The Best Mosquito Coils – What They Are and How They Work

Mosquito Coils are used worldwide by millions of people despite the rising use of mosquito repellent.

Mosquito coils, when burned, release a chemical mist which keeps mosquitoes at bay. But what exactly is a mosquito coil? How do they work? What are the benefits of using them?

That’s what we’re here to find out!

But First, Let’s Talk About Mosquitoes

1 a mosquito on a leaf
Mosquitos are common pests that are not only a nuisance, but dangerous.

Mosquitoes are flying insects that belong to the order Diptera, which is short for “two-winged”. There are over 3,000 different species of mosquitoes all over the world, but only about 200 species live in North America.

Mosquitoes may be some of the more annoying insects in the bug world, but these pests do play an important role in a healthy ecosystem as many mosquitoes are beneficial pollinators. In fact, only female mosquitoes bite, while males use their proboscis (their long mouth-part) to feed on nectar from flowers and plants.

With that being said, mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance to people and pets; they can also be dangerous.

Mosquitoes spread diseases like the West Nile virus, Zika, and malaria to humans. Dogs, cats, horses and other animals can get heartworm disease and other illnesses from mosquitoes.

These pests spread diseases by picking them up when they bite an infected person or animal and then passing them on when they bite someone else.

Mosquito control is essential when it comes to protecting people and pets from mosquito-borne diseases, but it can be difficult to control these pests when they outnumber us by the millions.

Luckily, there are systems in place that can help us protect ourselves and loved ones from mosquitoes, and that is where products like mosquito coils come in.

But before we dive into talking about mosquito coils, let’s take a look at why you might have mosquitoes on your property in the first place.

Why Do I Need Mosquito Coils? Understanding What Mosquitoes Are Attracted To

2 a mosquito up close
Mosquitoes are primarily attracted to water and humidity.

When temperatures start to rise, your backyard can become a magnet for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance; they also spread disease, as we discussed above. But why are mosquitoes so attracted to you or your property in particular?

Experts surmise that the scent of our sweat may be a key factor in drawing these insects close enough to bite us. Mosquitoes may also be attracted to the carbon dioxide we exhale when we breathe. Our body heat or a combination of our body odor can also attract mosquitoes, alerting them that a blood meal is nearby.

But what attracts mosquitoes to your yard or garden?

The most common attractants in yards or gardens tend to be standing water sources, excess moisture, and shade.

Stagnant Water

Mosquitoes require stagnant water in order to breed.

Breeding sources could be any kind of standing water source like a dog water bowl left out overnight, a children’s play pool, tires, overturned buckets, containers in your yard, even flower pots and birdbaths. If it’s possible for you to dump out any standing water on your property, do so at least once a week to prevent female mosquitoes from laying their eggs there.

Other items in your yard that might attract mosquitoes and cause you to need mosquito coils include

  • Clogged gutters
  • Old tires
  • Plant saucers
  • Ponds and other water features
  • Rain barrels
  • Tarps or pool covers with standing water on top
  • Tree holes that collect rainwater

Moisture and Humidity

Mosquitoes are highly sensitive to moisture levels in their habitat and will often remain near shaded areas that retain moisture longer than sunny areas do. To keep these pests at bay, reduce moisture around your home by removing excess shady space, trimming shrubs and trees, and allowing the sunlight into your yard.

How can I prevent mosquitoes from breeding in my yard?

Make sure you don’t have any containers outside that are holding water after rainstorms. Mosquitoes can breed in small amounts of standing water, so even an old flower pot could be a place for them to lay eggs.

What can I do to keep mosquitoes away from me?

Don’t give the mosquitoes a target by wearing bright colors or heavy perfume. Stay indoors at dawn and dusk, which is when mosquitoes are most active. Wear insect repellent when you go outside, and try to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants in areas where there are a lot of mosquitoes.

Another way to keep mosquitoes away from your property is to use products like mosquito coils. Keep reading to learn more.

What Are Mosquito Coils?

3 mosquito coil
Mosquito coils burn slowly and in a circular motion to help cover more area and get rid of mosquitoes.

Mosquito coils are a popular way to get rid of a number of pesky insects, not just mosquitoes. Mosquito coils are often safe to burn around people and pets because they often use chemical-free methods to get rid of these pests.

