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Do Candles Keep Bugs Away? (Quick Answers)

Bugs normally live outdoors in the leaves of the trees, fences, crack walls, under the rocks or leaf litter. But in warmer months they may come indoors in contact with you and irritate you by buzzing, creeping and crawling. 

So, you might be looking for a useful home remedy to get rid of these creepy-crawly creatures.

Do candles keep bugs away?

Scented candles contain bug-repellent ingredients that repel bugs by producing strong fragrance. Bugs don’t like the smoke and heat that candles generate. Moreover, scented candles are enriched with natural essential oils that are very useful in keeping bugs away. 

Scented candles are effective in keeping bugs away. Actually, bugs work by detecting the pungent odor of sweat on skin and the smell of carbon dioxide in searching for a host. When a scented candle is lightened up it makes detection difficult. 

They also feel uncomfortable in hot smoky air. There are various scented candles containing essential oils works great in repelling bugs:

Citronella candles:

Candles made with citronella essential oil contain insect-repelling properties. Citronella oil is a concentrated form of antioxidants and phytochemicals that effectively works in repelling bugs.

Lemon candles:

Essential oil-infused lemon-scented candles spread a light citrus, and fresh aroma, which is naturally unpleasant to the bugs. Moreover, it contains the mixture of citrus and citronella that keeps the bugs away

Citrus candles:

Citrus scented candles contain an organic chemical compound, nootkatone, extracted from citrus grapefruit. It can work moderately well to repel bugs as bugs don’t like the scent. 

Peppermint candle:

Bugs find the minty scents in peppermint candles unbearable and irritating. Peppermint contains essential oils and has a primary active ingredient, menthol and they both actively help to repel bugs. 

Lavender candle:

Lavender candle contains a non-toxic compound called linalool which most bugs do not find appealing. The smell is quite overwhelming to them and so, bugs tend to fly. 

Soy candles:

Soy candles are richly scented which are made of pure natural wax. It’s enriched with many essential oils like citronella, lavender, eucalyptus and lemongrass that gives long lasting protection from bugs.

Eucalyptus candle:

Eucalyptus candles contain a bug repellent compound named terpenoid. Terpenoid in eucalyptus candles can effectively repel by 60% depending on the concentration of eucalyptus essential oil.

Do bugs like candles? Will a normal candle keep bugs away? 

Bugs do not like aromatic candles because they contain active insect repellent ingredients. Aromatic candles are normally floral scented. The floral sweet fragrance overwhelms the bugs and distracts their pathways. 

Also, scented candles contain natural essential oils that produce strong odor that bugs don’t like.

However, normal candles are usually made of 100% wax and do not carry any scent or active property. While burning, they emit the smoke and flame so that a normal candle does not attract the bugs to repel

Actually, bugs are repelled by certain strong scented candles made of beeswax or plant wax or the wax that carries a strong scent and has repellent activity. 

Normal candles might work if enriching them with elements like lavender, lemon, citronella or cedar wood oils can work effectively. As candles are made of these essential oils, they have repellent chemical compounds to deter bugs.

Do scent candles keep bugs away? What fragrance keeps bugs away? 

Scented candles are effective bug repellent. It contains fragrant essential oils which have repellent properties and keep away bugs. Bugs have supercharged receptors that are triggered by these certain smells. 

There are various types of fragrant candles that work really well to keep bugs away. 

Peppermint has a fragrance of fresh mint flavor and bugs dislike the smell of it. The strong lemony aroma of lemongrass in candles work wonderfully in repelling bugs. Also, the herbal scented candles of rosemary clove’s, also help in deterring bugs. 

Again, the floral essence of lavender infused in scented candles pushes-off  the bugs. 

Cedar wood also has a woodsy fragrance as the phenols and acids in it act as natural pesticides by leaching moisture from bugs. Moreover the fragrance of lemon, orange, citrus & eucalyptus candles attract bugs. 

