How Many Citronella Torches Do I Need?

How many tiki torches do you need to repel mosquitoes?

how many tiki torches do you need to repel mosquitoes

If mosquitos won’t leave you and your family alone when you’re outdoors, you’re probably asking yourself, “How many citronella torches do I need to stay bite-free?”. Truthfully, you’ll likely need more than you’d expect.

While citronella torches can repel mosquitos, they have a relatively limited range. I recommend using one torch for every six feet of space you want to shield from skeeters.

How far apart should they be? How far do citronella torches work?

Follow the Rule of Six. Place torches six feet from one another. That’s enough space for people to move around them comfortably without knocking them over. Also, place them at least six feet away from structures, foliage, or anything else that can potentially catch fire.

They repel mosquitoes in about a one to two-meter radius but turn ineffective at three meters and beyond. Keep in mind the range is affected by factors such as wind direction, torch height, and the general layout of the area.

Do they really keep mosquitoes away?

Technically, yes. Torches and candles that burn citronella oil repel mosquitos more effectively than unscented candles and using no candles at all.

How long does a wick need to soak?

how long does a wick need to soak

The tiki torch wick will need to soak in tiki torch fuel for 30 minutes. You can let them soak longer, but you don’t get any extra benefits from waiting more than an hour.

Also, make sure you don’t use lamp oil fuel, which is a different substance meant for indoor use.

Can tiki torches be left out in the rain?

can tiki torches be left out in the rain

Possibly, but it depends on the type.

Traditional wood and bamboo torches can probably handle a brief, light rainstorm, but regular exposure to heavy rain will result in cracking and other damage. Although glass torches will likely break if knocked over in high winds, metal and glass can withstand heavier rains.

You’ll want to cap the wicks on your torches when not in use. Otherwise, even a small amount of rain can wet the wicks, making them difficult to ignite.

Can you add essential oil to tiki torches?

can you add essential oil to tiki torches

You can add many different types of essential oils to tiki torch fuel, including eucalyptus, pine, lemongrass, and cedar. Citronella and eucalyptus are the two most common oils used to repel pests.

Note that you only want to use clean-burning fuels. Never use vegetable oil in a tiki torch, as it creates an excessive amount of smoke.

Other mosquito repellent ideas to help

other mosquito repellent ideas to help

How many citronella torches do I need? I’ve found the better question to ask is whether you need them at all. You’ll find a variety of other effective mosquito repellent methods that are often easier to implement.

One of the most effective insect repellents is DEET, a topical treatment available in lotion and spray form. You can also use picaridin, a topical solution with less odor than DEET (although it’s also not quite as effective).

If you’re looking for chemical-free solutions, any standard fan will also work well. Fans not only dissipate sweat and other human odors that attract mosquitos, but these tiny pests have difficulty flying in any strong wind.

James Marshall
About the author

James is a business management professional and consultant with a former background in maintenance, repair, and hands-on projects. He enjoys DIY tasks and maintenance around the home as well as part-time writing. Read more »