If you want to avoid itchy and uncomfortable mosquito bites, whether in Los Angeles, Miami, or anywhere else in the world, one of the best ways to do so is by using a repellent.
However, many common repellents contain irritating chemicals such as DEET.
Natural repellents offer a safe and gentle alternative for keeping mosquitoes at bay.
Read on to learn more about how to make lemon grass mosquito repellent to keep you and your family free from bites this summer.
Also Read: How Do You Make Lemongrass Grow Tall?
How Does Lemongrass Repel Insects?
- Lemongrass, or Cymbopogon citratus, repels insects such as mosquitoes with its scent. It contains citronella oil, which is renowned for its repellent properties.
- Citronella oil boasts a bright, citrusy smell that’s attractive to humans, but not to pests like mosquitoes.
- Instead, mosquitos prefer smells that help them to locate their next meal. Bodily scents that we might consider unpleasant draw hungry mosquitoes toward our skin to feed.
- Citronella oil works to mask these scents, making it harder for mosquitoes to locate you. Instead, they may pass you over for a better-smelling meal.
- There are a variety of bodily scents that citronella oil is effective at blocking.
Also read: Why Is My Lemongrass Turning Purple? [Reasons & How to Fix]
- Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide we release into the air through our breath and our skin. All animals exhale CO2, so it helps mosquitoes to locate a supply of blood.
- The amount of carbon dioxide that we exhale varies from person to person. This difference is one reason why mosquitoes appear to gravitate towards some people more than others.
- Our breath also contains other biological compounds that can draw mosquitoes our way.
- Uric acid, fatty acids, octanol, and more can tell a mosquito that there’s a human blood supply nearby.
Check out: How Often Do You Water Lemongrass Plant
- Lactic acid is another natural human byproduct that can attract mosquitoes with its sharp, acrid scent.
- When we are active, our bodies break down carbohydrates into lactic acid to use for energy. We emit this lactic acid through our breath and our skin throughout the day.
- A buildup of lactic acid around your body can quickly attract a swarm of mosquitoes. The stronger the scent of lactic acid on your skin, the better you’ll smell to nearby mosquitoes.
- Fortunately, it’s easy to remove lactic acid buildup after intense activity. A quick, soapy scrub in the shower will remove much of it, helping to make you less attractive to mosquitoes.
Check out: Why Is My Lemongrass Turning Red? [How to Save]
- Human body odor can attract mosquitoes, especially after going a period of time without washing.
- Bacteria on our skin break down proteins in sweat, releasing byproducts that smell bad to our noses.
- To a mosquito, though, the odor from these biological compounds can signal their next meal.
- Keeping clean and wearing deodorants can help to deter mosquitoes attracted to body odor.
- However, keep in mind that certain colognes and perfumes may do more harm than good. Mosquitoes are particularly attracted to floral scents commonly found in fragrances.
Read: How to Grow Lemongrass From Stalk
- Many of us secrete compounds through our skin that can attract hungry mosquitoes.
- Around 80% of people secrete blood antigens, which can attract mosquitoes through scent. Antigens can show up in bodily fluids such as sweat and saliva.
- Some people also secrete sugars known as saccharides. These compounds can also attract mosquitoes alongside other unwanted pests.
- Mosquitoes rely on blood for sustenance, and they can smell it through our skin.
- Certain blood types are more attractive to mosquitoes, which means that you may have a genetic predisposition to getting bit.
- Mosquitoes tend to prefer feeding on people with Type O blood. O-positive is the most common blood type and is shared by over a third of people worldwide.
- Type A blood, on the other hand, is the least attractive blood type to mosquitoes. However, they will still happily feed on Type A blood when nothing else is available.
Also check: Is Lemongrass a Perennial?
How to Make Lemon Grass Mosquito Repellent
- If you want to keep the mosquitoes away this summer, you can make your own lemongrass mosquito repellent in just a few simple steps.
- There are a couple of different ways that you can use lemongrass to repel mosquitoes, including sprays, topicals, and candles.
- One of the easiest ways to use lemongrass as a repellent is by infusing water and making a spray.
- You can use either fresh lemongrass leaves or lemongrass essential oil to make a repellent spray.
- Bring a large pot of distilled water to a boil. Using distilled water reduces the likelihood of introducing contaminants that may cause your mixture to spoil with time.
- Add in a handful of fresh leaves or around 25 drops of essential oil for every 500 milliliters of water.
