Does Incense Repel Mosquitoes: The Strange Truth

Does Incense Repel Mosquitoes

During the warmer months, it can be so miserable outside, and even indoors because of more than the heat. Mosquitoes are a small insect that causes enormous problems, but a quick search of the internet will suggest incense to repel them. Does that really work? It seems a bit unbelievable that some floral-scented sticks are enough to keep the beasties at bay. Sadly, you can’t just run down to the corner store and pick a dollars-worth of whatever they have on hand to get rid of biting bugs. So, does that mean that no incense works, or is it specific? I’ll walk you through the dos and don’ts of using incense for insect prevention so you can come out bite free and smelling like a rose (or something sweet at least).

Does incense repel mosquitoes? Some incense, like citronella and sandalwood, can repel mosquitoes. Regrettably, you cannot merely choose any smell you like and get rid of the nasty biting bugs by burning it. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy ways to avoid mosquitoes and all the problems they bring this summer. Avoid diseases and discomfort by burning the right incense. 


Incense Scents That Repel Mosquitoes

Using incense to repel mosquitoes is a good-news/bad-news idea. On the downside, most standard incense isn’t only ineffective. It can attract mosquitoes to your home. Moreover, no stick of incense is an entirely foolproof solution to mosquitoes.

If that’s the case, then why did I say you can use it to repel them? Well, the type of incense matters a great deal. Mosquitoes are sensitive to several natural scents. Most people know they dislike citronella. Hence a well-made incense stick with citronella is helpful.

Sadly, many people are also repelled by citronella. It’s a potent scent, after all. So what else can you do? The good news is that you don’t need to give up the incense entirely to help prevent those nasty biting bugs. The list below has some scents that repel mosquitoes.

An excellent solution for mosquitoes is Murphy’s Mosquito Sticks from Amazon. These DEET free, natural bamboo incense sticks are infused with citronella, rosemary, peppermint, cedarwood, and lemongrass to help deter mosquitoes. Plus, these extra-large sticks burn for over two hours. Grab them while they are in stock by clicking here

Smells Mosquitoes Hate

In addition to burning sticks of the following incense scents, you can plant most of these things around your home to help keep mosquitoes away. Adding the right mix of plants along a walkway, or even in a window box will partially control pests. There’s more you can do, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

  • Basil- While you won’t find a ton of basil incense, you can toss a few leaves into a firepit or grill this summer to deter mosquitoes from your outdoor fun. Use the essential oil in perfumes and grow it in your yard for fresh, tasty Italian meals as well as it’s preventative assistance.
  • Catnip- A member of the mint family, catnip is good for more than making housepets insane. It makes yummy teas and grows easily. Like basil, you won’t find much catnip incense, but it’s still good to know about this one.
  • Eucalyptus- Much like the well-known citronella, eucalyptus has an incredibly strong smell. It will help you breathe more comfortably, and you might find incense that incorporates this scent. Otherwise, add a few drops of the oil to a diffuser or oil burner to help clear the air.
  • Lavender- This gorgeous purple flowering plant looks great in any yard. Moreover, it deters numerous pests, including mosquitoes. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding lavender incense, but make sure it’s actual lavender, not just a lab-created scent.
  • Lemon Balm- If you don’t keep lemon balm around, you should. This tasty, wonderfully fragrant, and lemony plant can help you avoid mosquitoes while keeping everything citrus-fresh.
  • Marigold- Marigold’s incense is rare, and many people find the essence a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, mosquitoes and several other pests also avoid it.
  • Peppermint- There are many members of the mint family, like the aforementioned catnip. However, peppermint is superb for helping prevent mosquitoes and insects.
  • Rosemary- Growing fresh rosemary is incredibly easy. You may have to make your own dried incense blend to get some of these ingredients around the house, but at least it’s not hard to plant.
  • Sandalwood- Here, at last, we come to an astoundingly familiar incense scent that seems to help keep mosquitoes at bay. Sandalwood incense is no trouble to get your hands on.

