Citronella oil is an EPA approved insect repellent that can be found in over a dozen registered pesticide products. Some of these products can be used on skin, and many others are designed to be used outdoors as insect repellents including sprays, lotions, candles, flea collars etc, according to the National Pesticide Information centre, NPIC

Following are some of the commercially available Citronella infused insect repellent candles:

Top Pick
Cutter 95784 Citronella Candle, Copper
Murphy's Naturals Mosquito Repellent Candle | DEET Free | Made with Plant Based Essential Oils and a Soy/Beeswax Blend | 30 Hour Burn Time | 9oz
Cutter Citro Guard
Citronella ?
Burning Time
40 hours/ Candle
30 hours
Prime Status
Top Pick
Cutter 95784 Citronella Candle, Copper
Cutter Citro Guard
Citronella ?
Burning Time
40 hours/ Candle
Prime Status
Murphy's Naturals Mosquito Repellent Candle | DEET Free | Made with Plant Based Essential Oils and a Soy/Beeswax Blend | 30 Hour Burn Time | 9oz
Citronella ?
Burning Time
30 hours
Prime Status

However, amongst all the wonderful uses of this soothing oil the most prominent one is its insect repellent properties.

Citronella oil is derived from different types of lemongrass species. The oil is a combination of many different components but the three main compounds present in it are citronellol, citronellal, and geraniol—these give this oil a fresh and floral fragrance.

There a number of insects’ repellents available in the markets these days but the most suitable are the ones that don’t pose harmful effects to humans or animals. Therefore, Citronella scented candles can serve as an excellent insect repellent due to this plant based essential oil present in them.

The mechanism of action of citronella candles is very simple. These work by masking the other attractive scents for the insects due to its strong smell–this, keeping insects including mosquitoes and other bugs away from humans and pets.

Here are some Best Citronella Candles to Repel Misquotes:

1. Cutter Citro Guard Candle

  • Made with real citronella oil
  • Helps reduce the annoyance of mosquitoes and other flying insects outdoors
  • Three wicked candle—burns for up to 40 hours
  • Perfect for use in patio, porch, deck or campsite
  • Wide, stable base prevents tipping
  • Metal container might get hot when burning

Cutter is a popular insect repellent brand which is owned by the famous American company known as Spectrum Brands.

These Cutter Citro Guard candles are manufactured with real Citronella oil to keep disease causing mosquitoes and other annoying insects away. The active ingredient in these candles essentially is Citronella oil that is derived from lemongrass family.

It has a lemony and citrusy fragrance that masks other odors while preventing mosquitoes to track humans scent. Therefore, citronella helps in keeping mosquitoes and other insects away.

These 20 ounce Citronella candles have the tendency to be burned for 40 hours making them a great product to be used outdoor.

Another good feature of these candles is 3 wicks which help spread more amount of the insect repellent essential oil fast in the air. For best results it is advised to use more than one candle and to keep each candle 18 inches apart from each other.

Cutter Citro Guard candles are wide in shape—this unique feature adds to the stability of the candle and helps prevent tipping over of the product. This candle has a metallic body and a plastic ring on the base of the candle that helps in reducing the chances of getting rust stains on hands. Also the plastic ring on the based helps prevent burning of the hands from the hot container.

These triple wicked citronella candles can be used outdoors in patio, porch, deck or campsite. In addition, these candles can help enjoy outdoors without thinking about the pinching mosquito bites.

It is advised by the manufacturers to avoid using these candles indoors or in enclosed areas such as garages or tents.

In addition it is suggested to place the candles on a heat-resistant surface away from anything flammable and out of reach of children or pets.

2. Repel Insect Repellent Citronella Candle

  • Made with real citronella oil
  • Repels mosquitoes and other flying insects
  • Burns up to 20 hours
  • Provides portable mosquito protection
  • Can be used outside in patio, porch, deck or campsite
  • For outdoor use only

Repel Insect repellent citronella candles are manufactured by Repeal brand owned by the renowned Spectrum Brands Inc. i.e. a prominent name in developing pest control products.

The active ingredient present in these candles is Citronella oil 3 % and 97% other ingredients. Since citronella oil is an excellent insect repellent therefore citronella candles can be used to repel insects, especially mosquitoes while enjoying various outdoor activities.

Repel citronella candles are especially effective against mosquitoes as they are made from real citronella oil and helps in keeping away mosquitoes for hours. These 10-ounce candles create a barrier between annoying insects and humans while providing protection for up to 20 hours.

The repel Citronella candles can be used in backyard, deck and patio in order to repels mosquitoes and other flying insects in outdoor areas
Another useful feature of these candles is that it comes with a silver tin with lid which makes it convenient to use and place outdoors

If there is a large number of mosquitoes in your surroundings then it is advisable by the manufacturers to use several Repel Insect Repellent Citronella Candles to maximize the protective effect.

