When you live at a place where mosquitoes are rampant you need an effective repellent to keep them off. One remarkable solution are anti-mosquito candles. These products can save your garden dinner or camping trip and help to prevent dangerous mosquito bites.
The most popular candles work with citronella, a plant-based oil made out of lemongrass.
- Citronella has been shown to work as a viable mosquito repellent.
- Its odor helps to keep little bloodsuckers, including Aedes species carrying Zika, at bay.
Most scientific studies stress that these oils have to be reapplied frequently to guarantee long-lasting protection however.
Mosquito candles try to solve this problem by releasing the scent over time to guarantee hours of protection. The wax contains citronella oil which continuously evaporates into the air and helps to keep the area around you clean.
In comparison to other mosquito repellents these candles have several big advantages:
- They work almost instantly. After the odor has been spread it functions as a barrier between you and mosquitoes.
- Long lasting. Some candles burn up to 20h which is more than enough for a BBQ with friends or outdoor trips with the kids.
- Candles protect big areas. In contrast to sprays or other personal repellents, mosquito candles cover a larger perimeter. Additionally, it’s very easy to combine several of them to protect huge spaces.
- Fast setup. Application is straightforward and you can prevent mosquito bites within minutes. Just take a candle with you and light it when you need to get rid of skeeters.
In the next section I’ll review the best mosquito candles out there and will give you an overview about their effectiveness.
I will address current scientific research regarding anti-mosquito candles as well as my personal experience with them. Furthermore I’ll give you tips on what else you have to consider and how to make best use of them.
Cutter CitroGuard: A bucket candle to keep you safe
One of my favorite anti-mosquito candles! It’s basically big metal bucket with a 17 ounces candle that controls all sorts of flying insects.
Just place it outside on your patio and wait until the citronella odor evaporates into the air. Within minutes you will notice that there are less critters buzzing around.
- Size: 17 ounces, 8 x 8 x 8inches
- Effective Period: 30h
- Use: Outdoors
- Scent: Citronella
- Manufacturer: Cutter
- Other: comes in a bucket/lid
Granted, no solution is 100% effective but the Cutter CitroGuard helps to get rid of the majority of harmful insects. For long term mosquito control I heavily rely on granules and traps but this citronella bucket will deal with the occasional swarm that tries to harass me. It’s working instantly and can save most outside gatherings at the yard.
There are some things to consider however. It’s best to place Cutter candles where they are safe from wind. You don’t have to worry about the flame itself, but even a slight breeze can cause the citronella fragrance to evaporate.
Overall it’s not a big problem though because if there’s a breeze most mosquitoes will be gone anyway.
…use the candles below a dining table because that way they get shielded from winds. You may have to experiment a bit to find the best location in regard to effectiveness.
This candle is a life saver when unwanted guest crash your garden dinner. It’s long-lasting and helps against most mosquito species.
Another con is the obtrusive scent. When you encounter the smell for the first time it’s quite overwhelming.
- Cutter’s scent is not unpleasant, but it’s a strong, noticeable citronella odor that can interfere with food.
- Fortunately you’ll get used to it after some time and usually most guests won’t mind this aspect anymore.
Quite the opposite, some even like the scent because it makes it easy to notice when the candle is working.
One bucket lasts around 25-30h hours of usage time. This is not only economical but also saves you the hassle of replacing the candle too often. The bucket comes with a lid so you can leave the candle outside during all weather conditions, including rain. I usually buy a pack of 6 buckets which lasts me one whole season.
The large flame doesn’t drown in the wax because the candle burns down cleanly. There’s no mess to clean up so feel free to place this product wherever you want. Once finished I keep the bucket and use it for gardening.
Overall you can buy Cutter Citroguard anti-mosquito candles with confidence because they are effective and long-lasting. From my experience there is no better citronella candle for your garden if you are okay with the bucket’s size.
Repel Insect Citronella: Portable Anti-Mosquito Candle
A great alternative to the big bucket above. Repel Citronella is perfect for outdoor trips because it’s easy to take the 10 ounce can with you when you want to secure a picnic or campsite.
The metal container is robustly built. Therefore you won’t have to fear that it breaks into pieces in case you drop it accidentally.