With that being said, mosquito coils are only a temporary fix. They generally work best when used in conjunction with other products and methods to get rid of mosquitoes in the long term.

But how do mosquito coils work?

Mosquito coils consist of a cotton wick, made from natural ingredients. The wick is impregnated with an array of chemicals that exude vapors that work in preventing mosquitoes and other insects from biting.

Mosquito coils have been manufactured in large numbers since the mid-1800s when they were first used commercially. Originally, mosquito oils commonly used tobacco smoke and chemical ingredients to repel mosquitoes. Today, many mosquito coils work using the smell of citronella oil, making them ideal for those who have grown tired of chemical sprays and aerosol insecticides.

These products burn slowly and in a circular motion so as to cover more surface area when repelling mosquitoes. Mosquito coils are ideal for outdoor dining, grilling, or simple outdoor playtime at twilight in the same way that citronella candles might be.

There are mosquito coils that are more simply made and work similarly to incense sticks. (We have listed some of those procuts below). However, the sticks tend not to last as long as mosquito coils and may not cover as much surface area.

There are different types of products and mosquito coils that can be used both inside and outside, depending on your needs. And if you prefer to look for environmentally friendly alternatives to mosquito repellents, you can look for mosquito coils that are made from biodegradable paper and which do not emit dangerous gasses when burned.

Not all mosquito coils are made with natural ingredients, of course, so keep this in mind. Some mosquito coils are made to produce insecticide through chemical reactions. These types of mosquito coils are best suited for outdoor use, and they can be used to control almost all types of biting and non-biting insects like flies, gnats, midges, wasps, and more.

Best Mosquito Coils Of 2022, According To Experts

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Mosquito coils are effective but they are also a temporary solution.

The best types of mosquito coils to use outside in your yard or garden are those that have been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These mosquito repellents are designed to be effective against mosquitoes and other biting insects. They are safe for humans and pets, and they do not emit toxic fumes or leave behind an unpleasant odor.

These coils can contain a mixture of chemicals that repel mosquitoes and other flying insects, including flies and gnats, though some may also be made only of natural essential oils.

The coils emit smoke when lit, which repels mosquitoes and other insects in the area. Many mosquito coils can be used both indoors and outdoors, as mentioned above, however it should be specified clearly on the label.

Be aware that some mosquito coils contain pyrethrins, which are natural insecticides derived from flowers such as chrysanthemums. Pyrethrins kill mosquitoes by interfering with their nervous systems, causing them to become paralyzed and die.

The EPA has approved pyrethrins as safe for humans, pets, plants and other living things to use indoors and outdoors, but it is toxic to fish, so it should not be used near water or ponds where fish live.

If you’re not sure which type of mosquito coils would be best for your home or garden, we have listed a few options we like below.

W4W Mosquito Repellent Coils

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The W4W Mosquito Repellent Coils are easy to use and are ideal for repelling mosquitoes and other flying and biting pests.

These coils can be ordered in a pack of 12 and can help keep mosquitoes away for up to eight hours each. Each mosquito coil measures about 5.5 inches in diameter and can protect up to 120 square feet of space.

These coils are designed specifically to be used outdoors only and should not be placed inside, even with windows open. The odor can be potent and irritate those who are sensitive, so when you light this product it’s best to put it in an area where the smoke will be blowing away from your company.

Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent

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Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Incense Sticks are not necessarily mosquito coils, but they are still a high-quality, affordable mosquito repellent that works similarly to coils.

We like that this product works especially well at keeping mosquitoes, flies, midges, biting gnats, and other pests away from your patio or deck using natural ingredients, so all you have to do is light the stick and let it burn for a few hours.

The citronella scent is repulsive to mosquitoes and pests but pleasant to humans, so not only will you be free from bites, but you’ll also have a nice aroma to enjoy while you relax outside.

The sticks can last up to two hours when fully lit, and they can be blown out and relit later once they burn down. Murphy’s Naturals recommends using one stick per 200 square feet of space where mosquitoes are most active.

PIC CIT-Coil-4 Citronella Coils

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The PIC CIT-Coil-4 Citronella Coils include a set of four coils per order that are designed for outdoor use only. These coils can protect you from mosquitoes and other biting pests for up to seven hours when used correctly and as directed.

