Is It Possible to Get Rid of the Annoying Flies with Candles?

Imagine an amazing lunch out in your backyard with your family, and suddenly an uninvited guest came landing on your food. Surely you won’t have an appetite when these flies get in the way. Fortunately, there is a refreshing and stylish way of getting rid of these annoying flies. They are aesthetically pleasing, and they smell good too. Yes! We are talking about candles! 

Candles are effective flies repellents. The smoke and scents from the candles mask flies’ senses in detecting human hosts, making them go away. However, candles do not kill flies. They just repel them and may not work at all times, especially if they are distanced from the flies. 

This article talks about the most refreshing and easy way to repel flies at home, using candles. I also listed down some of the common scents infused in candles which are powerful enough to make flies irritate and go away. Lastly, I put some recommendations on how you will avoid these annoying flies from having an extended vacation at your home. 

Candles Do Repel Flies 

Natural or essential oils and scents are one of the strongest defenses a candle has against flies. Insects like mosquitoes find a host by using a human’s skin scent and carbon dioxide odor as signals. As they have a strong sense of smell, it is easy for them to attack humans. 

Lighting scented candles will mask our skin scent. Scents like citronella are what make mosquitoes, and other flies go away. It makes the detection of the body scent hard for mosquitoes. Let us learn more about the power candles have in keeping flies away from our homes. 

Flies Infestation is Not a Desirable Trait at Home

Candles can only make the flies go away. It doesn’t make them die, which is also beneficial because even though these flies are annoying, they play a big role in balancing the environment. Scented candles emit strong scents, which are overwhelming for flies. They hate these scents, and it drives them away. 

Flies are not a good company both indoors and outdoors. It can damage plants sitting peacefully in your little garden. An example is a whitefly which sucks healthy juices out of the plant’s fruits and leaves and can cause them to be yellow and die. Flies infestation can do great damage to plants, especially the fruit-bearing ones and the leafy vegetables.

As much as flies can damage things outdoors, they can also attack us inside our house. They make our food dirty and therefore inedible. Flies like mosquitoes may breed in stagnant water at your home or yard and bring diseases to the family. 

Common Flies for Candles to Get Rid Off

Here are some common flies that your scented candles can ward off.

  • Whiteflies
  • Deer flies
  • Blowflies
  • Fruit flies
  • Moth flies
  • Common house flies
  • Horsefly
  • Black flies
  • Gnats

All these insects have something in common, their strong sense of smell. They would always avoid strong scents like citronella and lavender, so scented candles with these essential oils are great for keeping them away.

Some scents are also effective in fighting against different bugs. Peppermint and lavender keep ants, ticks, and fleas away. Tea tree oil is an enemy of cockroaches, and lemongrass can fight off common house flies. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing  Fly Repellent Candle

When looking for a candle effective as a fly repellent, you do not just choose a random candle based on its appearance. You should consider some factors to ensure that you are using the right candle for the job. 

The type of wax does not affect the repelling capacity of a candle. Any wax ranging from soy wax, beeswax, and even paraffin wax can be the base for your candle repellent.

Smokeless and smoky candles. Smokeless candles are ideal for indoor use and repel insects and flies inside your house. It also prevents your home from being clouded by smoke, especially if you are using many of these smokeless repellent candles. No smoke will be inhaled that may harm your health, hence an indeed safe choice for insect repellent. 

Flies avoid smoke much as humans do, so smoky repellent candles would be best used outdoors, like gardens and patios. They can also be utilized in well-ventilated areas, with just enough room for the smoke to circulate. 

If you are using smoke-producing candles, always remember to avoid putting them in windy areas where smoke would be pushed to one side only. Also, avoid inhaling the smoke from these candles, saving only these smokes for the flies. 

Scented and unscented candles. Scented candles often contain essential oils like citronella or lavender, which are effective in keeping flies away. Mosquitos and other insects don’t like these scents as they are too strong for them to handle. Using scented candles keeps pests away and also brings a fresh scent at home.

Unscented candles are not as effective as scented ones. They rely heavily on smoke to ward off flies and lack scent, which is the most effective ingredient in a candle repellent. Furthermore, they produce large flames hence emitting more smoke. 

Use Candles to Repel Flies Over Other Repellant

Numerous insect repellents in the market guarantee fast action in removing flies at home. However, these repellents often have strong chemicals which may be dangerous to your health. That is why candles are indeed a perfect choice for the job.

Candles can burn up to four straight hours. They are easy to use and can be used multiple times. So you can enjoy a wonderful scent while protecting yourself from flies. Furthermore, there is no need to apply any products to your skin, and you can avoid the use of synthetic insecticides with harmful chemicals. 

