Candles can add a romantic and relaxing ambiance to any outdoor setting, but they can also serve as a natural form of pest repellent to help keep mosquitoes and other biting bugs at bay.
However, not all mosquito candles are made equally, and you may even be surprised to learn that some of the best mosquito candles aren’t even designated mosquito candles at all.
With spring just around the corner, it’s time to prepare your home and yard for these blood sucking pests and we’re here to help. Join us today as we talk about the best mosquito candles, how they work and which ones are most highly recommended by pest control experts.
Let’s get started.
What Are Mosquito Candles And How Do They Work?
Mosquito candles often work when they are infused with repellent oils like citronella.
Mosquito candles are like any other type of candle except that they are infused with scents and essential oils that are known to repel insects like mosquitoes and biting gnats, as well as other pests like flies, wasps, moths and bees.
You can find mosquito candles almost anywhere come spring, including gardening stores, grocery stores, pharmacies and even home improvement stores. You can also order them online.
Mosquito candles are most commonly used during the warmer season, when people are spending more time outdoors enjoying their backyards and when mosquitoes are most likely to be active. That said, some people use mosquito candles year-round, especially if they live in regions where the weather is warmer and where the environment is more conducive to biting insects.
And while it’s simple and often inexpensive to buy mosquito candles for your home and yard, you can also make them yourself. We’ll be sure to include one of our favorite step-by-step recipes below after we discuss our favorite products.
But before we move on to the best mosquito candles, let’s first talk about how these mosquito candles work and how to get the most out of them.
The success of mosquito candles will often depend on a few factors:
- The ingredients or oils used to repel the pests
- The number of candles used at one time
- The size of the candle or candles used
- The placement of the candle or candles
- The other products used alongside these mosquito candles
Ingredients of a Mosquito Candle
There are a number of ingredients that can be combined to make a good mosquito repellent candle, but the most common one tends to be citronella oil.
Citronella oil is a natural oil derived from the citronella plant. Though many people enjoy the smell of this oil, it has been found to be repulsive to pests like mosquitoes. When a mosquito candle with citronella oil burns, it emits the scent of citronella into the surrounding air.
The smoke and fire also work to repel pests like mosquitos as it taps into their natural instinct to stay away from heat.
The Number of Citronella Candles Used
Most mosquito candles work to cover a radius of around three feet which, admittedly, isn’t much. However, the more mosquito candles you use at one time, the more area you can cover and the wider perimeter of protection you have while outdoors.
It should also be noted that the closer to the candle you are, the more likely you are to be protected from mosquitoes by the candle’s aroma.
The Size Of The Candle
Size can matter when it comes to a mosquito candle. The larger the candle is or the more wics the candle has to burn, the more protection it may offer.
However, it is important to remember that mosquito candles won’t work on their own 100% of the time to prevent mosquitoes, no matter how big the candles are or how many you have.
The Placement of the Mosquito Candle
Placement matters. As we mentioned above, the farther away from the mosquito candle you are, the less protection you’ll have from mosquitoes or other flying and biting pests. It’s also important to place these candles around the perimeter of where you will be most while outdoors.
The Other Products Used With Mosquito Candles
Using other products in conjunction with mosquito candles can greatly increase your protection barrier while outside, especially if you’re out and about around dusk or dawn. Products like DEET bug spray, essential oil sprays and even wearing specific clothing can help protect you from these annoying bugs and their itchy bites.
And with that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of using mosquito candles.
Pros To Using Mosquito Candles
- They are inexpensive
- They are easy to find
- Mosquito candles provide a beautiful ambience
- They are often pleasant smelling and relaxing
- They can be used inside and outside
- Mosquito candles repel other pests including biting gnats, flies, bees and wasps
- Mosquito candles are natural
Cons To Using Mosquito Candles
- They cover only a small radius
- Only people in close proximity will be protected
- Mosquito candles are not 100% effective
- They should be used in conjunction with other mosquito repellent products
Are Mosquito Candles Safe For People and Pets?
When used properly, mosquito candles are safe and effective.
While most mosquito candles are safe for people and pets to be around, some people and animals may be more sensitive to certain scents from the essential oils used than others. The good news is that you do have options as far as the types of mosquito candles you can use.
The most common forms of mosquito repellent oils infused in mosquito candles include:
- Citronella Oil
- Rosemary Oil
- Cedarwood Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Clove Oil
- And A Combination Of The Above
Regardless of the oils used to make the different types of mosquito candles, mosquito candles are undoubtedly some of the safer alternatives you can use when it comes to pest repellent options. This is because they don’t use harsh chemicals and you are not having to put anything directly on your body.
That said, there is always a safety risk associated with using a candle and an open flame. Always use candles with caution and don’t leave children and pets unattended around your lit mosquito candles.
We should also note that pets are much more sensitive to smells than humans are. If you do have pets in the home, you might consider looking for mosquito candles that are pet friendly or using them outside and away from your pets.
The Five Best Mosquito Candles For Backyards and Gardens
Larger candles can help repel mosquitoes and other pests in larger areas.
