With summer right around the corner, mosquitoes will soon be out in full force. These pesky insects aren’t just annoying with their incessant buzzing and biting – they can also carry dangerous diseases like Zika, West Nile, malaria, and more. That’s why it’s so important to protect yourself from mosquito bites when spending time outdoors. While DEET-based bug sprays are often effective, many people prefer to use more natural remedies to repel mosquitoes. This leads to the question – do any Bath and Body Works products actually keep mosquitoes away?
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
Before exploring mosquito-repelling scents, it’s helpful to understand what attracts mosquitoes in the first place. Female mosquitoes (males don’t bite!) are drawn to carbon dioxide, warmth, sweat, lactic acid, floral scents, and more. They use an array of sensory organs to detect these cues that a human may be nearby. Mosquitoes are especially drawn to people with higher body heat and those who emit more carbon dioxide when breathing.
Pregnant women and people who drink alcohol also tend to be more attractive to mosquitoes. When you understand what attracts mosquitoes, it becomes easier to figure out how to avoid them.
Do Citronella Candles Repel Mosquitoes?
One of the most common natural scents associated with mosquito repellency is citronella. Citronella candles and citronella essential oils are often used as a way to repel mosquitoes without synthetic chemicals. However, research shows that citronella candles are not very effective when used on their own. One study found that citronella candles only provided 42 minutes of protection before mosquitoes would start biting again.
The reason citronella candles fall short is because the aroma dissipates very quickly outdoors. For continuous protection, the citronella scent needs to remain concentrated around the area you want to protect. Another issue is that mosquitoes become desensitized and learn to ignore citronella after awhile.
So while citronella candles may provide a little bit of protection, they should not be relied on to prevent mosquito bites for long periods of time outdoors.
Do Essential Oils Work?
Instead of candles, some people use essential oils made from plants like citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, cedarwood, tea tree, clove and more. These oils are highly concentrated versions of the scents from these plants. Could a diluted mixture of essential oils be more effective than candles?
Unfortunately, research on essential oils for mosquito bite prevention is still quite limited. However, there is some evidence showing promise:
– A 2002 study found a formulation of soybean oil with just 1% citronella oil provided complete protection from several mosquito species for up to 4 hours. Pure citronella oil provided protection for up to 2 hours.
– In 2013, a study tested several plant essential oils against two mosquito species. Citronella and clove oils performed the best, providing over 3 hours of protection before requiring reapplication.
– In India, research found that neem oil provided 96-100% protection against certain malaria-carrying mosquitoes for 12 hours when burned in lamps.
While these results are encouraging, it’s important to note that most studies are small-scale and tested in enclosed spaces. Results can vary outdoors depending on factors like wind and weather. More research is still needed on the best essential oil options and concentrations. However, carrying an EPA-registered insect repellent containing plant oils like lemon eucalyptus may provide some degree of protection against mosquitoes.
Bath and Body Works Mosquito Repellent Products
Now that we’ve explored some background on mosquito repellents, let’s get back to the main question – does Bath and Body Works sell any products using scents that keep mosquitoes away?
Unfortunately, Bath and Body Works does not currently offer any candles, wall plugs, body sprays, or other products advertised specifically as a way to repel mosquitoes. The brand primarily sells its fragranced products – like mists, sanitizers, and lotions – for human enjoyment.
However, some of the signature scents from Bath and Body Works contain notes similar to certain essential oils that have shown mosquito-repelling potential:
Some research has found that eucalyptus oil can effectively deter mosquitoes. Bath and Body Works sells a limited number of “Eucalyptus Rain” and “Eucalyptus Spearmint” products that contain this scent:
– Wallflowers Refill – Eucalyptus Rain
– Gentle Foaming Hand Soap – Eucalyptus Spearmint
– 3-Wick Candle – Eucalyptus Rain
– Aromatherapy Pillow Mist – Eucalyptus Spearmint
However, these products are not designed for repelling mosquitoes outdoors. The scent concentrations are likely too low to keep mosquitoes away for long.
Some initial research shows lavender oil may have mosquito repellent properties. Bath and Body Works has an extensive collection of “Lavender Vanilla” and “Lavender Chamomile” items:
– Body Lotion – Lavender Vanilla
– 3-Wick Candle – Lavender Vanilla
– Gentle Foaming Hand Soap – Lavender Chamomile
– Aromatherapy Pillow Mist – Lavender Chamomile
– Wallflowers Fragrance Refill – Lavender Vanilla
Again, these products are meant to smell pleasant to humans – not serve as insect repellents. The lavender scent would not be potent enough.
Lemongrass is another essential oil with some evidence of driving mosquitoes away. Bath and Body Works has a few lemongrass-scented products:
– Body Cream – Lemongrass & Sage
– Wallflowers Refill – Lemongrass & Sage
– 3-Wick Candle – Lemongrass & Sage
Unfortunately, these products were not designed as repellents. Their lemongrass fragrance is diluted.
Should You Use Bath & Body Works Products to Repel Mosquitoes?
Based on the available research, there is little evidence that Bath and Body Works candles, mists, or other products will effectively repel mosquitoes for substantial periods of time outdoors. The scents are simply too diluted.
While certain ingredients like eucalyptus, lavender, and lemongrass have some mosquito-deterring potential, Bath and Body Works does not market or formulate these products specifically for repelling insects. Their sole purpose is to make you smell good!
For reliably preventing mosquito bites, EPA-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone are recommended. Citronella candles and essential oils can provide very short-term protection when outdoors as well.
The takeaway: Enjoy your favorite Bath and Body Works fragrances for their amazing scents – but don’t rely on them as your mosquito protection this summer! Stick with proven repellents and keep those pesky bugs away.
Frequently Asked Questions
What scent will keep mosquitoes away?
The most effective scents for deterring mosquitoes include citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, clove, and neem oils. Synthetic insect repellents like DEET or picaridin are also highly effective.
Do Bath & Body Works wallflowers repel mosquitoes?
No, Bath & Body Works wallflowers are not designed or marketed to repel mosquitoes. While some contain scents like lavender and eucalyptus that may provide a small deterrent, the fragrance concentration is too low to provide substantial protection.
What essential oils keep mosquitoes away?
Research shows essential oils from citronella, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, clove, and neem trees can provide short-term mosquito protection. However, results may vary based on factors like dilution, weather, and mosquito species.
Is citronella effective against mosquitoes?
Pure citronella oil provides short-term protection from mosquitoes, up to 2 hours. However, citronella candles are minimally effective as the scent dissipates quickly outdoors. Citronella should be reapplied frequently for ongoing protection.
Do Bath & Body Works candles repel insects?
No, Bath & Body Works candles are not designed or marketed to repel mosquitoes or other insects. While some contain fragrances like lavender and eucalyptus that could offer a small deterrent, the scent concentration is too low to substantially deter insects when burned.
The Bottom Line
While Bath and Body Works uses some essential oil scents known to provide short-term mosquito protection, like citronella, eucalyptus, lavender and lemongrass, its products are not designed or formulated specifically as insect repellents. The fragrances are heavily diluted. For reliable mosquito bite protection, EPA-registered repellents or pure essential oils should be used instead. While Bath and Body Works candles and body care can make you smell amazing, don’t count on them to repel those pesky mosquitoes!