Most of us know about tiki torches and have enjoyed the ambiance they bring to backyard parties and barbeques. But did you know that tiki torches can also play a vital role in keeping mosquitoes at bay?
And with spring just around the corner, this is great news for any outdoor enthusiast. If you’re looking to enjoy your yard and keep it mosquito free, you’ll want to learn about the tiki torch method.
Today, we are going to learn how to use tiki torches to repel mosquitoes, and which type of tiki torch fuel is best when it comes to pest repellent.
But before we begin, let’s first talk about why you might have mosquitoes in your yard in the first place.
What Attracts Mosquitoes To Your Yard?
Mosquitoes are most attracted to standing water sources.
Mosquitoes, though incredibly annoying, do have their role in a healthy ecosystem. In fact, male mosquitoes are beneficial pollinators, and only female mosquitoes bite and drink blood.
That said, the number of mosquitoes far outweigh the number of humans, and scientists say these insects are in no danger of becoming extinct anytime soon. With that in mind, and with the number of diseases mosquitoes can bring with their bite, they are highly regarded as serious, and sometimes even dangerous, backyard pests.
If you’ve noticed that some yards tend to have more mosquitoes than others, you’re not going mad. In fact, your neighbor may never deal with mosquitoes while you have swarms. What gives?
Well, mosquitoes are attracted to a number of things that could make your yard more attractive to them. Along with being able to smell the carbon dioxide and sweat we and other animal hosts produce from over 30 feet away, mosquitoes are also attracted to stagnant water sources.
Mosquitoes breed and lay their eggs in stagnant water, and mosquitoes spend around 75% of their lifecycle in this water before maturing into adulthood. This is why many ponds, lakes, and marshes are alive with swarms upon swarms of mosquitoes. Of course, these aren’t the only areas where mosquitoes can live.
Other sources of stagnant water in your yard could be:
- Clogged drains
- Wet ditches
- Old tires
- Dirty birdbaths
- Trash cans and trash can lids
- Pet water bowls left outside
- Garden ponds
- Clogged Gutters
- And flower pots
Mosquitoes are also attracted to overgrown yards, grassy areas, over-watered gardens, debris, foliage, and lush trees. So basically, any thriving garden can be a mosquito haven. Of course, these pests are also attracted to you, your guests, and even your pets.
So, how do you keep them at bay? Luckily, purchasing the best tiki torch and the right tiki torch fuel can help.
But how? Let’s find out!
What is A Tiki Torch and How Does It Work To Repel Mosquitoes?
A tiki torch is a decorative yard piece that also acts as a mosquito repellent.
Also known as a citronella torch, (especially if it is designed to repel mosquitoes), a tiki torch is a decorative yet functional outdoor accessory that works a few different ways to repel mosquitoes and other flying pests using a combination of smoke and scent.
Tiki Torch Smoke
One of the reasons a torch or a candle works so well when it comes to repelling insects is because smoke taps into an insects natural survival instinct that tells them to stay away. To an insect, smoke means fire, which translates to death.
For this reason, most insects, including mosquitoes, will steer clear of smoke. However, they will only steer clear of smoke in the immediate vicinity. If you move away from this smoke, you’re free game for hungry mosquitoes.
Tiki Torch Fuel Infused With Citronella
Citronella is a plant, and it is a member of the geranium family. Geraniums are naturally repulsive to a number of pests, and citronella is no different. You can use citronella in a number of ways to repel pests like mosquitoes, including using a citronella oil, spray, or even by simply planting a few citronella plants around your garden.
But how does citronella work to repel pests when used in a tiki torch? Well, it’s all in the tiki torch fuel.
Citronella is combined with this fuel, and when it burns it releases an odor as well as smoke that confuses mosquitoes and prohibits them from smelling the carbon dioxide and sweat released by humans.
This makes it more difficult for mosquitoes to find you, and therefore bite you. However, just as with smoke, citronella tiki torch fuel is only as good as it’s proximity to you. If you move away from the citronella infused tiki torch, mosquitoes can easily make a meal of you.
For this reason, we should also note the pros and cons of using a tiki torch and tiki torch fuel for mosquito repellent.
