Why TikTok Warns To Stay Away From Crate & Barrel’s Stylish Mosquito Coil Repellent

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It is a common belief that the citronella plant, through its oil or scent, is a very effective mosquito repellent. So citronella candles or essential oil mixes can be used just like commercial repellents. However, it isn’t that straightforward. Citronella does work to keep mosquitoes away, but how well it works really depends on how it is used, the amount, and even how sensitive a given person is to mosquito bites. A high level of citronella content means more efficacy, but that isn’t common with the typical repellent product.

Crate & Barrel’s coil is modeled on flat coils that have been around since the early 20th century, which today contain either citronella oil or pyrethroid insecticides. Crate & Barrel’s version is conical, but both work in the same way: Slowly burn the coil from the end to release mosquito-repelling smells and other essential oils. Ideally, you can have it on for a long time while sitting outside. When we weigh this description against the way that citronella works, we think that the coil might be releasing too little of the scent to be a powerful contender against the aggressive nature of mosquitoes. The reviewers on the product page also say that it doesn’t hang properly, the threads don’t allow it to unfold all the way, and it breaks easily, which isn’t ideal considering the price you pay for it. A small coil with the coil holder runs $43, and the large coil starts at $40.

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