These coils should be placed 10 feet apart and lit to cover your backyard or to create a perimeter around your space so you can enjoy the outdoors without getting bitten. We like that these mosquito coils come in an order of four, making them a great product to purchase for outdoor fun like camping, picnicking, or swimming.

Like many other mosquito coils on this list, these mosquito coils work by using citronella oil, which is a natural mosquito repellent. We also like that these coils burn for long periods of time.

LOV Home Citronella Coils

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Lov Home store provides more mosquito repellent coils we like and recommend because they use natural oils like Citronella, Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Peppermint and Geraniol oil to keep mosquitoes away.

This makes these mosquito coils safe to use around people and pets, and they are even safe for the environment. Best of all, these mosquito coils use essential oils that repel a number of other pests like spiders, ticks, gnats, flies, midges, and fleas.

Each mosquito coil is effective for up to 8 hours and covers an area of 20 square meters. The coils can be hung on trees or set on special stands, or they can be simply placed on a table or in a holder, which you can usually find at a big-box store.

We suggest that you set one or two coils in the holder and place it wherever you spend time outdoors, like an outdoor table or near your grill.

SCENTORINI Citronella Coils

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The SCENTORINI Citronella Coils have a wide range of applications. They are not just mosquito repellents but can keep away flies, wasps, moths and other flying insects. They are ideal for using on camping trips, barbecues, picnics and other outdoor activities.

The mosquito coils come with a burner stand that allows for them to be used conveniently outdoors or indoors depending on your needs. The coils work by emitting smoke that smells pleasant to only refreshing but also keeps the mosquitoes away.

They are easy to use as they are self-igniting, and they do not require open flames because they have their own burners. We also like that these mosquito coils create less smoke and contain no toxic chemicals.

The PIC 4322 Mosquito Repellent Coils

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The PIC 4322 Mosquito Repellent Coils are another popular option when it comes to using mosquito coils to keep mosquitos at bay.

This product can be ordered in different amounts, with packs that come with two coils, 10 coils, 80 coils, or 120 coils. The product works using a combination of ingredients including pyrethrins, which as we discussed are considered a naturally derived form of insecticide.

With that being said, these products should be used only as directed and should be kept out of reach of children.

The coils offer up to six hours of protection per coil, and help to create a barrier around you and your family when you are outdoors. As with many of these mosquito coils on this list, these coils are made for outdoor use only.

Other Products You Can Use Along With Mosquito Coils To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes

5 a mosquito is biting a person
Mosquito coils work best when used in conjunction with other pest control methods.

While we are fans of mosquito coils and we especially like the coils you can use both indoors and out, we must remind you again that these products are only a temporary solution to your mosquito issue.

Remember, mosquito coils only provide a few hours worth of protection and repel mosquitoes using the smell of essential oils or chemical pyrethrins to kill mosquitoes in the general area. However, once the mosquito coils have burned out they will no longer be effective against mosquitoes and they will no longer protect you or your loved ones from mosquito bites.

One of the best ways you utilize mosquito coils to their fullest is to use them in conjunction with other products like year-round yard sprays or other forms of pest control to keep pests at bay regardless of when you are outdoors.

If you’re not sure which products we recommend to use alongside mosquito coils, you’re in luck. We have listed some of our favorites below.

Wondercide Outdoor Perimeter Spray

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Wondercide is a company that produces natural pesticides and other pest control products from all-natural ingredients. The company sells a number of different products for both outdoor and indoor use. Their outdoor pest control spray, however, is especially effective for getting rid of mosquitoes.

Wondercide’s mosquito spray contains natural ingredients such as peppermint oil, cedar oil and sodium lauryl sulfate. It is labeled as safe to use around children and pets, and it is safe for the environment. It also works effectively against other pests such as ants, fleas, ticks, fleas, and roaches.

Murphy’s Naturals Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

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This product is another product on our list of mosquito repellents that uses lemon eucalyptus oil. Lemon eucalyptus oil is a natural ingredient recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as an alternative to DEET.

The above product by Murphy’s Naturals features a high concentration of 30 percent oil, so it lasts longer than many other repellents and provides protection from mosquitoes for up to six hours at a time. It also works on ticks, gnats and flies.

