The best citronella candle review. By Chicago Tribune


JUN 26, 2019  8:08 AM

Mosquitoes and other insects can turn your outdoor gathering into an all-out swat fest, forcing you to focus on those uninvited little guests instead of your invited ones. The solution? Citronella candles. This time-tested method for keeping pests at bay can help you enjoy being outside without worrying about nasty bug bites.

If you have a need for citronella candles, you've come to the right place. Take a look at our list of the best available candles, and read our helpful tips on how to choose one. Our top choice is from Murphy's Naturals, which deters pests with a pleasing fragrance. 

Considerations when choosing citronella candles

Burn time

Depending on the amount of time you want to be outside, you can choose citronella candles to match. While the smallest candles will last a few hours, the larger ones can last for days at a time.

Smell sensitivity

Although citronella candles are mild to most, some people are extremely sensitive to specific smells. If you or your guests have an aversion to the smell of citronella but want to rid your area of mosquitoes, then try to find a candle that is not rated as too potent, or place it on a table adjacent to your sitting area.

Pest population

Citronella candles work best on common mosquitoes and other insects that are a nuisance when you're outside. If you have a more serious pest infestation, then you will likely need to contact an exterminator to help with the problem.


Larger candles have a longer burn time. However, the size of the candle does not necessarily correspond to its potency. The wick itself is what dictates how well the candle functions as pest control.

Multiple wicks

If your citronella candle has more than one wick, then it will burn more evenly than one with a single wick. The more evenly any candle burns, the longer it will last, so a multi-wick candle is a solid choice.


While some citronella candles have a simple standard glass holder, others have design accents that can spruce up your outside décor. From country-style buckets to wooden bowls, you can find a citronella candle to fit any style.


Decorative tin

Some citronella candles come in an attractive tin. These compact containers feature a number of different colors and designs to give your citronella candle a nice decorative touch. These tins look at home in almost any environment.

Essential oils

Perhaps the one thing everyone knows about citronella is how it smells. Although the standard citronella scent is pleasing to most, you may want to opt for a candle that also includes essential oils, which complement the citrus smell with other accents. Some of the available scents include lemongrass and peppermint.

Citronella candle prices

Most citronella candles are priced around $5 to $25. The less expensive ones will be small tea lights or other disposable containers, while the expensive end is populated with nicely designed tins. The larger the candle, the more expensive it will usually be.


Q. Do citronella candles just deter insects or do they kill them?

A. Citronella candles do not kill mosquitoes or any other insects. They are repelled by the scent of the candle, and so they avoid it. If you want a form of pest control that actually kills the insects, consider getting a bug zapper.

Q. How safe are citronella candles to use?

A. Citronella is one of the safest means of pest control. Though it's best not to directly inhale the citronella smoke, as it can cause coughing and other respiratory discomfort. According to the FDA, citronella doesn't pose any significant health risk to consumers.

Q. Why is it important to keep mosquitoes away?

A. Mosquitoes are an annoyance for most people because of their itchy bites. However, they carry more dangerous illnesses that can cause serious health concerns as well. Malaria, Zika, and encephalitis are all carried by mosquitoes and can be spread quickly through their bite.

Citronella candles we recommend

 Farm-Raised Candles Mintronella Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent

Our take: Essential oils give this candle a nice mild scent.

What we like: Burns for a long time, and doesn't smell of chemicals.

What we dislike: The container is not as aesthetically pleasing as others.

Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

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