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Does Lemongrass Repel Mosquitoes? Ultimate Guide

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Many natural remedies can help repel mosquitoes in the home, or garden, but does lemongrass repel mosquitos from attacking your body?

While some methods have limited effectiveness, many natural remedies can be highly effective at keeping you safe from the pesky bloodsuckers we know as mosquitoes.

It’s important to understand how each repellent works and how it can be used effectively.

Lemon grass as mosquito repellent works due to it containing citronella.

However, planting lemongrass plants around the house will not be particularly effective as a mosquito repellent.

For maximum effectiveness, a citronella oil spray will help keep mosquitoes at bay.

For this post, I’ve investigated various natural and eco-friendly options that – in my opinion – work best to repel mosquitoes. In particular lemon grass mosquito repellent.

I’ll explain this compound’s potential and how to prevent it from causing any issues for you or your pets.

Lemongrass Mosquito Repellent 1

What Is Lemongrass And Does It Repel Mosquitoes?

Lemongrass mosquito repellent contains lemon grass oil, a popular natural mosquito repellent.

Unsurprisingly its made from lemongrass plants, which are native to tropical and subtropical regions. The oil has a strong citrus smell.

If used under the right circumstances lemongrass is an excellent mosquito repellent, as backed up by this study published on PubMed .

There are many plant-based alternatives to traditional methods of mosquito deterrent substances.

Lemon grass mosquito repellent is one such substance that is effective against both mosquitoes and house flies.

Lemongrass oil has been tested in laboratories for its effectiveness against mosquitoes.

It has proven to be an active substance against the antennal olfactory receptor cells.

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Mosquitoes were shown to have increased responses to increasing doses of lemongrass oil.

The lemongrass plant, particularly the Cymbopogon Citratus, is a tall herb and contains citronella.

There has been a trend passed down through generations that we should grow lemongrass around our homes and gardens to keep mosquitoes at bay.

While this method can be effective to a certain degree, it possesses limited effectiveness if used only in this way.

Lemongrass Mosquito Repellent 2

Can Lemongrass Repel Mosquitoes in Plant Form Alone?

Not really, the best repellent is made from the oil in the plant. Simply having a living plant around the home will not be sufficient to repel mosquitoes as the oil is locked away within the plant.

To say that these natural remedies are repellent isn’t strictly true.

Lemongrass works by blocking the scents that mosquitoes can “smell”. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide and lactic acid scent that people emit.

So rather than repelling mosquitoes lemongrass and the citronella oil in it interrupt their ability to smell any humans in the vicinity, therefore, reducing the chances of them locking on to a target!

How Can Lemongrass Be Used Against Mosquitoes?

A lemongrass plant mosquito repellent i.e. using just the living plant would be ineffective in protecting against mosquitoes.

On its own, a lemon grass plant mosquito repellent would be ineffective, especially at repelling large populations of mosquitoes in homes that have become heavily infested.

While the plant contains mosquito-distracting citronella oil, the plant cannot release the oil into the environment while it is still alive.

The oil needs to be extracted to use the oil.

This can be done by boiling lemongrass in water before making it into a spray. Contrary to popular belief, burning lemongrass is not effective at repelling mosquitos.

All this will do is irritate the nose and create a bad smell.

To use lemongrass oil (citronella) as a mosquito repellent, simply apply a few drops to your skin or clothing.

You can also add a few drops to your diffuser to help keep mosquitoes away.

The oil from the plant can also be combined with other essential oils to create an effective supercharged deterrent that makes lemongrass repel mosquitoes and smell even nicer.

Does Lemongrass Keep Mosquitoes Away?

There is evidence that lemongrass as a mosquito repellent is effective.

One study showed that lemongrass oil was able to repel mosquitoes for up to two hours. Many commercial mosquito repellents contain citronella oil as their active ingredient.

A study published in the Journal of Insect Science found that lemongrass oil was more than three times as effective at repelling mosquitos than straight-up citronella oil!

And, unlike many chemical mosquito repellents, lemongrass oil is completely safe for both humans and animals.

So, if you’re looking for a natural way to keep mosquitoes at bay, reach for some repellent containing lemongrass oil the next time you go outside!

Lemongrass Mosquito Repellent 3

How Mosquitoes Can Be Controlled Naturally

Citronella and lemongrass aside, there are several ways to control the mosquito population in a home.

Certain plants such as catnip, pennyroyal, and rosemary are highly effective at preventing mosquitoes from causing a nuisance.

Flowering plants such as marigolds are also effective.

Introducing other animals into your garden can also be effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay.

This includes frogs, dragonflies, bats, and certain types of birds. Avoid having stagnant water on your property, as this can create a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Keeping lids on things like rainwater collection tubs can also help prevent mosquitoes from multiplying. Mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs in stagnant water, and this will quickly overload a home. 

Which Is Better Lemongrass or Citronella

When comparing lemongrass for mosquitoes and citronella, I would compare the two plants’ effectiveness in repelling mosquitoes from the home environment.

Despite the name, citronella plants actually have lower concentrations of citronella oil when compared to lemongrass.

Repellents containing lemongrass are generally considered the better option for preventing mosquito infestation.

Is Lemongrass Toxic To Pets?

Lemongrass is not considered toxic to dogs. However, a dog can become sick if they consume large amounts of lemongrass.

If your pet does consume a large amount of lemongrass or you suspect the cause of any vomiting or stomach issues is related to them eating lemongrass then consult your vet as soon as possible.

Small amounts of lemongrass or other essential oils are used in certain dog collars and sprays with very little potential for problems.

With cats, if they nibble small amounts of the lemongrass plant in your garden then don’t be alarmed.

But as above if they exhibit any symptoms after eating lemongrass or you are concerned, consult your local vet as soon as possible.

Are Citronella And Lemongrass The Same?

Citronella plants are actually a type of scented geranium. The citronella oil we know is an essential oil produced by the leaves and stems of lemongrass plants of the Cymbopogon genus.

Citronella and lemongrass are two different plants that both contain citronella.

The citronella in these plants masks the scents mosquitoes usually rely on to target their hosts. The citronella plant has a reddish stem, while lemongrass consists of a uniform green stem.

Why Do Mosquitoes Hate Lemongrass?

Mosquitos don’t necessarily hate the smell of lemongrass.

As mentioned above it’s more a case that their sense of smell is somehow blocked or overloaded by the smell of the citronella essential oils produced by the plant.

This then masks the presence of their prey!

Essential oil and other smells, including pine, camphor, catnip, eucalyptus, cinnamon, cedar, and rosemary can all have a similar effect.

Which Other Pests Does Lemongrass Repel?

Lemongrass contains Citral and geranyl acetate.

Both of these powerful substances are highly effective at repelling mosquitoes.

But does lemongrass repel bugs other than mosquitos?

Unsurprisingly perhaps, it can also help with other pests found around the house, including house flies, stable flies, fleas, ticks, and lice. Lizards, bees, and snakes are also repelled by lemongrass to a large extent.


To summarize, lemongrass and mosquitoes are not best friends, and that’s good news for us humans!

It’s important to remember that the plant alone will not be particularly effective.

To get the most out of lemongrass in terms of its mosquito-repellent properties, extract the citronella essential oils from the plant.

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Lemongrass oil can function as an excellent mosquito repellent in most circumstances. I use Wondercide – Mosquito Repellent with Lemongrass Oil a DEET-Free Plant-Based Bug Spray and Killer – Safe for Kids, Babies, and Family.