Repellent candles are mostly made from natural oils and waxes and pose no harm to you and your family’s health. They are 100% safe to use around people and pets. Plus, they are easily disposable, especially candles which don’t come with a container. Or, if they do, their containers are always reusable.

Scented Candles are Effective in Fighting Off Flies

Studies are made to determine scented candles’ effectiveness as mosquito repellents, and here are some findings. A study suggests that scented candles indeed repel a percentage of mosquitoes within the one-meter (3.3 feet) range. As the distance increases, the effectiveness decreases.

Several scents can also be combined to increase their efficacy. The oil of lemon eucalyptus was proven effective in reducing human attractiveness to mosquitoes. The oil repels 60% of mosquitoes within a one-meter range. Remember to always be near your candle to stop flies from coming at you.

The candle size also matters in choosing your repellent candles. Smaller candles won’t last long and produce less scent than larger ones.

As mentioned in the studies, candles repel mosquitoes within a one-meter range, so placing multiple candles a foot apart from each other may give you good results. 

The Ability of Essential Oils and Fragrances to Repel Flies

Candle wax does not contribute to the candle’s insect repellency; scents from essential oils do. Smoke and flame are also contributing factors. Hence, any type of candle with these essential oils and scents will help keep flies away. 

Candle Scents that Flies Hate

Scented candles are effective fly repellent. Since flies have a strong sense of smell, this trait is used to fully disable them from detecting their potential host and swarming in your house and backyard to find food sources. 

However, not all scents can drive away flies and insects. Here are some of the scents you can incorporate into your candle to make them warriors against flies.


Citronella is known to be the main mosquito-repelling scent. It is an essential oil extracted from lemongrass and is a widely used additive in insect repellant sprays and candles. Furthermore, citronella has a fresh citrus scent and is good for freshening up your home and kitchen after cooking.

This scent blocks away the insects’ olfactory senses providing full repellency for hours. Citronella will indeed protect you and prevent you from contracting infectious diseases from insect bites. 


Lavender is a well-loved scent not only for candles but also for perfumes and air fresheners. It has an aromatherapy scent providing holistic healing treatment and promoting health and well-being. Lavender is highly mosquito repellent and can also be combined with other scents to boost its effects on flies and improve the overall scent. 

Lemon Balm

A representative from the mint family, lemon balm is an ideal scent to block flies such as mosquitoes. Pest and insects hate this scent, but beneficial insects like bees and butterflies are drawn to this scent. 

Lemon balm has a lemony scent with a touch of a little mint to it. It resembles a large mint plant with a calming effect that is refreshing and relaxing to people inhaling its smell. Lemon balm is a great ingredient added not only to candles but also to different medications.


Another mint scent that mosquitoes hate is the popular, natural, and effective peppermint. Peppermint diffuses into the air very easily, filling the area with a fresh scent. It is relaxing to the mind and body and is a widely used ingredient in insect repellent sprays and body lotions. 

Peppermint candles can be placed in parts of the house where mosquitoes often enter.  A study published says that essential oils such as geranium, peppermint, citronella, and thyme oil repel both male and female fruit flies. 


Clove is a strong herb that effectively repels mosquitoes. The oil from this herb is proven to ward off mosquitoes and other garden pests. When added as an essential oil to candles, the clove scent spreads out, effectively blocking the flies’ senses and will prevent them from finding a host or human to attack. Cloves are also used for removing ants infestation, moths, and other household insects.


Cinnamon is proven to be more effective in killing mosquito larvae than DEET, an active ingredient present in many repellent products. According to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the cinnamon smell is overpowering for flies. It also gives off a scent of spice and wood, perfect for relaxation and keeping mosquitos away. 


Basil plant and its essential oils are both proven to repel flies. It is a natural source of repellent which can be planted in your yard to protect vulnerable plants in your gardens like vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants.

This plant smells great and refreshing. Candles with basil scent are good for outdoor seating areas such as coffee tables and indoors like kitchen counters, dining tables, and bedroom. 


Rosemary is a flavourful and versatile herb commonly used for preparing many dishes. It has a strong and bold smell that easily registers to flies’ senses and drives them away. It is also utilized in repelling insects and helps with easing some health problems. 

You may often find rosemary as an ingredient in lotions, shampoos, and other topical products. It is safe to use, 100% natural and has many health benefits too. 


Eucalyptus has a strong herbal scent. Adding it to candles is a way of aromatherapy and will give you the best scent throw creating a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. For a lighter scent, you can use lemon eucalyptus. 