These floral sweet fragrances distract the bugs by blocking the receptors of bugs and divert them away.

Does burning candles keep bugs away? How do candles keep bugs away? 

Burning candles can keep bugs away. Actually, bugs do not really prefer smoky, hot areas. As the burning candles produce flame and smoke, bugs feel uncomfortable. Also, bugs can’t hold the strong smell of the scented candles. The smoke and smell of the candles distract them and divert them away.  Here’s given how candles keep bugs away:

Producing Smoke:

Candles are made from wax. While we light up the candle, it starts to burn and create smoke. Smoke massively reduces the amount of oxygen near the candle area. 

But bugs and other insects need oxygen to sustain their breathing system and their other critical functions. That’s why bugs tend to avoid the area.

Generating Heat:

Bugs are not willing to stay in hot air as hot air is less dense than cold air. Actually, bugs  have a pair of pits that can detect heat and they want to leave the place. The reason is, they are not comfortable in the hot air. 

So, they run away and seek out moisture and more cooler places to hang out. 

Emitting Smell:

Scented candles are made of different types of fragrance. Different antioxidants, natural pesticides, chemical compounds and natural essential oils are enriched in scented candles. 

So, they produce a strong smell that bugs can easily attract by their receptors. The strong fragrance is quite intense and unpleasant for them. Also the essential oils are highly enriched with bug-repellent properties. 

So, bugs feel irritated and leave that place.

Do candles keep these bugs away? 

Scented candles can strongly stand against bugs. But you may not get the best result among all types of bugs. Remember, not all bugs will be equally repelled by candles like. Let’s find can candle keep these bugs away:

Bed bugs:

Bed bugs are really hard to repel. Even essential oils don’t work effectively against them. However, cedar and lavender scented candles work pretty well, repelling bed bugs to some extent. 

But using rubbing alcohol will be a better option to get rid of bed bugs. 

Stink bugs:

Stink bugs are very sensitive to smells and they can’t even tolerate pleasant fragrances as well. They mostly dislike the fragrance of mint, citronella, and lavender.

Candles containing lemongrass oil, clove oil, citrus oil etc. also can effectively repel stink bugs.


Mosquitoes have an incredibly strong sense of smell and they can’t hold strong fragrances. Mosquitoes mostly dislike the fragrance of citronella, lemongrass, lavender, cedar wood. Candles of these scents can effectively deter mosquitoes.

How to use candles to repel bugs? 

Bugs can be repelled by scented candles as they find the fragrance unpleasant and intolerable. Moreover, they don’t like the smoke and heat that candles generate. But using candles in repelling bugs, you also should focus on some these things as well to get more effective result:

Use effective ingredients in candles:

Ingredients matter a lot to repel bugs. Candles that contain antioxidants, natural pesticides and essential oils together, work very fast in deterring bugs. 

Candles containing mint, linalool, and terpenoid compounds work great as they produce a strong aroma. Among essential oils, peppermint oil, citronella oil, lavender oil, citrus oil are very essential in repelling bugs.

Use large size candles:

You should use larger candles they will work better. Larger candles carry more wicks and the candle will burn for more time. As a result, it will offer continuous protection. 

Choose the place consciously:

Observe in which places bugs attract more. Place more candles in the most infestation areas and outdoor areas. Also, place candles in other areas as well to deter bugs from your whole area.

Use a number of candles together:

It’s wise to use a number of scented candles at once in different places of your home. The closer you are to candles, it will work more effectively. 

And the more candles you use, the more area will be covered to protect from bugs. 

Use other bugs-repellent products:

With scented candles, it will be more effective if you use DEET and essential oil spray. These will increase the protection barrier in your home and give the best result.

Final Thoughts 

Scented candles can actively work in repelling bugs as they carry bug-repellent active compounds and natural essential oils. Scented candles emit a strong fragrance which is really unpleasant to bugs. Their supercharged receptors are triggered by the smell and divert them away.