Pros of Using A Tiki Torch For Mosquito Repellent:
- Tiki torches are a beautiful way to increase ambience in your yard while also protecting you and your loved ones from biting pests
- Tiki torches are usually a safe alternative to using chemical sprays and insecticides
- Tiki torches are easy to find and relatively affordable
- Tiki Torches are simple to use and set up
- You can reuse tiki torches as often as you like so long as you take care of them
Cons of Using A Tiki Torch For Mosquito Repellent:
- Tiki torches are only effective against protecting from mosquitoes so long as you use the right tiki torch fuel
- Tiki torches do not protect you from mosquitoes 100% of the time
- If you wander too far from the torches, you may be bitten
- Even with tiki torches and tiki torch fuel, experts still recommend using other methods of mosquito protection like wearing protective clothing, using bug spray, and companion-planting pest-repellent plants
With that in mind, we are going to list a few of our favorite tiki torch fuel products you can purchase, and then discuss other ways you can protect yourself from mosquitoes while outside in your yard using home remedies, sprays and companion planting.
Take a look.
What Is The Best Tiki Torch Fuel to Repel Mosquitoes
The tiki torch you buy is only as good as its fuel. Without the right fuel, the torch won’t repel mosquitoes.
Remember, a tiki torch is only as good as the tiki torch fuel you use inside of it when it comes to repelling mosquitoes. While smoke can help deter these blood sucking pests, the citronella in the tiki torch fuel is what really does the magic.
For the most part, you can find tiki torches and tiki torch fuel at most garden outlets, home improvement stores, or anywhere you can purchase tiki torches and backyard accessories. When looking for the best tiki torch fuel, look for fuels that are specifically designed to help repel pests.
If you’re not sure where to begin looking, we have listed some of our favorite tiki torch fuel products for you below.
TIKI Brand Citronella Tiki Torch Fuel
First on our list of the best tiki torch fuel is made by TIKI. This fuel is a citronella infused fuel designed specifically for tiki torches and for repelling pests like mosquitoes, gnats, midges, and other biting insects.
You can order it in different sizes depending on your needs, from 50 ounces all the way up to one gallon. Along with using citronella oil in the tiki torch fuel, this product also uses lemongrass oil. The container also has an easy-to-pour spout, making it mess-free.
Firefly Fresh Eucalyptus Tiki Torch Fuel
If you’re not a fan of citronella, you can always use a eucalyptus infused tiki torch fuel to help guard against mosquitoes. While the above tiki torch fuel does not specify that it is specifically designed for pest repellent, we do know that eucalyptus is a tried and true essential oil and scent that mosquitoes hate.
Another reason we like this tiki torch fuel is because it provides a longer burn. That said, it also produces less smoke. While this can be ideal for some homeowners who love to burn their tiki torches, it can also reduce the effectiveness of the mosquito repellent qualities.
TIKI Brand Bite Fighter Tiki Torch Fuel
We already have a tiki torch fuel on this list by the TIKI brand, but we’ve included another one because it is specifically designed to defend against mosquitoes and their bites. This tiki torch fuel comes in a 64 ounce container and uses citronella oil and other ingredients to reduce mosquito activity.
However, this tiki torch fuel is also designed to create less smoke which, again, can hinder the mosquito repellent qualities. Still, it does include all the essential ingredients designed to repel pests and protect you and your guests in its immediate proximity.
Ner Mitzvah Citronella Infused Lamp Oil
This lamp oil can be used in oil lamps or tiki torches, so it makes a great tiki torch fuel for those who want to repel mosquitoes. It is also designed to deter other flying pests like biting gnats, chiggers, and flies.
It is available in three different sizes depending on your needs and provides a smoke-free burn that repels pests but is odorless to people. You can use this fuel for indoor and outdoor use depending on the products you have that you wish to fill.
Hyoola Paraffin Citronella Lamp Oil
Last, we have the above tiki torch fuel and lamp oil product by the Hyoola Store. Specifically designed to be used in tiki torches but also perfect for lanterns and oil candles, this tiki torch fuel is a multipurpose fuel that repels all kinds of flying and biting pests.
It is infused with citronella, and burns clean and bright. The smell is fresh for people but repulsive to pests, and includes a smoke-free burn to reduce eye irritation. This is another quality that makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use.
This tiki torch fuel also comes in two different sizes, depending on your needs.
