Do Scented Candles Attract Bugs? (And Ones That Do Not)

Scented candles are a necessity for anyone who wants to improve the smell and sensation of their home. You get a lot of benefits from these candles, including their ability to help provide a feeling of calm and relaxation. If you don’t want to deal with air fresheners or other products, scented candles provide a better alternative. 

However, scented candles are not perfect. You have to pick the perfect scent for you to use, and some people have also complained that they started to see more bugs in their homes when they began using scented candles. The debate over scented candles and their attractions for bugs has been raging on for a while, and we decided to weigh in. 

A photo of one of my sweet scented candles that attracts bugs
Sweet scented candles can attract bugs, especially in the summer months

So, do scented candles attract bugs? The truth is that some scented candles can actually attract bugs especially sweet scented candles. However with that being said some scented candles with essential oils can actually help to repel bugs. So in reality it is totally dependent on the scent used in the candle.

Understanding the difference between a scented candle that attracts bugs and one that doesn’t can be challenging. However, we will go deeper in this post. 

How Do Scented Candles Work?

The ambiance created by scented candles is truly second to none. But, they do more than just release smells. 

Scented candles are made from wax, perfumes, wicks, and candle containers. The perfume is combined with the wax, allowing the candle to release it as you burn. It’s basically the same process as the non-scented candles, but with the addition of scents at the end.  

Today, there are over 2,000 aroma chemicals and essential oils that could be used with candles. In fact, some of these aroma chemicals are even used in things like body lotions and soaps. Candle manufacturers have put in a great deal of work and time to build the perfect formulas to ensure that their candles burn safely and effectively while also emitting the perfect scents. 

Interestingly, some scented candles can help in the fight against bugs. By masking the scent of humans, the candles ensure that people are invisible to bugs. So, many of the bugs just move along without disturbing you.

But, you should also keep in mind that these products aren’t entirely effective. Some bugs look for carbon dioxide when searching for their prey, and the carbon emitted by the scented candles could attract them. So, you could have a problem.

What Scents Are Better At Keeping Bugs Away? 

Like we pointed out, there are thousands of aroma chemicals used in manufacturing scented candles. This means that some scented candles work better when it comes to repelling bugs. Some of these scents include: 


Lavender is a floral scent that does more than just help you to smell good. With a unique smell, lavender promotes a soothing and relaxing feeling. Some people even claim that lavender-scented candles help them to ease their headaches. Plus, most bugs don’t necessarily like the lavender scent.  

Even better for you, it’s pretty easy to find lavender-scented candles. So, you might want to consider these.

Have a look at these lavender candles on Amazon that smell luxurious.


Lemon is another very pleasant flavor. While it might not be as available as lavender, lemon is a pretty solid choice if you’re looking to avoid bugs. 

If you’re really craving the lemon scent but can’t find any lemon-scented candles, you could easily get some homemade options to help you out. Plus, you could take lemon slices and peels and place them at key locations around your home.

These lemon scented candles on Amazon will work wonders at keeping those pesky bugs away.


Like lavender, pine has several impressive qualities. It smells nice, does well when protecting against bugs, and can easily be obtained around. For most people who need more permanent solutions to bugs, pine is an impressive option.


Patchouli isn’t so popular – not as popular as some of the other options on this list. However, it has a distinctive smell that is pretty pleasant. Plus, patchouli repels just about any bug. Beware though patchouli may not be safe for your dog.

But, if you will be making homemade candles, we recommend that you be careful with patchouli. The flavor can be pretty strong, and you don’t want to use too many drops of its oil. 

Different Bugs, Different Scents

While it’s easy to recommend different flavors of scented candles, it’s important to keep in mind that some scents are especially effective when repelling specific bugs. Considering that we have some common bugs around us, here are some scents that work well in repelling them: 

  • Lavender is good for repelling ants
  • Lemongrass helps to repel house flies 
  • Peppermint is good in dealing with ants too
  • Tea tree oil is perfect for eliminating cockroaches
  • You can also use lavender to repel fleas and ticks 

The Importance of Placement 

While the type of scented candle you use is a huge factor in repelling bugs, you should also be careful with the candle’s placement. Here are some things to consider: 

Consider the Candle’s Coverage 

On average, a candle should be able to repel bugs for a square area of three feet. Depending on how large the room is, the distance could be enough. Just put two or three candles in a relatively large room, and you’re good to go. You should also remember that the larger the candle, the better for you. 

If you’re using a homemade candle, you could increase the strength of the perfume oil so that you don’t have to use too many candles.  

Place the Candle Well 

We recommend that you place standard candles at least three feet apart. This way, you can ensure that bugs will be unable to get into the entire area. These store-bought candles are usually smaller, so they tend to need close proximity. But, if you buy larger candles, then you don’t need to place them so close together. 

You Can Also Stay Close to the Candle

Remember that bug-repellent scented candles will only work for a specific area. So, you probably want to stay close to the candles for them to work well for you. If you’re too far away, then you could drift away from the coverage area and be in harm’s way once more. 

An easy workaround is to palace the candle in an area where people are. Perhaps put it close to your dining table or your furniture settee. 


We all love scented candles and their ability to fill up a room with their lovely smell. Being able to enjoy the scent – as well as benefits like stress relief and relaxation – is definitely something to look forward to. 

But, you also need to be careful as some scented candles could attract bugs. If your home is prone to having bugs try to stay away from sweet scents that bugs would naturally class as food.

We recommend that you take your time while picking the perfect flavor for your candle, and ensure that the placement is right.  

Andrew Scents and Aroma