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Top 2 Plant-Based Repellents for Mosquitoes: Lemongrass vs Citronella

Plant-Based Repellents for Mosquitoes: Which One is Best?Mosquitoes are the most dangerous animals on the planet, causing millions of deaths every year. They spread diseases like Malaria, Dengue fever, Zika virus, West Nile virus, and Chikungunya virus.

Most people use chemical repellents to keep mosquitoes away, but they can be harmful to humans and the environment. Plant-based repellents offer a natural alternative that is safe, effective, and eco-friendly.

In this article, we will explore two popular plant-based repellents: Lemongrass and Citronella. We will discuss their properties, differences, similarities, and their effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes.

Best Natural Repellent: Lemongrass or Citronella? Lemongrass and Citronella are both plant-based repellents that work through olfactory and contact, and gustatory repellency.

They both contain essential oils that have mosquito repellent properties. Lemongrass is a tropical grass of the Poaceae family and is native to India, Sri Lanka, and other parts of Asia.

Citronella, on the other hand, is of the same family and is commonly found in Central and South America, Africa, and Asia. Lemongrass oil contains citronella, geraniol, and limonene, which are effective in repelling mosquitoes.

Citronella oil has citronellal, citronellol, and geraniol, which have mosquito repellent properties. Laboratory studies show that both citronella and lemongrass oils can repel Aedes and Anopheles mosquitoes, two of the most dangerous mosquito species.

Do Mosquito Repellent Plants Really Work? Plants like lavender, rosemary, basil, and mint have been known to repel mosquitoes.

However, their effectiveness varies, and they are usually not as potent as essential oils. Burning candles and diffusing oils in a room can also help repel mosquitoes.

Personal protection measures like wearing long sleeves, pants, and using insect nets can also protect you from mosquito bites. What is Lemongrass?

Lemongrass is a tropical grass that grows in clumps and can reach up to 10 feet tall. Its leaves are long and slender, and its flowers are green and white.

Propagation of lemongrass can be done using seeds or by dividing clumps. They can also be grown in containers, making them ideal for small gardens or apartment balconies.

Lemongrass oil is extracted from the leaves and stems of the plant. What is a Citronella Plant?

Citronella is a clump-forming grass that can reach up to 6 feet tall. It has thick stems, narrow leaves, and brownish-red flowers.

The plant grows from rhizomes and prefers rainfall and moisture. They can also be grown in pots and containers in areas with low rainfall.

Citronella oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant, specifically Cymbopogon nardus and Cymbopogon winterianus varieties.

Similarities between Lemongrass and Citronella

Both lemongrass and citronella belong to the Cymbopogon genus of the Poaceae family. They are both tropical and subtropical plants that have culinary, perfumery, medicinal, and pest control uses.

They are both used in food preparation, especially in Asian and African cuisines. They are also used in perfumes, soaps, and candles due to their pleasant scent.

In medicine, they are used as analgesics, anticonvulsants, and anxiolytics. Both plants are popular mosquito repellents due to their essential oils.

Difference between Lemongrass and Citronella

Lemongrass has a purplish-red stem, while citronella has thick, brownish stems. Lemongrass has a lemony scent, while citronella has a citrusy scent.

In terms of root systems, lemongrass has a deeper, more extensive root system that is better at water and nutrient absorption, making it more drought-tolerant than citronella. Citronella, on the other hand, has a more shallow root system and needs more frequent watering.

In the wild, lemongrass can survive better than citronella in drier and more arid environments.

Medicinal Purposes of Lemongrass Oil and Citronella Oil

Lemongrass oil has analgesic, anticonvulsant, and anxiolytic properties. It is used to treat flu, digestive problems, bowel, indigestion, flatulence, intestinal problems, parasites, cramps, and gastritis.

It also has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiprotozoal properties, making it useful in treating skin infections, cuts, and wounds. Citronella oil is also used to treat headaches, fever, and muscle spasms.

It can also be used in treating gastrointestinal disturbances and other digestive issues. Which Is Better Lemongrass or Citronella?

A laboratory experiment showed that both lemongrass and citronella oils have an equal repellence ability against Aedes and Anopheles mosquitoes. Both plants are effective mosquito repellents and can be used interchangeably.

To maximize their effectiveness, it is recommended to use a combination of essential oils like lemongrass, citronella, lavender, and eucalyptus.

How to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard

The first step in keeping mosquitoes out of your yard is to remove all potential mosquito habitats. This includes stagnant water in yards, debris, and containers like cans, buckets, and garden pots.

Clean gutters and downspouts regularly to prevent water from collecting. Remove leaves, twigs, and other debris that obstruct gutters and drains.

Keep the yard clean and free from unnecessary clutter. Use mosquito repellents if necessary while gardening or spending time in your yard.


In conclusion, lemongrass and citronella are both effective natural mosquito repellents. They have many properties and benefits that make them useful in medicine, cuisine, perfumery, and pest control.

Both plants have some similarities and differences, but both offer potent and safe alternatives to chemical repellents. By taking necessary precautions in removing mosquito habitats, anyone can keep mosquitoes at bay, making your time outdoors enjoyable and safe.

In conclusion, natural plant-based repellents like lemongrass and citronella provide an effective, safe and eco-friendly alternative to chemical mosquito repellents. Their mosquito repellent properties have been proven in laboratory studies, marking them as a powerful addition to our arsenal against the most dangerous animal on the planet.

We also learned about their different properties, similarities, and medicinal uses, making them versatile additions to our households. Lastly, by removing all potential mosquito habitats in our yard, we can stop mosquitoes from breeding, making our outdoor activities safe and enjoyable.

Using these natural alternatives and preventative measures, we can protect ourselves and keep our surroundings habitable.

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