Reviewers say it smells great, but that the fragrance isn’t overpowering like some other natural products tend to be (and if you’ve used mosquito repellent, you know how cloying the smell can get).

OFF! Botanicals

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If you don’t want DEET in your bug spray, another alternative is the above plant-based repellent OFF! Botanicals.

OFF! Is a popular brand that commonly uses insecticides, but this specific product works by using essential oils, including citronella and rosemary, to keep mosquitoes away. The product also boasts a “clean feel,” so it won’t leave you sticky or greasy when you’re done spraying. The bottle claims that the repellent will last for up to two hours.

Best Home Remedies For Mosquito Control

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Using essential oil directly on your skin can help repel mosquitos.

The most effective way to prevent mosquitoes is to stop them from breeding. Mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to lay their eggs, so make sure you eliminate even the tiniest bit of standing water around your home. You should also avoid leaving pet dishes outside and make sure your gutters are clean of debris so water can flow through freely.

When you’re outdoors, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and cover as much of your skin as possible. You can also apply insect repellent that contains DEET (the concentration should be at least 25 percent in order to be effective).

We also suggest you avoid wearing perfume or scented products when you’re outside because these products can attract mosquitoes.

Other options include using natural and homemade mosquito repellents, but be careful about applying them directly to your skin or clothes as they may stain. Also be aware that some people may have an allergic reaction to natural products containing essential oils.

If you want to use essential oils for mosquito control, you should make sure that the insect repellent you are using includes the right concentration of essential oils. The concentration of essential oil in a product is its “active ingredient,” which means it is responsible for the product’s effectiveness.

In addition to the active ingredients, some other ingredients you can use as home remedies that have been shown to help repel mosquitoes include:

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is a natural insect repellent that works well if it is diluted with water. You can also use this oil as a spray or lotion and apply it directly to your skin. You can even use it as a cleaner for your house, which will effectively kill any mosquitoes that are living there.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil can be used as an insect repeller, but it will not kill them. However, it can help to repel them and keep them from biting you when used as directed. To use lavender oil, apply several drops in a cup of water and spray it over your body.

Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil is another natural way to deter mosquitoes, although this natural remedy might not work so well if you live in an area where there are many trees or plants in your yard. It will also only work if you have enough natural sunlight so that the cinnamon can be absorbed into the soil.

How To Make Your Own Essential Oil Spray To Repel Mosquitoes


1/2 cup distilled water

1/2 cup witch hazel or vodka

10-20 drops of essential oil of choice (see above)


Put the above ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well. Spray on exposed skin when going outdoors. You can also add some to a diffuser when entertaining guests outside.

How To Use Vinegar To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes

Vinegar is another of the top natural repellents for mosquito bites. Simply mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on skin to repel mosquitoes from your body. For extra potency you can add garlic, mint, or lemon juice to the mixture.

How To Use Plants To Repel Mosquitoes

There are numerous plants that repel mosquitoes, but many of them have a very strong smell that is unpleasant to human beings. So, be selective with your choices!

Also remember that while these plants can certainly help in your battle against mosquitoes, they won’t completely eliminate the problem. The best approach is to use multiple methods together to reduce the mosquito population in and around your home.

Here are some of the best mosquito repelling plants you should consider:

  • Lemon Balm
  • Lavender
  • Catnip
  • Marigolds
  • Bee Balm
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Garlic

Mosquitoes and Mosquito Coils – How To Keep Mosquitoes At Bay For Good

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Keeping mosquitoes under control requires the use of several steps, methods, and products.

Mosquitoes are certainly not our favorite insect, but we’re happy to report that there are plenty of ways you can go about repelling them and protecting yourself from getting bitten.

Other ways to repel mosquitoes and protect yourself include the below five tips:

  1. Wear light-colored clothing, long sleeves, and long pants when outdoors.
  1. Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.
  1. Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in an unscreened structure.
  1. Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or onto clothing, following the product label instructions.
  1. Use Mosquito coils and other products when enjoying your time outdoors.

Remember, mosquito coils certainly do offer a great alternative to chemical methods or sprays when it comes to dealing with mosquitoes. However, they are not a permanent solution and work best when used alongside other methods of pest control.

We hope this article has been a helpful guide on how to use mosquito coils and keep them at bay so you can enjoy the outdoors!

Best of luck and thanks for reading.

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