Other Products You Can Use To Repel Mosquitoes In Your Yard
Citronella candles work similarly to Tiki Torches and can help ward of annoying pests.
Along with using a quality tiki torch and the right tiki torch fuel to repel mosquitoes, it’s also a good idea to invest in other protective products like citronella candles, sprays, bug zappers and gear. Remember, a tiki torch only works to protect you from mosquitoes when you’re standing very close to it.
But don’t worry, we have done some research and listed a few other products you might consider investing in to keep your next backyard bash mosquito-free.
TIKI Brand Tiki Torch
First, let’s look at some tiki torches. Tiki Torch fuel is no use without a good tiki torch to pour it into. If you’re looking for some of the best tiki torches to help repel mosquitoes, then we recommend the above torch by TIKI Brand.
It burns for up to 5 hours, offering 5 hours of protection against flying and biting pests. You are also able to adjust how high the flame burns, which increases the deterrent range. Best of all, this torch can be used as a garden torch or a table torch, as the top is removable from the base.
DECO Tikki Torch
The DECCO Tikki Torch is another torch that, when combined with the right tiki torch fuel, is an excellent mosquito repellent for backyards. These tiki torches in particular are designed to be used along with citronella tiki torch fuel.
They are also beautifully designed and made of a distressed iron that comes in either black or brown. You can adjust the wick height to increase the flame size and protective perimeter, and each order includes four torches.
Pavinee Citronella Incense Sticks
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Along with using a quality tiki torch fuel to repel mosquitoes and enhance your backyard ambience, you might also consider using citronella and lemongrass infused incense sticks. Just like with tiki torch fuel, citronella infused incense sticks burn off citronella-scented smoke that confuses and deters pests like mosquitoes.
You can use these sticks both inside and out, and use them alongside tiki torches to keep your yard and garden bug free.
TIKI Brand Wax Mosquito Repellent Candle
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It’s also a good idea to burn a citronella candle when outside. We like the above candle by TIKI Brand, which is designed specifically for mosquito repellent protection.
The candle is quite large, coming in a 17 ounce container. This increases the burn length and the perimeter of protection when it comes to pests. We also like that it comes in a galvanized bucket with a handle, so you can reuse this bucket once the candle is gone. The candle burns for up to 35 hours, and can be used alongside tiki torches or on its own for backyard pest protection.
Home Remedies To Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes When Outside
Essential oils, and especially citronella oil, can help to repel mosquitoes as well.
Getting rid of mosquitoes can go beyond purchasing products like tiki torch fuel and bug sprays. In fact, there are a few do it yourself pest control methods and products you may already have on hand to repel these pests.
Take a look!
Essential Oils That Repel Mosquitos
Citronella oil is an essential oil, but it’s not the only essential oil you can use to repel mosquitoes and other backyard pests. In fact, there are a number of essential oils experts recommend for pest control that are perfectly safe to use around children and pets. They include:
- Citronella oil
- Tea tree oil
- Lavender oil
- Clove oil
- Soybean Oil
- And Citrus Oil
- Neem oil
If you want to know how to make your own essential oil pest repellent, it’s simple. All you need are around 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice above and 2 cups of water. Mix the ingredients into a spray bottle and spray the solution on yourself and around your backyard to repel pests.
Of course, before spraying essential oil sprays on your skin, make sure you test a small patch first to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions. Also, do not spray essential oil sprays on pets without ensuring you first do some research and speak with your veterinarian.
The below video talks more about how essential oils work to repel bugs.
How To Make Your Own Citronella Candle or Torch
If you can use citronella infused tiki torch fuel to repel mosquitoes, you can also use citronella infused candles. Wondering how to make your own at home? It’s simple. Just follow the below instructions.
What You Will Need
- 1 Pound of Wax
You can either purchase wax at a craft store or use wax from old candles. To get old wax out of pre-used candles, simply freeze the candle overnight and scoop it out in the morning using a spoon or butterknife. If you break the wax, don’t worry. You’ll be melting it again anyway.
- A Candle Wick
Again, you can purchase candle wicks at any craft store, or you can make your own. To make your own wick, cut slim strips of cotton from clothing like a t-shirt, sock, towl, etc. You can also use a shoelace. Just make sure you cut off the plastic end pieces.
