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Do Scented Candles Attract Bugs? Find Out Here!

  • Written By Candace 
  • Updated On
  • 5 min read
Do Scented Candles Attract Bugs? Find Out Here!

Why Is My Scented Candle Attracting Bugs (Our Guide To Fixing Your Candle)

If you are looking for a way to keep bugs out of your home or to stop them from invading your summer BBQ outside, then you might be wondering if your scented candles could be making it worse with their sweet-smelling scents. 

Most scented candles do a great job at keeping away the bugs, however, some scents can encourage bugs such as floral scents, flies and ants love these smells, so you have to make sure are using the right kind of bug-repelling scent. 

Do Sweet Scented Candles Attract More Bugs Than General Scented Candles?

In our article below, we will cover which smells might be attracting bugs to your candle, which scents repel them and how to make a bug-repelling candle to light up this summer outside and keep your night’s critter-free!

What Scents Do Bugs Like? 

By rule, the sweeter the scent of your outdoor candles, the more they will encourage bugs such as ants and species of mosquitoes, so your vanilla-scented candle purchase might need to stay inside this summer. 

We’ve listed a few scents to avoid in standard, store-bought candles below – 

  • Vanilla 
  • Strawberry 
  • Blueberry 
  • Honey 

Which Scents Keep Ants & Bugs At Bay?

Anything like lemon-scented candles and citronella candle types is great to keep ants at bay as well as other bugs, this is why bug sprays often have citronella scents. 

We have listed the best scents to repel insects below.

  • Peppermint – This scent is excellent as a candle scent for bugs thanks to its strong aroma, this cause bugs to stay far due to its strong smell.
  • Lemon – The zesty smell of candle scent help to prevent you from getting bit by mosquitos and other insects.
  • Lavender – Lavender is not only great for relaxation but they are great for bug repellant candles too, they also have anti-inflammatory properties too for healing after a bug bite.
  • Patchouli – This has a very distinct smell and drives away nearly anything, including people, if you plan on making your own bug repellant candles with this oil then do not use too many drops as it is very strong and concentrated.

How To Make Your Own Repellent Candle

Homemade candles can be a great option to get rid of the bugs this summer, DIY candles with citronella oil and herbs such as sage are an excellent choice. 

We’ve listed the details on how to make these special candles below.

What You Need 

  • Citronella oil. 
  • Two jars. 
  • Two candle wicks. 
  • Natural candle wax.
  • Sage leaves.


  • Step one – First of all place your wicks in the two jars with their metal base keeping their centre, then put the glasses inside the oven to heat, this should be for around 15 minutes on the lowest heat possible.
  • Step two – In the meantime start by melting your wax of choice on the pot on your stove, we recommend using soy wax for this project.
  • Step three – Let the wax melt them remove them from heat and add in your sage as well as your citronella oil, pour the wax into each preheated jar.
  • Step four – Allow cooling then cut the wicks to a shorter length.

Frequently Asked Questions About Candles & Bugs 

Why is my bug repellent candle not working? 

Try to adjust where the candle is, or if you need to cover a larger area of space then buy a bigger candle. You might not be sitting close enough to the candle too for coverage.

Is pine good for keeping away bugs? 

Yes, pine is one of the best essential oils for repelling bugs, it can be found in bug sprays as well as candles, this is because of its strong aroma.

What essential oils do mosquitos hate?

Some essentials that mosquitos hate are lemon, peppermint, tea tree oil and eucalyptus. They are also said to hate cinnamon and turmeric.

How do scented candles help in keeping away bugs?

A scented candle is meant to keep away bugs due to the smell they give off when burning, this is not pleasing for bugs so they stay away, however, this does not work for all insects as some bugs like a mosquito as they will try to find carbon dioxide from humans for food.

If you want to know more if Sweet Scented Candles Attract Bugs, this article is for you!

When do citronella candles not work?

Citronella candles are about 50% effective against mosquitos and flies, they only tend to work if you are sitting close enough to them and in low wind situations. Also, the effectiveness depends on the number of bugs you are dealing with, the more there are, the more candles you are going to need.

Is it safe to use indoor citronella candle? Check this out!

Final Words

Overall, candles can attract bugs if they are scented with sweet scents or floral scents, these are appealing to all insects like ants and mosquitos, to stop this make sure you only buy candles with lemon scents like citronella or lavender. 

You could also try making your own bug-repelling scented candle with citronella oil and some soy wax.

Find out also if Candle Repel Mosquitoes here!


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