Repelling mosquitoes can be irritating, especially if you don’t like the smell and feel of repellent sprays. Luckily, repellent candles are effective, and they don’t cause any discomfort, especially when they’re smokeless or unscented.
What are the best mosquito repellent candles? Indoor candles to repel mosquitoes should be smokeless and contain scents such as citronella, lavender, lemongrass, or eucalyptus to naturally repel. Effective outdoor candles may use the same scents, but often produce smoke to further boost repelling properties.
There are many candles on the market you can choose from, so picking one out can seem like a challenge when they all seem pretty similar. In the following, we’ll show you what options we’ve found to be the most effective for both indoor problems and outdoor use and provide you with basic guidelines so you’ll know what to look for.
The more you know about mosquitoes and their habits, the better equipped you’ll be to defeat them. Click here to for mosquito facts, prevention guides, and elimination strategies.
Best Practices for Preventing an Infestation
Mosquitoes look similar to house flies (find tips for dealing with flies here), but their legs are longer and their bodies are thinner. They’re black and gray, have short antennae, and have a long mouthpiece to suck blood from people and animals.
They leave behind itchy, red welts, are capable of spreading diseases, and can even bite through clothing, so control is critical.
Mosquitoes are usually found around water and can live up to a month. Learn more about where mosquitoes tend to hide in this article so you’ll know common problem areas to avoid.
Preventing mosquitoes is as simple as keeping water out of the yard so the mosquitoes won’t have a place to lay eggs. In fact, removing stagnant water and preventing water from collecting in shallow depressions is critical for effectively controlling populations.
Learn more about the mosquito’s life cycle and reproductive habits here to help prevent small infestations from growing into massive problems.
Regularly Clean Water Features
Mosquitoes lay their eggs near water or on aquatic plants in the water. Stagnant water is preferred, but mosquitoes will lay eggs near running water if necessary.
Any birdbaths, fountains, or ponds in the backyard should be regularly maintained to keep them clean and the water fresh. When cleaning water features, check for signs of mosquitoes, and discard old water and any eggs you may see.
Ponds that hold fish or frogs may have fewer mosquitoes because so many aquatic creatures will eat them and their eggs.
Don’t Let Water Collect
Anything that’s left out in the rain can become a stagnant water source. Furniture with cushions, toys, pools, and even a shovel can collect enough water to entice a mosquito to stop and lay eggs. Try to cover as many things as possible before it rains, or bring them inside.
If you notice that something in your yard has collected water, empty it out, and give it a rinse, making sure to dry it completely afterward.
Grow Plants They Hate
Mosquitoes are a bit picky about scents they like and don’t like. If you plant the ones they hate, they’ll stay away from the area.
Marigolds are the most commonly used flower to repel mosquitoes, but other options include many herbs such as basil, dill, peppermint, lemon balm, and rosemary. Lavender and lantanas will also repel them.
Try planting them in areas you spend the most time. Try raised flower beds, or use planters so you can move them around when you need to.
Mosquito Repellent Candles – What to Look For
Mosquito-repellent candles are a common and effective solution to repel them. Candles take advantage of the mosquitoes’ picky noses and release the scents they don’t like.
There are several candles to choose from, so knowing which ones work well and how they work can be a bit tricky. Let’s take a look at what options you have.
Types of Mosquito Repellent Candles
We’ve divided mosquito-repellent candles into three separate categories. Keep in mind that each candle can have a trait from each category.
Concerned that the light from a candle may attract more mosquitoes? Read this to learn what mosquitoes are actually attracted to.
Soy Wax Vs. Beeswax
Some candles are made of soy wax and others with beeswax.
The type of wax doesn’t affect how the candle works and won’t change how many mosquitoes are repelled. It’s up to you which one you choose.
Smokeless Vs. Smokey
Some candles produce smoke as they burn while others are smokeless.
- The smokeless ones are ideal for indoor use since you don’t want your home to become cloudy from the smoke. Inhaling smoke is never safe, so smoke-producing candles have the potential to be dangerous indoors.
- Smoke-producing candles are best used outdoors or in well-ventilated areas. Avoid placing these candles in areas where a draft will push the smoke into your face. Mosquitoes hate smoke as much as we do, so these candles can serve as a two-in-one repellent.
Scented Vs. Unscented
Most repellent candles have a citronella scent, but some may have additional scents that mosquitoes don’t like, such as lavender or lemongrass.
