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Oil of citronella is a naturally occurring insect and animal repellent distilled from two grass varieties. It is a mixture of many components which vary by grass variety. Some oil of citronella products are applied to animal or human skin, ornamental plants, or other outdoor areas. Oil of citronella is currently on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s list of minimum risk pesticides. However, some products should not be used on children less than six months old unless directed by a doctor. This information is listed on the product label.

General Questions about
Oil of Citronella

General fact sheet image
Fact Sheet

repellents fact sheet image
Insect Repellents
Fact Sheet

Man Spraying Repellent
Should kids use bug spray?
Q & A

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Should kids use bug spray?

(2:07 min., 1.94MB)

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated January 15, 2019

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