We know how important creating a comfortable, beautiful outdoor space is to our customers. Part of that comfort comes from not having to deal with mosquitoes, but you shouldn't have to compromise on style to keep them away. That's why we work so hard to create products that not only look great in your yard but also help reduce annoyance from mosquitoes.
We don’t just take citronella for granted as a commonly-known mosquito repellent; we are committed to testing our products to make sure they work as intended. That’s why we partnered with a professional product testing laboratory, which specializes in measuring mosquito repellency, to test our outdoor/indoor AquaFlame color-changing fountains with our AquaFlame citronella essential oil.
Luckily, the lab has found a way to attract and count mosquitoes that doesn’t involve using actual humans as bait! Here’s how it works. We humans produce carbon dioxide (CO2) when we exhale, so the lab uses a machine that emits CO2 to attract mosquitoes instead. Researchers place the machine in a special testing room and surround it with a screen called the “bait cage.” A curtain with a clear acrylic window separates the researchers from the bait cage during the test, allowing them to count the number of mosquitoes landing on the bait cage. Researchers release 135 mosquitoes into the room, activate the CO2 machine, and count the number of mosquitoes landing on the bait cage at various points throughout the test.
The researchers gathered three sets of measurements for our AquaFlame test: baseline mosquito activity 15 minutes after the bait was activated, mosquito activity for 60 minutes with no repellent present, and mosquito activity for 60 minutes after placing an activated AquaFlame containing water and 10 drops of our high purity AquaFlame citronella oil in the testing room. Mosquito activity is the number of mosquitoes that are attracted to the CO2 machine and land on the bait cage. We would expect the tests with the AquaFlame to have fewer mosquitoes landing on the bait cage than the tests with no repellent present.
The lab repeated the tests with and without AquaFlame four times each and calculated the average reduction in mosquito activity compared with the 15-minute baseline measurement, to see how much more effective AquaFlame is than no repellent at all. AquaFlame’s average repellency over 60 minutes is 29% versus 15% for no repellent. AquaFlame performs best starting at 30 minutes after activation. The researchers found a 32% reduction in mosquito activity at 30 minutes and a 42% reduction at 60 minutes, with peak repellency of 49% occurring at 45 minutes. This pattern is true of many citronella products and is why we recommend a brief “warm-up” period for your citronella candles, torches, and AquaFlames. While you should never leave a burning candle or torch unattended, it’s perfectly safe to leave an AquaFlame activated with citronella on your patio for 30 minutes to reduce mosquito presence before heading outside yourself. If you're interested in more details, you can read the report from the lab here.
Keep in mind, these results are for a single AquaFlame – the repellent effect will be enhanced as you add more citronella products to your outdoor space, especially on calm days without much breeze. For best results, we recommend using multiple citronella products, spaced 18 inches apart, around the perimeter of your outdoor space within three feet of where people will gather. For more about this check out our blog post on how to set up a “Barrier of Protection.” Those citronella products can be candles, torches filled with citronella torch fuel, or of course AquaFlames with citronella essential oil! So take your pick – we have a ton of options for citronella products to reduce the annoyance from mosquitoes without harsh chemicals that will add to your outdoor space, letting you decorate Your Yard, Your Way!