unhazardous, even to the bugs it’s repelling. It acts by masking scents, equivalent to carbon dioxide and lactic acid, which are engaging to pests. Few individuals have any form of allergic response to the oil, and even when ingested, citronella received’t have an effect on an individual negatively. It simply passes by way of the system the place it breaks down and is handed out within the urine.
The identical can’t be mentioned of DEET. Canada has restricted the quantity of DEET product can include, citing security issues. The EPA, nevertheless, classifies citronella as a biopesticide with a unhazardous mode of motion.
Cons – Causes To not Use Citronella
(Mary’s viewpoint) Don’t pin your hopes on citronella to repel pests, particularly in the event you’re touring to an space the place mosquitoes are identified to hold harmful ailments. If you happen to’re looking for a pure mosquito repellent, oil of lemon eucalyptus is more practical and has been permitted by the Meals and Drug Administration. Listed here are only a few disadvantages of citronella pest management:
Allergic reactions usually are not extraordinary. Citronella is regarded as protected, though some individuals could expertise a light allergic response to the eyes or pores and skin. Citronella shouldn’t be used on youngsters below six months of age except directed by a doctor. If you happen to use citronella on younger youngsters, watch out to not apply the substance to their arms as a result of they might rub it into their eyes or place their arms of their mouths.
Data concerning security and use is sketchy. Though it hasn’t been confirmed, some individuals suppose citronella shouldn’t be utilized to the pores and skin in any respect as a result of it might improve the guts fee in sure individuals. It could additionally trigger a light cough or throat irritation if ingested.
In accordance with america EPA (Environmental Safety Company), there may be little to no toxicity in citronella oil, and it poses no threat to people or animals. There may be additionally no threat to bees and different pollinators. Well being Canada, nevertheless, has expressed concern in regards to the disadvantages of citronella, particularly the security of making use of massive quantities of citronella merchandise used on the pores and skin.
The Nationwide Pesticide Data Heart in america advises use of widespread sense when utilizing citronella. For instance, don’t enable younger youngsters to use citronella by themselves.
Lack of scientific analysis. There aren’t lots of research to help the concept citronella really repels mosquitoes. At greatest, merchandise with a citronella base could maintain pests at bay, and should cut back bites by about half, however just for a few hours at most. The oils evaporate rapidly. Candles, which have a really weak focus of citronella, are literally of little or no use. As for crops, research point out they don’t work in any respect on their very own.
How Do the Advantages of Citronella Fare?
Ultimately, it’s protected to say that most individuals would like utilizing a unhazardous, pure product on their physique and that of their household. In truth, you don’t even have to use citronella to the pores and skin. It’s present in candles, sprays and wristbands. And though the repellency is brief time period, there are different methods to mitigate the variety of pests desirous to feast on you, equivalent to limiting time exterior at nightfall, eradicating any standing water the place mosquito larvae hatch, and sporting gentle coloured clothes. A mix of those and a citronella candle must be greater than sufficient to maintain you bug free and having fun with the summer time months.