Last Updated on January 16, 2023 by Grow with Bovees
What Is Citronella, and Where Does It Come From?
Citronella is naturally occurring and is harvested primarily from the leaves and stems of lemongrass, also known as Cymbopogon.
Natural Citronella Oil is one of many essential oils that is a well – known natural repellent against insects and other animals. Other than being a good natural insect repellent, it also comes with several other useful advantages, but, the question is, does citronella repel bees and wasps?
These essential oils have got good antifungal functions and inhibit bacterial growth. It is also known to have antiseptic properties and to have a positive effect against free radicals.
It is also commonly used in the production of cosmetics, as a fragrance, and also as a flavoring agent in foodstuffs and beverages.
Now that we are clear about what citronella is, we will be looking at how effective it is in keeping bees and wasps away and how it can be best applied to repel bees and to repel wasps.
Is Citronella an Effective Bee/Wasp Repellent?
There are several methods of applying citronella to repel bees and wasps. It is most definitely effective at repelling bees and wasps and is the preferred method, as it is much healthier than other chemical repellents and pesticides.
Below are several proven methods to repel these pests that are more effective than crushed citronella leaves around the house and garden:
Citronella oil can be applied to the skin by rubbing it on. The heavy citronella scent might be slightly overwhelming and unpleasant, but it certainly keeps the bees away.
Mixing this oil with eucalyptus oils and peppermint oil in a spray bottle can be used as a repellent detergent and is a good homemade bee/wasp repellent. Peppermint essential oil will have your home smelling good as well.
You can also add tea tree oil or white vinegar, as these are all essential oils known to deter bees and other stinging insects.
Burn citronella candles on your patio table or around your barbecue area. This is a good way of keeping bees/wasps away.
The candle will also produce some smoke, which makes the candle an even better option, as bees also dislike smoke. Just light citronella candles and keep your place free of bees and wasps.
Citronella torches allow you to burn the oil. These torches burn with bigger flames than the candles and tend to be extremely effective against bees.
They should only be used outdoors however, as they release quite a strong scent of citronella. These are also excellent mosquito repellents.
Citronella Wrist Bands
A citronella wristband around the wrist and ankle, is fairly effective at keeping bees/wasps at a safe distance. Apart from that, they have a nice and subtle citrus scent.
Planting a citronella plant or citronella grass inside your home or around your garden is a perfect way of keeping your garden looking green and keeping bees/wasps away.
They naturally produce the smell of citronella and count as one of the best citronella control methods when it comes to unwanted pests and insects. These plants are also much better than pitcher plants, as they are not lethal.
The characteristic smell of citronella is what you need, bees and wasps hate it.
So, if you have a problem with these pests, you can probably pick up any of these citronella oil-based products at your local camping outfitter or hardware store. Or else, the most cost-effective method is to just crush citronella leaves and keep them around.
These are just some of many natural methods and natural repellents that can be used to repel wasps and bees. Always use natural repellents to repel bees and repel wasps.
How Does Citronella Repel Bees and Wasps?
Citronella has been used as a natural insect repellent for many years and, regardless of the form of citronella, all types of applications seem to be fairly effective at keeping away bees and wasps.
Wasps and particularly bees, have a very acute sense of smell. The main reason it is such an effective repellent is because they strongly detect the smell of citronella. The oil has a very strong floral scent.
It is commonly used in pesticides and chemical repellents. However, these are often harmful to the environment as they contain harmful chemicals.
Therefore, it is always more advisable to use natural repellent solutions such as the ones listed above. The strong smell of citronella released from the aforementioned products, is an excellent repellent.
Is Citronella Harmful to Bees or Wasps?
The efficacy of citronella has been made clear, and therefore it is important to make clear: Does citronella harm bees/wasps?
As the product is completely natural and does not contain any chemical additives, it is 100% safe for bees and wasps and does not harm at all.
It is safe for all types of pests and its purpose is simply to keep them away using the strong scent that is disliked by bees/wasps and does not harm them directly.
Additionally, citronella is safe for the environment and comes with a host of other benefits. The citrus smell of citronella and the smell of other essential oils is also a good way of keeping away other pests, like mosquitoes.
Relocating Bees or Wasps, Should Citronella Fail?
It is definitely not recommended. Relocating bees and getting rid of a wasp nest is extremely dangerous and should only be done by a professional beekeeper or pest control expert.
If your desired bee repellent or wasp repellent is not working and the smell from citronella oil products does not keep these pests away indefinitely, it may be wise to contact someone that can relocate your bees for you, or get rid of your wasp nest.
This is the better option anyway if you have a big hive or large nest somewhere close to your home.
What is important is that you call in the experts at this point and do not try and move a colony of bees or wasps by yourself. Enough bee stings can be fatal and if you don’t know what you are doing, equally, wasp stings are no joke.
Beekeepers and bee handlers are very good at moving the entire colony safely, giving you a bee free environment and giving the bees a new home.
As far as wasp nests go, make sure it is an active nest and if so, call in a pest control specialist to take care of the problem for you.
All in all, honey bees and wasps such as yellow jackets are usually not dangerous, but if there are too many of them because you have a great garden that tends to attract them, or you have a bee or wasp allergy, it may be a good idea to take certain steps to avoid increased contact with these pests, whether it be in your house or outside.
Does citronella repel bees and wasps? Citronella for the treatment against bees and wasps has been proven effective, and it will also help with mosquitoes. It will deter wasps and other insects effectively.
As listed above, citronella products are excellent bee repellents and should be used as a good alternative to chemical repellents and pesticides that might be harmful to bees or wasps and dangerous for the environment to minimise pest activity.
The efficacy of citronella plants, particularly potted citronella plants indoors, has proven to be an excellent animal repellent against bees and wasps and can be quite beautiful as well.
Remember, relocating bees or getting rid of wasp nests should never be attempted without experience or a trained professional as this may be potentially dangerous for you and definitely dangerous for the bees.
The smell of peppermint or lemongrass oil or other essential oils in the garden is also a good way of keeping these pests away and are all an active ingredient in homemade pest sprays.