- Cover the pot and allow the mixture to boil for 10 to 15 minutes. When you remove the pot lid, the water inside should be a vibrant yellow color.
- Strain out any solid matter and transfer your mixture to a spray bottle. Make sure to remove organic material such as leaves to extend the shelf life of your repellent.
- Keep in mind that a concentrated oil will be harsher on the skin and respiratory tract than using plant matter.
- You should dilute essential oils using carrier oils for safety. However, sensitive individuals may be safer sticking to leaves and stalks.
Read: Is Lemongrass Safe for Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Lemongrass?
- You can make topical ointments using fresh lemongrass leaves to deter mosquitos.
- Applying lemongrass directly to your skin will mask the scent of compounds such as lactic acid, body odor, and skin secretions.
- Mosquitoes will be less likely to see you as a potential meal.
- Simply pluck some leaves from your lemongrass plant and either blend or grind them into a paste.
- You can apply this paste directly to your skin, or you can mix it with lotion for a gentler treatment option.
- It’s best to use fresh lemongrass for topical ointments rather than essential oils. Undiluted oils can irritate or even burn skin.
Check: How Do You Keep the Lemongrass Plant Healthy?
- Like citronella candles, the scent of a burning lemongrass candle can deter mosquitoes from flying around your vicinity.
- Candles offer a simple and skin-friendly way to repel mosquitoes, and you can easily take them with you wherever you go.
- Just remember to never leave a burning candle unattended and avoid lighting it in a dry outdoor environment.
- To make a lemongrass candle, first, find an appropriately-sized jar or bucket. You can find specialty candle containers in most craft or DIY stores.
- Affix a wick to the bottom of the candle container. For larger candles, you may want to add multiple wicks for maximum effectiveness.
- Using your microwave or stovetop, melt a generous amount of wax pastilles.
- Most candles are made of paraffin wax, but you can also find eco-friendly options containing materials such as:
- Palm oil
- Once your wax has melted to a liquid, you can add some lemongrass scent to the mixture. The easiest way to do this is by using lemongrass essential oil.
- It’s best to use around 20 drops of oil for every cup of wax that you use.
- If you use lemongrass leaves or a homemade extract, you may have to include more per cup for the same effect.
- Allow your candles to cool slowly to prevent cracking. It should take about 48 hours for candles to cure and harden completely.
Read: How to Care For a Lemongrass Plant [Useful Tips]
Lemongrass in Landscaping
- Adding lemongrass plants to your landscaping can help to deter mosquitoes from living and breeding around your property.
- It’s a good way to reduce local mosquito populations so that you and your family aren’t as likely to suffer from bites.
- Plant lemongrass around high-traffic areas such as pathways and patios. It can also help to line the edge of your perimeter with lemongrass.
- If you have any standing bodies of water such as a pond, adding lemongrass nearby can discourage female mosquitoes from laying eggs.
- Lemongrass is a resilient, hardy plant that’s easy to grow even for inexperienced gardeners. It thrives with access to full sun and loamy, well-drained soil.
- As a tropical plant, lemongrass doesn’t handle frost well. It grows best in USDA hardiness zones 8 and up.
Natural Mosquito Repellent Alternatives
- If you’re having trouble getting your hands on lemongrass, there are other plants that you can use to keep mosquitoes at bay.
- You can also add certain herbs and oils to your lemongrass mixture to make a stronger repellent. The best plants to use against mosquitoes include:
- Eucalyptus or lemon eucalyptus
- Lemon, lime, or other citrus fruits
- Tea tree
- All of these plants give off scents that repel hungry mosquitoes. You can plant them in your yard or use them in your homemade lemongrass mosquito repellent recipe.
Also, you may like the below more Gardening articles:
- Why Is My Hydrangea Not Growing? [8 Reasons & How to Care]
- Should You Deadhead Hydrangeas and How To
- How to Save a Dying Hydrangea [Easy Tips]
- What to Plant With Lemongrass
- Why Is My Lemongrass Leaves Turning Yellow?
- How to grow Lemongrass From Cuttings
- How To Grow Lemongrass From Seed Indoors
If you’re looking for an all-natural way to ward off pests, you may be wondering how to make lemon grass mosquito repellent.
The citronella oil in lemongrass plants provides a natural barrier that blocks scents such as carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and blood antigens, which may otherwise attract mosquitoes.
You can make a gentle, skin-safe repellent by turning lemongrass into a spray, a topical ointment, or a candle to keep the mosquitoes at bay this summer.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.