Each candle should be placed at least 18 inches apart. Best results are achieved within 3 ft range of a lit candle.

It is also suggested to avoid using these candles in enclosed areas such as garages, porches for tents. Also these should be placed on heat-resistant surface away from anything flammable.

When not in use it is advised by the manufacturers to extinguish it—which can be done by covering it with its lid. It is also suggested to always remember extinguishing the flame before moving the candle. The candle should not be extinguished or blown by water.

It is also advised to keep matches or other flammable material away and never leave any burning candle unattended from the candles to avoid fire hazards in the home.

An important tip for long lasting usage of these candles is to keep wick trimmed to ½ inch or less which prevents it from excessive burning and melting of the candle. The candle should be stopped using when 1 inch of wax remains.

Citronella candles are safe to be used around pets or children however; these should be kept out of their reach.

3. Murphy’s Natural Mosquito Repellent Candles

  • Provide an eco-friendly and all natural mosquito repellent approach
  • Contains a number of plant based essential oils which keeps mosquitoes away efficiently.
  • Free of DEET and other harmful chemicals
  • Have a refreshing scent
  • Extremely effective and long lasting—can be burned for more than 30 hours
  • Cannot be used indoors

Murphy’s natural mosquito repellent candles are made by a US based company known as Murphy’s Naturals Inc. They strive for making environment friendly mosquito repellent products and encourage others to do the same.

Their passion to make a natural mosquito repellent came from their love of exploring new places with their dog Murphy. Hence, they developed a wide range of non toxic and environment friendly mosquito repellent products.

The active ingredients present in Murphy’s Natural mosquito repellent candles is Citronella Oil, Rosemary Oil, Peppermint Oil and Cedarwood Oil— the perfect blend of these natural oils with Soy and Beeswax make these candles a perfect insect repellent.

Murphy’s natural mosquito repellent candles can be burned for more than 30 hours making them among one of the good quality insect repellents.

The sustainable formulation of these plant based ingredients burns naturally without emitting dangerous smoke or causing any harmful effects on surroundings.

These candles are perfect to use outdoors especially in patio and garden.

In addition, these candles have a fresh and pleasant scent due to the natural essential oils present in them which makes them an excellent option to be used in homes.

Another good feature about Murphy’s insect repellent candles is that these are DEET or petroleum free which is a major concern associated with other insect repellent candles designed for household use.

5. La Julie Muse Citronella Candles

  • Beautiful design and a fresh scent
  • Tripled wicked candle but burns slow due to soy wax formulation
  • Lasts up to 75 hours
  • Can be used both indoors and outdoors
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Bit pricey but lasts for a long time
  • Small wicks do not work great outdoors

These are one of the prettiest citronella candles available in the market. These are manufactured by a brand with online store known as La Julie Muse. They design unique homeware products in collaboration with different designers and artists around the world.

One of their biggest sellers is the beautifully presented citronella mosquito repellent candles. These candles are made from natural citronella oil which has excellent insect repellent properties and a fresh clean fragrance.

La Julie Muse Citronella Candles come in a beautiful blue metallic patterned container which looks perfect to be placed indoors or outside even in fancy parties or dinners in backyard, patio, garden etc. These can also be brought along on picnics and campsite.

Another good feature about these candles is that they don’t emit smoke and ensure making your home free of harmful fumes. These candles are made with naturally biodegradable and eco friendly pure soy wax

Soy wax is a better alternative to paraffin wax as it is completely biodegradable and candles made from soy wax do not increase the CO2 level in the atmosphere.

In addition, soy wax burns cleaner and slower as compared to paraffin wax products. It is observed that a soy candle can burn up to twice as long as regular candles. In case of dripping on any surfaces soy wax is also easier to remove from materials and other surfaces.

Since it is a big sized candle 12 oz, therefore it can last a long time up to 75 hours.

It can be used comfortably around children and pets without worrying about the harmful effects caused by other commercially available insect repellents.

6. Votive Citronella Candles

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  • Look good aesthetically
  • Pleasant citrus aroma
  • Effectively repels mosquitoes and other bugs for up to 10 hours
  • Wax can melt on its own in hot weather
  • Not recommended to be used indoors

Votive citronella candles are small sized candles which are manufactured in the USA. These candles give excellent mosquito repellent properties in addition to flies and bugs.

The active ingredient present in these candles is Citronella oil which gives these a fresh citrusy highly scented aroma that helps repel mosquitoes and other insects far away.

Another good feature about these candles is their lead free wick. Votive insect repellent candles are 1.5″ in diameter x 1.25″ in height and fit into most standard votive candle holders, lanterns, mason jars and other decorative holders.

These citronella candles offer great value for money as they can burn up to 10 hours.

Votive candles are specially made to be used on porch backyard or patio because of the paraffin wax used to craft them.

Unlike soy wax candles these can’t be good for indoor use due to the fumes and smoke emitted from them in enclosed spaces.