Some mosquito candles are best suited for smaller areas like patios and porches. That said, there are candles that are ideal for larger spaces like big backyards or large decks. Bigger candles may even help keep pests away while you’re camping or gardening.
If you are wanting to cover a larger surface area with mosquito candles but aren’t sure where to look, then this is the section for you.
Here are five of our favorite mosquito candles for larger spaces.
Cutter Citronella Candle Tin
We are starting off small(ish) but with a big bang. These mosquito candles by Cutter are larger than some other candles on this list, but are still small enough to be suitable for a patio table or bench. This particular order can include either one candle or a pack of six.
These mosquito candles are also available in different colors including blue, green, silver and orange. The different color candles repel different types of pests and burn for different periods of time so be sure to read the directions.
As with all mosquito candles, the more candles you use the more mosquitoes you will be able to repel.
OFF! Citronella Backyard Candles
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These OFF! Mosquito Repellent candles are designed specifically for backyard use and burn for up to 25 hours each.You can order them in packs of two or six and each candle is 16 ounces.
These mosquito candles are carefully created to fit in seamlessly with backyard decor and they can be added as a bit of lovely backyard ambiance. Most importantly, the candles repel pests like mosquitoes and biting midges.
Citronella Triple Wick Mosquito Repellent Candle
A more serious mosquito repellent candle would be the Repel Insect Repellent Candle by the Repel Store above. This triple wick candle burns for up to 40 hours and offers a wider radius of protection when compared to other, smaller mosquito candles.
While this is a more intense looking mosquito repellent burner, it is still made with natural citronella oil that helps keep mosquitoes and other biting and flying pests at bay.
Like many mosquito candles on this list, this product is designed to be used outdoors only. For best results, this burner should also be used alongside several burners at once and placed around the perimeter of your porch or yard.
Yinuo Mirror Citronella Candle Bucket
If you’re looking for both fashion and function, then you’ll fall in love with this adorable mosquito candle that comes complete with a tin bucket and rope. Each soy wax candle is made of natural oils and is scented not only to help repel mosquitoes and other biting and flying insects, but also to relax and soothe.
The candles are safe to use around people and pets and are ideal for proud gardeners who have meticulously landscaped their yards and don’t want to disrupt the ambiance with loud pest control products or obvious mosquito repellents.
Coleman Citronella Outdoor Lantern
Last, we have a citronella candle and lantern by Coleman. This large lantern can be placed on a table or other flat surface, or it can be hung or carried using it’s metal handle. Like most of the candles on this list, this mosquito candle uses natural citronella oil to repel a number of flying pests like mosquitoes.
It is also safe to use around people and pets and is ideal for gardens and larger backyards. However, while you may not need several of these lanterns in order to protect your space best, we do recommend getting at least two or three and placing them around the perimeter of your space or where you are most likely to be.
The Five Best Mosquito Candles For Smaller Spaces
Smaller citronella candles are ideal for patios and porches, and may be placed on tables or shelves.
When we think of mosquito candles, many of us think of large buckets or tins that are designed for larger spaces, like those candles listed above. However, not all mosquito candles are so cumbersome. In fact, many are designed to be subtle, fragrant and blend in well in small spaces like on balconies or patios.
This is where smaller mosquito candles or homemade mosquito candles are ideal. These candles can often be purchased in bulk and are perfect for setting on tables, benches or shelves.
We have listed five of our favorite smaller mosquito candles for patios, porches and balconies below. Take a look.
Airvibe Citronella Candles
First on our list of mosquito candles for small spaces are the Airvibe Citronella Candles. They come in ornait packaging and not only work to repel mosquitos and other pests like biting midges, gnats, flies and moths, but they are also decorative and will fit in nicely with more ornate gardens or organized balconies.
These candles are made with natural ingredients to make them extra safe for people and pets, including natural soy wax and essential oils. They are citronella based candles, so be aware of this if you’re not a fan of the citronella smell.
That said, these candles are scented and can provide pleasant aromatherapy for those who enjoy citronella. They are also small enough to travel with, may be burned indoors and out, and can burn for up to 30 hours.
Mosquito Guard Repellent Candle
What we like most about the Mosquito Guard mosquito candle is that it comes in a variety of scents including lemongrass, rosemary, citronella and cedar oil.
Like most candles on this list, the Mosquito Guard Repellent Candle is free of DEET and other chemicals. Instead, the candle is made with all natural, plant based ingredients that are safe to use around people and pets. The candle is also great to have on hand if you are camping, fishing or at the beach.
It is specifically made to be used outdoors and the scent is designed not to be overwhelming. However, keep in mind these mosquito candles only cover a circumference of up to three feet. With that in mind, we would suggest ordering several if you plan on using them outside in larger spaces.
Citronella Tealight Candles
We love the idea of using tealight candles to repel mosquitoes. The above citronella tealight mosquito repellent candles by the Hyoola Store are available in a 50 count package with each candle burning for up to four hours.
These candles are fabulous for smaller spaces or even larger spaces, as you can light them all or just a few at a time. The candles are wax-based and made with citronella oil pulled directly from the citronella plant. They are natural and safe to use around children and pets, but of course never leave lit candles unattended around small kids and animals.
Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Candle
If you’re a fan of plant-based and all natural pest repellent products, you’ll likely be a fan of these mosquito candles by Murphy’s Naturals. These candles are made with a combination of beeswax and soy, and the order is available in orders of one, two, three and six.
Each candle individually burns for up to thirty hours and is designed for indoor and outdoor use. They include a mix of essential oils like peppermint, rosemary, cedarwood oil, citronella oil and lemongrass oil. The scents are created not to be overwhelming and to smell pleasant while also repelling mosquitoes, gnats, midges and more.
While some mosquito candles can be used both indoors and out, these candles are best for outdoor use only.
Hausware Citronella Candles for Indoor and Outdoor use
Last, we recommend the above decorative mosquito candles by Hausware. The candles come in beautiful holders and each candle has three wics for an extra powerful burn which provides a larger mosquito repelling radius.
While these candles are ideal for mosquito repellent use, they also double as aromatherapy candles and even just decorative candles.
Most importantly, they work to repel pests like mosquitos, gnats and midges. They are made of soy wax and natural essential oils that are safe to use around people and pets.
How To Make Your Own Mosquito Candles At Home
Lemongrass and citronella oil are two key ingredients you’ll need to make your own mosquito candle.
If you don’t want to buy mosquito candles or if you can’t seem to find any, don’t worry. There is a super simple recipe you can use to make your own candle. Best of all, making it doesn’t involve any cooking, melting or mixing.
In fact, making your own mosquito candle includes ingredients you might even already have on hand.
Take a look.
- 2 Slices of Lime
- 2 Slices of Lemon
- 1 Pint-Sized Mason Jar
- 15 Drops of Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 2 Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
- 1 Floating Candle
Put your lemon and lime slices as well as your fresh rosemary sprigs into the mason jar, then fill the jar with water. Drop 15 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil into your mason jar and place the floating candle on top.
Light the candle and place the jar out of reach of pets and children. Use inside and outside as needed to repel mosquitoes and other flying pests.
Alternatives To Consider
If you don’t have lemon eucalyptus oil, you can use alternative essential oils like peppermint oil, lavender oil, lemon oil or citronella oil.
You also have the option of combining the above oils to make scents you enjoy or find relaxing.
Other DIY Tips for Mosquito Repellent
If you don’t have candles on hand, you can always opt to dab a bit of diluted essential oil on your wrists. You might even consider making your own essential oil spray to spray around your patio or porch.
Simply combine 10 to 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice with two cups of water in a spray bottle and spray as needed.
Remember, using essential oils and mosquito candles will work best when used in conjunction with other products like bug zappers, mosquito sprays and sticky traps.
Other Ways to Repel and Prevent Mosquitoes While Outside
Protecting yourself from mosquitoes while outside can also be done using methods like pure essential oils, traps and wearing protective clothing.
Along with using mosquito candles and other products to repel pests, you can also take steps to protect yourself and loved ones by following the below tips and tricks by experts.
Remove Excess Water Sources Around Your Yard
First and foremost, remove any excess water sources around your home or yard. Doing this can help reduce the number of mosquitoes on your property. Mosquitoes breed in and around stagnant water, and sources of stagnant water could include anything from overturned buckets to old tires to bird baths.
Wear Specific Types of Clothing
Mosquitos have been found to be attracted to darker colored clothing. Colors that are dark blue, purple, red, dark green and black have been found to lure mosquitoes more frequently than brighter colors like yellow, pink, white and yellow.
It is also important to cover up. Wear hats, long sleeves and pants. If you have severe reactions to mosquito bites, you might also consider tucking your pants into your socks or bringing along a mosquito net.
This may sound like a bit much, but mosquito bites can cause serious reactions in some people. Worse still, mosquitoes can carry and spread deadly illnesses like West Nile Virus. So there’s no shame in being cautious.
Refrain From Going Out At Dawn or Dusk
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, and this is when you are most likely to be bitten. Unfortunately, dusk is also the time you’re most likely to be trying to enjoy dinner outside on your patio with friends and family.
If you can, wait an hour past dusk to go outside and enjoy your backyard, patio or balcony. Not only will this help save you from mosquito bites, but it will give your surroundings a more beautiful ambience when you use your mosquito candles.
Invite the Predators
Mosquitos have a lot of predators, but their most formidable foe tend to be bats. Placing bat houses around the perimeter of your home (and a safe distance from your home, of course) can help reduce the number of mosquitoes you’ll have to deal with.
Wear Bug Spray
Last but not least, apply bug spray when out and about during mosquito season. DEET bug sprays are some of the most popular insect repellents, but you can also purchase bug sprays that include Picaridin.
You also have options of using natural pest control sprays that contain essential oils and other ingredients that are more environmentally friendly and safer for young children and pets.
And that’s it, folks.
So, what do you think about mosquito candles now that we have considered the pros and cons? Would you use them in conjunction with other products, or would you prefer to stick with bug sprays, traps and bug zappers?
Drop us a comment with your thoughts about mosquito candles in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.