The scents will keep the pests away, but you’ll also enjoy the smell. If you don’t like the smell of citronella, try a lavender candle instead.
Unscented repellent candles are a bit more difficult to come by since citronella and other herbs are highly effective repellents. The unscented candles rely on smoke and flames to keep mosquitoes away. These can work well, but may not be as effective as scented candles. They’re also more dangerous since they produce larger flames and more smoke.
Repellent candles are proven to work, but effectiveness depends on the following factors:
- Candle size: Small candles won’t last as long or produce as much of a smell as large ones.
- Area coverage: Surrounding the patio with several candles will be more effective than one or two candles on a table in between the chairs.
- Scent: Citronella is the most effective, followed by lavender, lemongrass, and rosemary. Unscented candles are only effective if they produce a lot of smoke.
Safe for Use Around People and Pets
- Candles are safe to use around people and pets, but you’ll need to supervise them so they don’t become a safety hazard.
- It isn’t safe to let a candle burn for more than a few hours at a time.
- If you’re using a candle with a large flame, try to keep it out of the wind or drafts so the flame won’t blow out of control.
- Candles emit smoke and sometimes release toxic fumes as they burn.
- Many studies suggest that they don’t release enough harmful chemicals to cause a problem with normal usage, so they’re officially deemed safe to use.
- Be sure to keep candles out of reach of curious children and pets.
- Put candles in the middle of the table so they don’t accidentally get knocked off, and be sure to extinguish them when you’re finished with them.
Ease of Use
Candles are easy to use and last for several hours, allowing you to use them a few times each.
The candles themselves aren’t reusable since the wax and wick burn away, but you might be able to repurpose the container it comes in.
If the container contained only natural ingredients, you’ll be able to wash and sanitize it and use it however you wish. If you have leftover wax, boil some water and hold the container in the water with a pair of tongs. This will melt the wax so you can pour it out.
This is only recommended for glass containers since other materials may not be safe to boil.
Never place a candle in the microwave since the base of the wick contains metal.
Some candles come in disposable containers or don’t have a container at all. Whatever remnants you have left of a candle can be thrown away.
Candles are only one option when dealing with mosquitoes. Read “How To Get Rid of Mosquitoes” for a complete prevention guide and to learn about all of your options for elimination.
Best Indoor Mosquito Repellent Candles
Candles are an excellent way to repel mosquitoes indoors.
So what indoor candles keep mosquitos away? We’ve rounded up some candles that are safe to use inside but will also serve as beautiful home decor.
This set of three candles is perfect to use inside because they’re smokeless and come in decorative containers.
Since the candles are smokeless, they rely on the citronella scent to repel mosquitoes.
They’re made with soy wax, so they’re great for those who want a vegan option.
The candles measure approximately 5 inches in diameter and have three wicks in each one, so they’ll burn evenly and quickly fill the room with the scent. Each candle can be expected to last up to 75 hours, for a total of 220 hours of burning time between the candles.
- Three candles in a pack.
- Decorative containers.
- Lengthy burning time.
- Comes with lids.
- No smoke to help with mosquito repellent (though that’s better for indoor use!
This assorted set of three candles is perfect for those who don’t like an overpowering citronella scent. There are three different scents: lavender, lemongrass, and rosemary & sage. They do have citronella in them, but the other scents will mask it quite well.
The candles come in 12-ounce mason jars with lids so you can easily store them and prevent them from getting wet or dusty.
Each candle will allow you over 80 hours of burn time, making them well worth the money.
Only natural ingredients are used, so after cleaning them out, you can reuse the jars as you please.
- Three herbal scents.
- Long burning time.
- Reusable jars.
- Not a true alternative for citronella.
This is another decorative candle that’s perfect to use inside. It uses a citronella scent to repel mosquitos.
The wax is primarily soy and it offers up to 80 hours of burning time. The candle is available in a green glass container.
This candle isn’t smokeless, but it’s small, so it won’t produce enough smoke to make you uncomfortable. This candle will work best in a well-ventilated room or by an open window.
- Citronella herbal scent.
- 80-hour burn time.
- Not smokeless.
This candle uses citronella to repel mosquitoes but is paired with fruity fragrances that will make your home smell wonderful.
This is another great option if you’re not a fan of citronella. There are four different scents to choose from, and only one of them is plain citronella.
This is a small candle that comes in an 8-ounce jar, but it promises up to 40 hours of burning time. If you’re going to use it in a large room or have windows open, you may need a second or third candle to place around the room to cover the area.