- Size: 10 ounces, 2.5 x 4.25 x 4.25 inches
- Effective Period: 20h
- Use: Outdoors
- Scent: Citronella
- Manufacturer: Repel
- Other: robust metal container
I use them with great success around my tent. Once lit the candle obscures my trail and keeps mosquitoes at bay. Together with an additional mosquito net I stay bite free during nights.
- Similar to Cutter CitroGuard this product also comes with a distinct citronella smell.
- It’s okay and bearable, just know what to expect. I recommend that you use it similarly to me (in front of the tent) so it won’t bother you much.
Repel Citronella gives immediate results and lasts around 18-20h. During the effective period not many critters harass me anymore. Some fly around but they can’t stand the odor.
That said I still get the occasional bite when I don’t use an additional repellent. No solution guarantees full protection on its own so better rely on multiple strategies.
Apart from that I haven’t found any downsides: The container has a lid to keep the candle safe and it burns down cleanly without causing a mess. Consequently this Repel product is a great choice for camping trips because it won’t leave any remains in the environment.
Repel Citronella candles are a top pick for everyone in need for a portable, compact candle. They are easy to transport and store so feel free to use them outdoor or hiking trips.
Citronella Summer Yellow Candles: Set of 72
These candles are an economical area repellent for your home. Compared to the products above they are considerably smaller so you might have to use several of them to secure large areas.
The set of 72 comes for under $25 however, so using multiple pieces at once is not a big problem.
- Size: Set of 72, 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches
- Effective Period: 10h
- Use: Outdoors and Indoors
- Scent: Strong lemon odor
- Manufacturer: Light In the Dark
- Other: Made in USA
The smaller size also makes them more flexible to use. For example, you are not limited to placing the candles outdoors but you can also take them indoors to keep mosquitoes away.
- Similar to competitors these products come with a strong citronella scent so I wouldn’t recommend them for bedrooms.
- Better use them as an effective barrier around the stairway.
Keep in mind that these anti-mosquito candles come without a bucket so you’ll need an additional container to prevent a mess. Application is similar to normal candles, they burn down cleanly and last around 10-12 hours.
To sum it up, you will get your money’s worth with these candles because their sheer number provides a versatile way to clean the air of flying critters.
Coleman Citronella Candle Lantern: All-in-one-Solution
This is an instant mosquito repellent when you can’t be bothered with preparation. Just light it and say goodbye to most critters flying around. This lantern is a huge lifesaver for every garden dinner, campsite or backyard.
- Size: 9.12 x 12.5 x 18.25 inches
- Effective Period: 50h
- Use: Outdoors and Indoors
- Scent: Citronella
- Manufacturer: Coleman
- Other: Lantern, no refills
There is no need for finding a container or worrying how to keep the flames inside the bucket when you’re out camping. It ships with its own lantern to contain the candle. The product’s design is safe and straightforward to use. The candle will give you around 50-55h of operation time before it has to be dumped.
As far as I know there are no refills available. Once it runs out you’ll have to replace the whole unit. While I like the simple design I would prefer to not throw it away. It’s an unnecessary waste of resources and could be solved easily with better engineering.
On the plus side this candle lantern successfully gets rid of flying critters.
- Once lit it diminishes the number of buzzing mosquitoes around you.
- I personally rely on other options because they are easy to operate too and don’t force me to cause a pile of mess after one run.
However you can give it a try if you need a ready-to-use area repellent for your yard.
Cutter Scented Citronella Outdoor Candle
This option is for everyone who can’t stand the scent of most other candles. Instead of the typical citronella odor Cutter Scented comes with a variety of different fragrances.
Whether you want vanilla, lavender, cinnamon, sweet cedar or lilac – there are almost no limits in regard to the aroma.
- Size: 11 ounces, 4 x 4 x 4 inches
- Effective Period: 22h
- Use: Outdoors
- Scent: Various
- Manufacturer: Cutter
- Other: frosted glass container
As a result this anti-mosquito candle is a must-have for people with a sensitive nose. I personally don’t have problems with normal citronella products but feel free to give this excellent repellent a try.
From my experience it works great against mosquitoes and prevents them from biting you.
