Do Scented Candles Attract Bugs? Discover The Truth.

Do Scented Candles Attract Bugs

Do Scented Candles Attract Bugs?

Yes. Scented candles can both attract and repel bugs, and gnats depending on their scent. Sweet and floral scents, such as vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, and honey, tend to attract bugs like ants and mosquitoes.

In contrast, candles with lemon scents, including citronella or lavender, are known to repel bugs. Aromatic candles often contain active insect repellent ingredients or natural essential oils that produce odors unappealing to bugs. Specific scents play a crucial role in determining whether a candle will attract or repel insects.

Do scented candles outside attract bugs?

Yes, scented candles used outside, especially those with sweet or floral scents, can attract bugs.

What Scents Do Bugs Like?

In candles, bugs are particularly attracted to sweet and floral scents. Vanilla, strawberry, and honey scents in candles are known to attract bugs. Floral scents like lavender, jasmine, and rose, popular in candles and perfumes, may also draw in insects. These fragrances contain pheromones that mimic those produced by insects, particularly during mating season, making them appealing to bugs like flies, bees, and moths. 

In general, sweet-scented candles, especially those with food-inspired or artificial sugar scents, tend to attract bugs to your home​

Do Scented Candles Keep Bugs Away?

Scented candles can be effective in keeping bugs away, depending on the scents they contain. Scents like lemon and citronella are unpleasant to bugs, making them useful as repellents. Lemon-scented candles offer a refreshing alternative to citronella candles with similar effectiveness in repelling bugs. The presence of a scented candle can make it difficult for bugs to detect the odor of sweat on the skin or the smell of carbon dioxide, which they use to find a host.

Additionally, bugs feel uncomfortable in the hot, smoky air produced by candles. However, not all scented candles are effective in repelling insects. Some candles contain essential oils like eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, lemon, pine, and patchouli, which help repel bugs.

What Type Of Candles Keeps Bugs Away?

Candles that are effective in keeping bugs away typically contain specific scents or essential oils known for their insect-repelling properties. These include:

  • Citronella Candles: Citronella is widely recognized for its mosquito-repelling capabilities. Citronella candles are a popular choice for outdoor settings to keep mosquitoes at bay.
  • Lemon and Lemon Grass Candles: The zesty smell of lemon and lemongrass is unpleasant to many bugs, particularly mosquitoes.
  • Eucalyptus Candles: Eucalyptus oil is another natural insect repellent, effective against mosquitoes and other pests.
  • Lavender Candles: Lavender, while pleasing to humans, is a deterrent for many types of insects including mosquitoes, flies, and moths.
  • Peppermint Candles: The strong scent of peppermint is disliked by many pests, especially spiders and ants.
  • Rosemary Candles: Rosemary is known for repelling a variety of insects, making it a good choice for an insect-repelling candle.
  • Pine Candles: Pine scent can help repel a range of bugs, including mosquitoes and certain types of flies.
  • Patchouli Candles: Patchouli is another scent that is unappealing to many insects.

How To Make Your Repellent Candle

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make your own mosquito-repellent candle using natural ingredients. These candles not only add ambiance but also help keep those pesky bugs away:

Gather Your Supplies:

You’ll need:

  • A glass jar (such as a mason jar)
  • Slices of lemon and lime
  • Fresh herbs (such as rosemary or basil)
  • Lemongrass essential oil
  • A floating candle

Prepare the Jar:

  • Slice one lemon and one lime (this will be enough for two candles).
  • Add a couple of slices of lemon and lime to the jar.

Add Fresh Herbs:

  • Cut herbs (such as rosemary sprigs or fresh basil) to fit the jar, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches of space from the top.
  • Place the herbs inside the jar.

Infuse with Essential Oil:

  • Drop in 10-15 drops of lemongrass essential oil.
  • Stir the mixture to combine the scents.

Place the Floating Candle:

  • Add a floating candle to the jar.

Light and Enjoy:

  • Light the candle and enjoy a pest-free summer outdoors!

Remember, you can customize this recipe by experimenting with different essential oils and herb combinations.

Why is my bug repellent candle not working?

If your bug repellent candle is not working effectively, there could be several reasons:

  • Insufficient Strength or Coverage: The effectiveness of a bug repellent candle depends on the concentration of the active ingredient (like citronella, eucalyptus, etc.) and the size of the area you’re trying to protect. A single candle might not be potent enough or provide adequate coverage for a larger area.
  • Wind and Air Movement: Wind can disperse the repellent chemicals, reducing the candle’s effectiveness. If you’re using the candle in a breezy area, it might not work as well.
  • Type of Insects: Different repellents work on different types of insects. For example, a candle that repels mosquitoes might not be effective against other types of bugs.
  • Quality of the Candle: The quality and formulation of the candle can significantly impact its effectiveness. Cheaper or poorly made candles might not have a high enough concentration of the essential oils or active ingredients needed to repel insects.
  • Expiration of Ingredients: Over time, the active ingredients in repellent candles can degrade, especially if the candle is old or has been stored in unfavorable conditions.
  • Outdoor Conditions: Environmental factors like temperature and humidity can affect the behavior of bugs and the effectiveness of repellents.
  • Other Attractants: If there are strong attractants in the area, like food or certain scents, they might overpower the repellent.
  • Incorrect Usage: Not following the manufacturer’s instructions for use can also reduce a candle’s effectiveness.

To improve effectiveness, consider using multiple candles to increase coverage, place them strategically to minimize the impact of wind, and eliminate other attractants in the area. Additionally, check the product’s expiration and storage recommendations to ensure its potency.

The best candle to keep bugs away

Here is a bug-repellent candle available on Amazon that can help keep those pesky bugs away:

SCENTORINI Outdoor Citronella Candle:

This three-wick citronella candle comes in a glass jar with a wooden lid. It contains 350g of soy wax and is designed to keep the fresh scent intact when not in use.