The days are getting longer and the temperatures are heating up. Summer is finally here! After being cooped up all winter, people are eager to spend more time outdoors enjoying the sunny weather. As the sun goes down in the evening, the fun doesn't have to stop. Enjoying summer nights outside is one of the best parts of the season. A great way to extend time outdoors in the evening is by lighting some pillar candles on the patio, deck, or porch. Not only do they provide a soft, warm glow after dark, but citronella pillar candles also help keep pesky mosquitoes and other flying insects away.
Citronella is a natural insect repellent. It has a fresh, lemony scent that humans find pleasant, but bugs clearly do not like. Citronella oil and candles have been used for decades to deter mosquitoes and prevent bug bites in an outdoor setting. Pillar candles made with citronella work extremely well at keeping the bugs at bay within a certain radius of where they are placed. The citronella fragrance essentially creates a protective bubble from bugs around the area.
Pillar candles come in varying heights, diameters, colors, and materials. The most common heights are 3-inches, 6-inches, and 9-inches. Popular pillar candle materials include paraffin, soy wax, beeswax, and palm wax. Paraffin wax candles are generally the most affordable option. Soy wax pillars have a lower melting point, so they burn slower and longer. Beeswax and palm wax candles are pricier but emit less smoke. For outdoor use, 6-inch or 9-inch pillars tend to work best. The bigger the candle, the more fragrance it will give off.
When using citronella candles outside, place them strategically around seating areas, tables, or high-traffic areas. Position them upwind from where you will be sitting so the breeze will carry the scent in your direction. Allow enough space between candles so they don’t compete. Generally 6 to 12 feet apart from each other is ideal. For maximum bug protection, encircle your whole gathering area with citronella candles.
Although citronella candles are effective, they should not be the only defense against summer insects. Use them in combination with bug sprays, zappers, torches, and other deterrents. Check for any holes in window screens and make sure doors seal tightly so bugs cannot sneak indoors. Citronella candles work great for repelling mosquitoes, but some research shows they may not be as effective against ticks. Always check for ticks after spending time outdoors.
A few smart tips for safely using citronella candles outside include keeping them away from areas people walk through, not leaving them unattended, and placing them on a non-flammable surface. Avoid positioning the candles directly on wood surfaces like decks and patios. A tray or plate made of metal, glass, or tile works well. Only burn the candles when people are present and extinguish them before leaving the area or going to sleep.
Citronella pillar candles set the perfect ambiance for an evening barbecue, small backyard gathering, or even just reading out on the deck. Their warm glow is welcoming after sunset and their fresh lemon scent will keep the bugs away. Pick up some citronella pillar candles in different heights and diameters to design a decorative and functional arrangement. Cluster several together on a table or space them evenly around the yard. With citronella pillars lighting up your patio or deck, you can enjoy those long summer nights free of annoying mosquito bites. No need to go inside when the sun goes down. The party can continue on outside with this smart trick.