This herb, when added to candles, improves air quality and keeps flies away. It is also beneficial for the respiratory system and helps with breathing problems, clogged airways, and headaches. 


Marigold is popular for its bright and vibrant color, a plant known as an effective mosquito repellent. Marigold’s scent can be overwhelming for humans, much more so with flies, so adding this scent to your candle gives a great result. Marigold is added to candles together with other scents to create a scent more appealing for home use. 


Geraniol is an oily liquid with a sweet rose scent. It is derived from various essential oils such as rose oil, citronella oil, and geranium oil. Geraniol gives candles a fresh and natural scent. It exhibits insecticidal and repellent properties and is used as a natural pest control agent with a low toxicity level.

Studies proved that candles with geraniol are about five times as effective as citronella candles and twice as effective as those with linalool oils. 

Candle Smoke Also Repels Flies

Scented candles make a more effective fly repellent. Flies hate smoke, and combining it with their hated scent would be a double kill.

Smoke has long been used in repelling flies, specifically mosquitoes. Some other common ways to deter flies using smoke are mosquito coils and burning waste plant materials.

Candles are a great choice in keeping flies away as they are made from natural ingredients. Plus, they smell good, bringing a calming and refreshing feel to your home adding decoration to the corners of your house. 

Repellent candles can be homemade and customized to your liking. Unlike commercial sprays and insecticides, it contains no harmful chemicals, hence producing less smoke and unhealthy scents. 

Places to Put the Scented Mosquito Candles

We find flies indoors and outdoors, so placing candles in these places would prevent further fly infestation. It is recommended to light scented candles outdoors, in an open area where smoke will not be confined into one place like your yard, porch, or even camping sites.

Tealights are good around garden tables and are recommended to be placed in a tealight holder with a heavy base to avoid being blown out by the wind. Lamp oils can be placed around the garden, along the garden paths to light up your way and repel flies as well. It is also good for a romantic night out in the garden.

Pillar candles have a longer burn time and last longer than tealights. Place them outside in outdoor storm lanterns to protect the flame from being extinguished by wind. Poured candles

can be an added decoration to porches and coffee tables outside. Place them in glass jars

So the flame won’t blow easily.

Indoors, fly repellent candles can be placed on dinner tables so flies won’t get near your food. They can also be placed in the bathroom, more as a decoration and an added refreshment. We don’t usually find flies inside the bathroom, but there may be some in trash cans, so it won’t hurt to put one there.

You may also put two or more candles in the living room, away from any flammable materials and children’s reach. Do not put them in windy areas where flames will be extinguished easily. Getting them near draft areas will cause the scent to be thrown away and not serve their purpose to repel flies. 

What Things Attracts Flies: Things You Should Avoid Having at Home

Candles can only keep flies away when they are lit. The hot throw of candles gives off an extreme scent that flies avoid. They only last for hours, and you cannot keep them lit all day to avoid flies. 

Scented candles can deter flies at a certain distance where the fragrance is present. They cannot cover all the angles of your house, so knowing what attracts flies and avoiding having them at home would help candles repel flies. 

Prevent flies infestation and lessen the burden on your candles following these simple pieces of advice. Keep your yard and the whole house clean. Eliminate garbage, including rotting fruits and vegetables and trash that smells. These are great attractants of flies as these pests often like to stay in dirty places where candles can’t ward off unless you put scented candles in these dirty areas. 

Keep food covered at all times or secure them inside the fridge where flies won’t touch them. Flies can also make your food spoiled as they come from dirty places, which may bring bacteria to where they land. 

Close all garbage cans. Flies are easily drawn to garbage cans as the smell of rotting invites them. Fruits, vegetables, meat, and even dairy products are all perfect food for flies. Furthermore, garbage cans are also ideal for flies to lay eggs. Places with warm, wet, and dark environments are where flies can breed and nurture their eggs. 

Remove standing water. Shallow standing water is a breeding ground for flies. Remove stagnant water in different places in your house and keep them clean and dry at all times. Flies like to spend time in dirty environments, so deprive them of those. 

Setting up fly traps is another great way to lessen flies at home. Fly Traps can be anything from sugar water to fly-eating plants like venus fly traps or homemade. 


Candles are an all-rounder catering to decoration, relaxation, and also repel flies. I have mentioned an option of using unscented candles, which heavily rely on smoke alone. For greater results, I would highly recommend you use scented candles that will not only keep flies away but also make a fresh and invigorating environment at your home. With numerous scents to choose from, you will surely enjoy your fly repelling experience. 

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