This candle will produce very little smoke, so it’s great to use in bedrooms and offices.
- Available in four scents, three masking citronella
- 40-hour burn time.
- Small size may require multiple candles to be effective.
This set of three candles is sure to be enough to cover the area of a large room. The candles measure 3 inches in diameter and 9 inches tall.
Their large size allows them to burn for up to 60 hours, which is more than many other candles are able to offer.
This set is also available as a pack of six if you want to be able to cover a large area or multiple rooms.
These candles are made with paraffin wax, a wax that’s collected from coal and petroleum. Paraffin wax has some safety concerns since it can release toluene or soot as it burns. However, in a ventilated area it won’t be much of a concern.
Paraffin wax itself is odorless, so you’ll only smell the citronella with this candle. You’ll need to purchase a dish separately to catch the wax as it melts off.
- 60-hour burn time.
- Set of three will cover a large room.
- Larger than other recommendations.
- Will need a dish to catch the wax as it melts.
- Paraffin wax isn’t the safest option.
Best Outdoor Mosquito Repellent Candles
It’s crucial that you choose the proper candle for your outdoor space since you have more direct exposure to mosquitoes when outside.
You’ll most likely need multiple candles to make an impact.
This set of six candles is perfect for outdoor gatherings on the patio.
Place the candles 3 feet apart from each other to create a perimeter barrier that mosquitoes won’t want to cross.
A single candle can last for up to 40 hours, so you’re guaranteed to be able to use it for several gatherings outside.
This candle creates smoke as it burns, so it isn’t recommended for indoor use.
- Pack of six candles.
- 40-hour burn time.
- Creates a perimeter barrier.
- Only works well in a 3-foot radius.
If you buy multiple of this candle, they need to be placed 3 feet apart from each other.
They’re available in different colors of tins, so you can easily match the color to your outdoor decor as a fun way to incorporate them into your patio.
A single candle can burn for up to 30 hours, and it has a lid so that you can keep it dry and protected when you’re not using it.
- 30-hour burn time.
- Available in multiple colors.
- Has a lid to keep it dry.
- Wick burns faster if it’s untrimmed.
This candle comes in a decorative terra cotta bowl that will fit right in with plants on your patio.
This one has a large, round wick that will create a flame as big as 4 inches. The flame and smoke it produces will be sure to keep mosquitoes away.
This product is designed to be able to withstand some wind and light rain.
If you plan on using it during these conditions, keep it away from anything flammable for your safety.
- Large wick produces large flame.
- Wind-resistant candle.
- Terra cotta container.
- 5-hour burn time.
- Not refillable.
These small candles are 3 inches in diameter and 6 inches tall, but they can last for up to 30 hours.
Since they’re small and have lids, they’re perfect to take with you on camping trips or to have them sitting on the table while you eat.
Because of their size, you’ll need more for a large area. They’re also available in packs of three or six.
- 30-hour burn time.
- Made with citronella and other herbs.
- Small size requires more for large areas.
Tea lights are perfect for small patios, balconies, and tables.
If you want to sit outside and enjoy an evening free of mosquitoes, a couple of tea lights should be enough.
This pack comes with 16, so you can spread them around the patio or get multiple uses out of a pack.
These candles are small enough that you can fit them into any candle holder so that you can decorate your outdoor area as you please.
They’re made with citronella and other herbs for a wonderful scent.
- Perfect for eating outside.
- Can fit into any candle holder.
- Up to three hours of burn time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Lavender Candles Keep Mosquitoes Away?
Lavender is one of the scents that mosquitoes hate, so lavender candles will help keep them away. Herbal repellents work best with multiple scents, so look for a candle that has both citronella and lavender.
What Smell Do Mosquitoes Hate the Most?
Some of the smells that mosquitoes hate the most are oils of lemon eucalyptus, citronella, lavender, and citrus. Look for candles that have a combination of these scents.
Does Vicks Vapor Rub Repel Mosquitoes?
Vicks Vapor Rub can repel mosquitoes and relieve itching if a mosquito bites you. The product contains cedar leaf oil and camphor, both of which mosquitoes don’t like. To repel mosquitoes, apply small dabs to your wrist, neck, and clothing.
Citronella candles are an easy way to repel mosquitoes and are a good alternative if you don’t want to use sprays or other methods.
They can also serve as beautiful decor for your home and patio.