The 11 ounce candle lasts around 20-23h and comes with a decorative frosted glass which looks way better than most metal buckets. It’s clearly aimed at homeowners who want a stylish yet effective area repellent.
A great alternative for everyone who can’t stand the scent of normal citronella candles.
So far the only downside I experienced is that it can attract other bugs, in particular the variant with lavender and vanilla fragrance. While mosquitoes are kept at bay, crawling insects seem to like the scent.
Fortunately it’s not a big deal because you can easily ward off other species. Just treat the area around the candle with a bug killer and you’ll stay fine.
Cutter Scented Citronella Candles are a great alternative to normal products that might smell unpleasant. Buy it to get a well done combination of mosquito repellence, fragrance and design.
Important things to consider when buying an anti-mosquito candle
The number one rule for everything that fights mosquitoes is:
Nothing guarantees 100% protection. It’s best to rely on a combination of strategies to stay safe.
From my experience mosquito candles work most of the time. Granted, it will depend on your local insect population, wind, environment and other factors but I found they work great in several Southern U.S. states.
Scientific studies (1,2,3,4) came to the conclusion that citronella candles can work against species like the Aedes mosquito (the behemoth that causes Zika). For example, products with 3% citronella reduced the number of bites by 42.9% during research.
While this certainly helps, it may still not be enough in heavily infested areas.
Another thing to consider is the particles in the candle’s smoke. Scientists haven’t found a clear link between health risks and candles yet. However it’s advisable to minimize emissions and just use candles outdoors.
That said, these products can still work great and I personally rely on them when I need to get rid of mosquitoes instantly. Just keep in mind that they are no miracles and can’t keep you safe from all bug bites.
Citronella candles are a great repellent for outdoor areas because they offer quick protection against harmful bites. However, most experts recommend to combine multiple strategies to stay safe.
That’s why I always use mosquito candles together with other layers of protection. Topical repellents like sprays or lotions seem to be the preferred way to minimize the risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
They come in many different variations and are considered the best tool to get rid of them. Similar to citronella they only keep pests at bay, but do not kill them.
Another great tip is the right apparel. Cover as much skin as possible and you will have to deal with far fewer bites. There are even treated clothes available that repel mosquitoes.
Nets and screens can keep your house clean so you don’t get harassed while sleeping. They also allow you to cut down on chemicals and candles around your home.
Mosquito coils work similarly to anti-mosquito candles. In contrast they last shorter (around 3-4h) and cause more mess. One advantage is that they are cheap and easy to use.
Coils are one of the most popular area repellents on the world, especially in developing countries. Beware of the smoke that might cause health risks when you inhale it.
Additional mosquito control
To take it even further, let’s talk about actually killing mosquitoes, not just repelling them. There are several ways to diminish your home’s mosquito population.
The best one by far is to get rid of breeding grounds like standing waters, ponds or bird baths.
When that’s not feasible you can check out different mosquito killers. There are sprays available that eliminate all kinds of bugs. Once spread they repel and kill flying critters for a few weeks before you have to reapply them again.
A similar option are mosquito dunks.
- These donuts contain dried bacteria which kill off the larvae.
- Just place them around breeding grounds and wait until the offspring is gone.
- A great first step to diminish your local mosquito population.
For grown up mosquitoes I prefer using mosquito traps. Place them outdoors in the yard to catch hundreds of little critters during peak season.
If you suffer from a home invasion you can also try out indoor zappers. They not only kill mosquitoes but also a lot of other annoying bugs too.
As you can see from this variety of commercially available products, there are many ways to fight off mosquitoes. From my experience anti-mosquito candles can go a long way towards preventing itchy bites. They are easier to handle than most alternatives and offer instant protection.
However they have their limits. Like every other solution it’s best to rely on an additional layer of protection. If you’re out in the woods that could be a repellent and if you stay at home you may want to combine a trap with a candle to get results that satisfy you.
A lot regarding mosquito control is experimentation. I recommend that you start with 2 different repellents and see how they suit you.
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Hi! My name is Mark and I’m an outdoor freak.
Visiting many exotic places around the world allowed me to gain some knowledge about effective mosquito control. That’s why I decided to start this site and give you in-depth reviews regarding the best repellents and traps.
And yes, you may call me Mosquito Mark.