I recommend the Shoyeido White River Incense from Amazon. This delightful, yet not overwhelming sandalwood based incense permeates beautifully. Light, sweet and fragrant, you’ll enjoy these long burning, twenty-minute sticks for more than their mosquito deterring qualities. Have a box delivered to your door when you order here. 

Does Incense Repel Other Bugs as Well

Be careful when picking up any bug or mosquito repellant. Some of the products advertised, like mosquito coils, put off incredibly stink, potentially toxic smoke. However, there are some pleasant natural smells, like those listed above, that help to deter insects.

Mostly it depends on what an individual species responds to negatively. For example, moths are well known for disliking cedar. Hence cedar chests and cedarwood closets have always been a popular way to prevent them from eating clothing and other fabrics.

How to Repel Mosquitoes Naturally

Incense is a good start for preventing mosquitoes, but you need to do more. Start by getting rid of any sources of standing water. Especially in damp or rainy areas, it’s easy to breed mosquitoes in your yard without even knowing it.

Fill in any potholes that collect water. Likewise, dump any dishes, furniture, planters, or other yard features that collect water often. By taking away the places they breed, you can reduce the mosquito population.

If you prefer an excellent hand-rolled Indian style incense, then Stamford Inc. 37277 Citronella Masala Incense is the one for you. This company offers a ton of delightful scents, but the citronella is best for mosquito prevention. If you haven’t burned hand-rolled incense before, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this traditional, and job-creating style of incense. Check the Amazon reviews right here

Go Batty

A single bat can eat as many as twelve hundred mosquitoes in an hour. That’s a lot of pest repellant if you can get them to take up residence. Fortunately, bats live all over, and luring them in isn’t hard.

Bat Conservation International has several plans on its site for DIY bat houses. With a little wood and a few nails, you can put together a perfect bat habitat and invite these mosquito destroying machines to come and hang out with you. They worked with the Woodworkers Guild of America to come up with guides for different materials and skill levels.

Zap & Trap

Two more superb ways to control mosquitoes are through bug appears and mosquito traps. Both are simple to install. A bug zapper draws insects in with light and electrolytes them, so you’ll need an outdoor outlet. You might also need a high-quality all-weather extension cord.

Alternately, a fine mesh bag attached securely to the front of a box fan, is an ideal mosquito trap. Make sure the mesh is too small for the insects to crawl out. By placing this on the front side of your fan, mosquitoes are drawn in, trapped, and dried out. After that, all you need to do is dump the dead bugs periodically.

Does Smoke Repel Mosquitoes

Incense makes smoke, so you might expect that’s what repels mosquitoes. You’ll often hear that standing around a campfire repels the little biting pests because of the smoke, but the evidence is iffy at best. They likely dislike the extra heat.

Ultimately, the answer to the Smoke Vs. Mosquitos question is that there simply are not enough studies to prove or disprove the theory. Certainly burning some things, like cedar, sandalwood, and citronella will get rid of mosquitoes. Unfortunately, plain smoke is a topic that remains up in the air.

My suggestion is to stick to things we know work. Cover up when you’re outdoors with long-sleeved, lightweight shirts and jeans. Don’t wear sandals. Furthermore, work to reduce the attractiveness of your yard for bugs by bringing in plants, traps, and bats as a multilayered defense.

Final Thoughts

Preventing mosquitoes with incense isn’t enough on its own. However, when combined with other smart methods, you can avoid DEET and other toxic problem-blends while keeping the pests at bay. Most importantly, remember to dump any standing water in your home or yard. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

A good bug-zapper will go a long way toward helping you keep the mosquitoes at bay. If you want to burn incense that attracts them, then set it up near your bug zapper. By making the trap more attractive, you can still enjoy your favorite scents and get rid of mosquitoes at the same time. However, you should probably sit somewhere else if you use that trick.

Fortunately, you can prevent mosquitoes with relatively little effort. Installing bat boxes, setting up traps, and otherwise making your home inhospitable with good anti-mosquito incense will help keep you bite-free this summer.


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