- A Mason Jar
You can really use any container you like, but mason jars come in handy because they are so simple to find. You can also use old jam jars. Just make sure whichever type of jar or container you use is made of metal or glass.
- Citronella Oil (1 Oz Per Pound of Wax)
The magic ingredient to these mosquito repellent candles is the same ingredient used in tiki torch fuel – Citronella oil! You can purchase citronella oil at most vitamin stores or health food outlets. If you’re planning on only using citronella oil in your candles and for nothing else, don’t worry about buying the priciest brand. You can go cheap for this route.
- Additional Items To Consider
- A pencil, tape, straw or chopstick to hold the wick in place. Tie the wick to the item and hang it in the jar before pouring in the melted wax.
- Hot glue, to keep the wick centered and hold the wick to the bottom part of the jar
- Other essential oils in place of citronella oil, especially if you’re not a fan of the citronella smell
Melt your wax on low heat in a double boiler saucepan until it is completely melted (around 30 minutes to one hour). Then add your coconut oil and citronella oil, and stir it in thoroughly.
Then prepare your containers with the wicks and pencils, chopsticks, etc. Pour the melted wax into each container to your desired height. Then, set the candle aside for the next 48 hours before you use it
And viola – now you have your very own citronella candle!
What To Wear When Enjoying Outdoor Time To Prevent Mosquito Bites
The more covered you are, the less likely you’ll wind up with bites.
There are pros and cons to using a tiki torch, and even with the best tiki torch fuel designed to repel pests, you’re still at risk of getting bitten.
If you prefer not to wear chemical sprays or essential oil sprays on your body when outside during mosquito season, you can always dress to protect yourself instead. Of course, simply wearing long sleeves and pants won’t cut it. Mosquitoes can often penetrate certain materials, so it’s important to know what to wear to keep yourself safe from bites.
Wear Clothing Made of Nylon, Cotton, or Denim
Clothing made of the above fabrics can work alongside the best tiki torch fuel to protect you from mosquitoes and their bites. This type of fabric is usually tightly knit and thick enough to dispel that needle-like mouth of a mosquito. And, if you really want to stay safe from mosquito bites, you can even try wearing a headnet.
Avoid Wearing Darker Colored Clothing
Mosquitoes are attracted to darker colored clothing like dark blue, red, purple, brown and black. If you’re going outside during mosquito season, consider wearing brighter hues like yellow, white, or light pink.
Tuck Your Pants Into Your Socks
You may not be the fashion-icon of the backyard bash, but at least you won’t wake up with a bunch of mosquito bites on your ankles.
Other Tips On Repelling Mosquitoes Outside
Campfires, candles, and planting repellent plants can help repel pests.
Remember, while we do love tiki torches, especially when combined with a good tiki torch fuel to repel mosquitoes, they aren’t foolproof. Along with using these methods as well as using bug sprays, essential oils, citronella candles and the right clothing, it’s also a good idea to use other methods to keep yourself and your guests safe from these biting pests.
Try Companion Planting
Mosquitoes are repelled by the following plants:
- Lemon Balm
- Lemon Scented Geraniums
- Lemon Thyme
- Lemon Mint
- Bee Balm
- Floss Flower
Try adding these plants to your garden or along the perimeter of your home to keep your yard mosquito free.
Remove Stagnant Water Sources
Getting rid of stagnant water sources will greatly reduce the numbers of mosquitoes in your yard. Remove bird baths, buckets, kiddie pools and dog water bowls. It’s also important not to overwater your lawn, garden, or flower pots.
Invite The Predators
Mosquitoes have plenty of natural predators, including bats, birds, frogs, toads, turtles, and fish. If you have a backyard pond, fill it with predators. You can also put out bird seed to attract small birds and bat houses to attract bats.
Keep Up With Landscaping
Last but not least, keep up with routine landscaping. Make sure your lawn is routinely mowed short, you keep your garden tidy, and that you remove any excess debris around your property.
Doing this, along with using a tiki torch with the proper tiki fuel, should help protect you this season from mosquitoes and mosquito bites.
So, now it’s your turn. Do you find tiki torches and tiki torch fuel to be helpful in reducing the mosquitoes around your yard? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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.