Do Candles Keep Bugs Away? Or Do They Attract Them?

Having bugs on your deck can be a nightmare. You want to relax or enjoy your cookout without the fear of getting bitten. The majority of people are those that don’t want to use a bug zapper because they find the sound to be annoying. It is essential to identify a suitable method of dealing with bugs around your house. While there are other methods used by most companies, such as citronella oil, to repel mosquitoes, it is not the only option available. Thankfully, scented candles help repel bugs. They help eliminate the task that comes with sweeping up bugs. 

Candles can both repel and attract bugs, depending upon what is inside the candle. Some candles contain repellent scents, such as citronella, peppermint, and rosemary, while others produce sweet and fruity scents which bugs love. Some candles are specially designed to repel bugs.

Standard candles that come without any scent will not help keep bugs away. Scented candles release a smell that bugs find to be unpleasant without causing any harm. They not only release an appealing scent but are also strong enough to cover the odours of animals and humans. The scent is unpleasant to bugs, and the moment they smell the smell, they fly away. It would be best to think about the placement to ensure the whole area is covered with a scent. Keep reading to know how candles keep bugs away.

What kind of candles keeps bugs away?

There are different kinds of candles used to keep bugs away. Below are the most commonly used candles.
Murphy’s Naturals DEET Free Mosquito Repellent Candle
Murphy’s natural candle is ideal if you have toxin sensitivity or if bug sprays irritate your nose. These tinned candles are suitable for outdoor gatherings and come with one wick. They are small, making it easy to set them in multiple spots around your dining. This candle contains mosquito-repelling citronella, cedarwood, peppermint, lemongrass, and rosemary that effectively ward off unwanted insects.
Cutter Citro Guard Candle
These camping candles provide bug protection and plenty of glow. Each bundle offers 30 hours of protection. For adequate protection, consider burning several candles in multiple spots to keep bugs away.
Repel Insect Repellent Candle
These triple-wick candles are practical for outdoor seating areas or tents and provide a long-lasting and unobtrusive burn. The 20-ounce candle offers 40 hours of protection. For more effectiveness, set them along the edges of the stone patio or in the grass. The candle’s container comes with spaces on the side to allow movement of bug-repelling fragrance and air.
NIKY Soy-Wax Citronella Candles
The tins have great lids that you can use for display before lighting up the candle. Soy wax provides a clean burn reducing the likelihood of a smokey candle. The soy wax is infused with lemongrass-plant oil to keep your home, patio, and yard free of insects and bugs.
Geelywax Citronella Candles
This three-wick scented candle provides long-lasting protection from pesky bugs. The pack contains four candles in cereal bowl-sized containers. Once it is lit, you can enjoy pleasant-smelling candles in white and blue tins to keep bugs away. When not in use, keep them covered and move them indoors for best results. You don’t have to worry about harmful fumes because this candle doesn’t emit smoke.

Do bugs hate candles?

It is important to note that standard or regular candles with no scent cannot repel bugs. They don’t contain any active ingredients or essential oils that keep bugs away. Sweet-scented candles made of artificial sugars attract bugs and can lead to an infestation. You need to use scented candles that contain natural scents if you want to keep insects out of your home and patio.

Yes. Bugs hate scented candles. That is why they are used as a popular repelling method. These candles are made of essential oils like lemon eucalyptus oil. They are not harmful. It is for this reason that many people prefer scented candles to repel bugs. Citronella oil is the most common ingredient in most bug-repelling scented candles. The leaves of the lemongrass plant produce oil that is infused in candles and provides a long burn time. 

Scented candles, even though they repel bugs, they are no harmful. The candle masks the smell of animals and people, making bugs and other insects unable to detect their presence. When bugs smell of the ingredients found in scented candles, they avoid the area. Different types of candles keep bugs away, as stated above. Choose one that is most effective, depending on the setting of your home.

What scents keep bugs away?


Citronella is the first thing that crosses your mind when you think about bug repellent scents. Citronella oil is commonly used in candles and commercial bug sprays. It comes from the lemongrass plant and contains a citrusy scent that repels bugs. The smell is delightful to humans. Apart from using candles scented with citronella, you can plant lemongrass around your home to act as a repellent and, at the same time, keep your home attractive. You can create your natural deterrent by adding citronella oil to other essential oils.


Basil is a natural repellent. It is not just a tasty herb used for seasoning food. It contains essential oils that produce or release a powerful aroma that irritates bugs. The essential oils are used to make scented candles due to their repellent properties.


Peppermint contains a minty fragrance that is unpleasant to bugs. The smell of peppermint in candles keeps away insects. Mosquitoes and other insects cannot tolerate anywhere with this smell. Apart from using candles with peppermint, you can also rub the leaves on your skin to keep away mosquitoes and relieve itches.


Rosemary is an herb not only used for seasoning food but also to ward off bug infestations. Even though rosemary produces a sweet scent liked by humans, the smell is unpleasant to bugs and other insects. It is infused in candles to act as insect repellent to keep them away.

Lemon Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus contains a strong smell that is delicate to the senses of bugs. It makes it hard for them to find their food sources. The oils from eucalyptus are used to make candles to repel bugs such as sand flies, midges, and ticks. Place the candles in your yard regularly for maximum protection.

Do sweet-scented candles attract bugs?

Yes. Sweet-scented candles will attract bugs to your home, especially if the scent is food-inspired. Bugs are usually attracted to sweet-scented candles with artificial sugars. The specific smell used to make a candle will determine whether it attracts bugs or not. It is essential to avoid scented candles that contain blueberry, vanilla, lavender, strawberry, honey, and black cherry. However, natural scents like lemon, orange, pepper, and lavender help prevent bug invasion. Keep in mind that the sweeter the blended scent, the higher the chances of inviting bugs.


Scented candles are only effective when used correctly. They only work in the area covered by the scent. For this reason, you are advised to put scented candles in multiple areas surrounding your home, yard, and patio. You may start being bitten by bugs when you move them far away.

The best solution is to place them in areas surrounding yourself and other people, such as on a table and beside lounge chairs. Using scented candles to repel bugs is a great idea, but it is also vital to consider other options to save money and time. You can use scented candles and also consider planting lemongrass for added protection.

Gene Botkin

Hello, I'm Gene. My family belonged to the aristocracy of Old Russia, and I created this site to re-establish a familial connection with them. My aims are to generate interest in aristocratic virtues, such as beauty, honor, and loyalty, and to spread Russian culture.

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