10 Stylish Ways to Keep Mosquitos at Bay
Skip the itch and take back your outdoor space this summer with these chic citronella finds.
Sticky and sweltering summer temps are setting in and one thing we know to be true: where the balmy days go, biting insects will follow. Nature gives us mosquitos, but nature also gives us a non-toxic tool to combat tortuous pests. So, before you ransack your pharmacy for anti-itch cream, we suggest preventing the bites. The cure? Citronella oil.
Party Hacks Every Parent Should Know
BUG REPELLANT LUMINARIES If the idea of dousing your yard in bug spray before a kids’ party just turns your stomach, whip up a few of these luminaries to keep mosquitos from crashing your party. Place a few slices of lemons and limes along with sprigs of rosemary into a jar of water, then add several drops of essential oil. We recommend citronella, lemon or lavender! Top with a floating candle and you’re good to go!
Citronella is a bright, citrusy oil derived from Cymbopogon plants or lemongrass. The fragrant oil is infused in incense, candles, soaps and body sprays and promises to provide safe, chemical-free protection against mosquitos and other flying insects. Sometimes citronella is used as a stand-alone oil or blended with other insect-banishing essential oils like eucalyptus, cedarwood, clove and geranium.
Below, we’re sharing the best citronella products to shop for home and body and protect your porch, pets and patio party guests through fall.
Banish mosquitos from your alfresco dinner party with chic citronella hanging coils from Food52. The shapely coil is compressed wood infused with citronella oil that you light at one end. Once lit, the wood slowly burns away and emits a non-toxic, citrus-scented smoke that naturally repels mosquitos from your guests and pets alike. Treat yourself to a two- or five-coil set in mod black or a natural wood finish, then dangle your lot from tree branches or line them down your outdoor table as part of your summery centerpiece.
Keep mosquitos, horseflies and hornets far away from your patio party with top-rated Madison James Flyaway Sticks. Small but mighty, these sticks burn for 2.5+ hours each and release a fragrant geranium, clove and Texas cedar-infused smoke to keep critters at bay. Place the hardworking sticks on your lawn or tuck them into a potted plant, light the end and blow it out.
Citronella with a splash of sea salt is just what the doctor ordered for your next outdoor lunch date. This hand-poured vegetable soy blended candle is made from lemony citronella oil and sea salt to blanket your back porch or patio table in enchanting fragrance and protection. Each candle burns for 80 hours from a hand-painted white jar, complete with an inky dragonfly illustration and a blonde wood lid.
Give your bug repellent skincare routine a facelift with this spa-worthy palo santo citronella body spray. The frosted yellow bottle and contemporary white lettering are so pretty you won’t mind keeping it out on the table for guests for special events. And aesthetics aside, this stuff works. The fragrant spray is formulated with all-natural ingredients like citronella oil, palo santo, castor and soybean oils to create a chemical-free barrier against insects.
Snag this four-candle kit from Amazon to cover all the hang-out spots in your outdoor space. The soy wax candles come encased in summery blue-and-white tins that pair seamlessly with neutral and colorful outdoor decor. Plus, each three-wick candle burns for 60 hours, meaning this mighty set will keep your family bite-free for up to 240 hours.
Elevate your mosquito repellent game with calming citronella incense in this hive-inspired ceramic or terracotta holder. The enchanting incense boasts a summery blend of eucalyptus, citronella and geranium oils that build a natural barrier against biting insects. Shop the incense pack for your existing burner or make it bundle with the sticks plus the holder of your choice.
Zhush up your outdoor coffee table or buffet and keep the insects at bay with this beautiful, bug-fighting citronella candle. The citrusy soy wax candle is hand-poured into a handsome, honey-toned teak vessel that makes a natural focal point for any outdoor vignette. Best part? Once the zesty wax melts, you can give the wooden trough a thorough cleaning and use it as a decorative centerpiece for years to come.
You want this two-spray bug repellent spray in your summer arsenal. The Los Poblanos Herbal Spray is an all-natural blend of essential oils abhorred by mosquitos everywhere: citronella, cedarwood, eucalyptus and lemongrass. Douse yourself in the New Mexico-distilled spray to guard against bites while working in the garden or enjoying an alfresco cocktail.
The only feeling better than sitting down at an outdoor dinner table aglow with candlelight is enjoying an alfresco feast illuminated by bug-busting citronella pillar candles. These ivory citronella candles are our go-to pick for bug-free dining. They come in four sizes, allowing you to mix and match to build a dimensional centerpiece customized to your space. Buy each size a la carte or take the guesswork out of it and splurge on a four-candle set that includes one candle of each size.
This hand-poured citronella candle is pricey, but it may be worth every penny for families that spend lots of time outdoors during the summer months. For starters, it’s massive. The nine-wick citrus candle is 192 ounces and features a cement trough that measures 31.2 inches long. For perspective, standard candles burn around eight hours for every ounce of wax, which means this candle may burn up to 1,536 hours — or 64 days. Buy this beauty now to keep your outdoor dining table mosquito-free all summer, then repurpose the trough as a ruby red apple or pumpkin holder to transition into fall.