Instead of using one large sized citronella candle, multiple small citronella votive candles can be scattered around the area to provide better mosquito repellent action.

These small insect repellent candles can be used around children and pets outdoors

These are available in a pack of 12, 36 and 72 candles.

7. Waxations Citronella Candles

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  • Fresh lemony scent and convenient to put anywhere
  • These can be used both indoors and outdoors
  • These come in a pack of 50 candles
  • These are small sized candles therefore only burn up for 4 hours
  • A large number of candles will be required to repel mosquitoes.

These are small sized tea-light candles which are made in the USA.

The active ingredient in these candles is also Citronella oil, which is an excellent insect repellent. The citronella oil covers up body odor of humans and animals that is attractive to mosquitoes thereby keeping them away.

Waxation citronella candles have a standard tea light candle size. Their small size makes them perfect to be used both outdoors and indoors but a large number of these candles will be required.

Since these are small tea light candles therefore their burning time is not as much as other alternatives products available in the market. Each candle burns up to only 4 hours.

These yellow citronella candles come in a pack of 50 candles which provides great value for money.

Another good feature of these candles is that they look pleasant to watch even when used indoors.

Children and pets should be kept away from burning candles as they might get harmed.

However, these do not cause allergic reactions to humans and pets under normal circumstances and can be used to keep those annoying mosquitoes away for a long time.

8. Just Make Scents Citronella Candles

  • Cotton and paper fiber wick—does not emit smoke while burning
  • These candles are made from soy wax
  • These mosquito repellents are designed for indoor use
  • Can be burned up to 40 hours
  • Homemade candles
  • The jar can get hot while burning

Just Make Scents Citronella Candles are made on a small scale in North Carolina. These home-made candles can compete remarkably well with any other factory produced insect repellent candles because of the natural yet powerful ingredients used in these candles.

The unique feature of these citronella candles which sets them apart from other candles is that these do not emit smoke while burning and can be used indoors without worrying about the irritating smoke and the adverse effects associated with their use.

The wax used in this candle is made from soy and the wick of these candles consists of cotton paper fiber which gets trimmed without emitting smoke.

The soy wax used in these candles make them an eco friendly and one of the most viable insect repellent options that can be used indoors.

Just like other commercially available citronella candles these keep mosquitoes away by giving out fresh citrusy scent.

These candles last longer than most of the similar products and don’t need replacing until 40 hours of use.

These Citronella candles are hand poured into glass jar which might get hot while burning therefore, care should be taken.

Moreover, it is advised by the manufacturer to never leave burning candles unattended.

In addition, just like any other glass container bottles, these should be kept away from the reach of children and pets.

Frequently Asked Question

Does Citronella infused candles pose a health risk to children or pets?

No, Citronella candles contains calculated amount of the essential oil present in them which act as natural insect repellants and are not harmful for children or pets. However, it is advised by the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA to avoid using it on children younger than 6 months until advised by the physician.

What happens if the Citronella oil gets into human or animal body?

Since this oil is not harmful for humans therefore upon entering in the body it gets broken down and leaves via urinary tract.

Upon prolonged exposure it can be irritating to eyes and throat and might cause temporary coughing and skin irritation, according to NPIC.

Are Citronella candles harmful for the environment?

No, citronella candles are not harmful for the environment.  According NPIC, the major components present in this oil including citronellol, citronellal, and geraniol gets transferred into vapors and within 3.5 hours they get broken down by microbes.

Are Citronella candles harmful for birds or aquatic life?

No, citronella candles are not toxic to birds. They might be slightly toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms. Oil of citronella repels insects rather than killing them, therefore, bees and other friendly insects are not likely to be harmed. Overall it has very low toxicity profile therefore can be used as an insect repellent without causing adverse effects.


Citronella candles provide an efficient insect repellent approach. Since animals and hypersensitive individuals can get mild allergic reactions after application of essential oils directly onto the skin therefore, citronella candles can act as an alternative natural insect repellent method without direct exposure to the skin.

Moreover, there are different types of candles available in the market. Some of them are made to be used indoors, whereas others provide better results when used outdoors. The basic difference between the two mostly lies on the type of wax used in the candles. Those which use Paraffin wax emits more smoke and fumes than the ones with Soy based wax. Therefore, soy based candles are mostly suitable for using indoors.

Secondly, another important characteristic for using citronella candles as insect repellents depends on the time for which they can be burned. It is observed that soy based candles can be burned for a long time than paraffin ones.

Similarly, small multiple candles are generally used indoors but on the other hand comparatively large candles are preferred outdoors as small candles might get affected by the environmental conditions and might get burned even when not lit due to high temperature.

Therefore, choosing the right product depends on the specific mosquito situation faced by you. Overall, citronella candles can provide effective mosquito repellent option but it isn’t the perfect mosquito control method.