Do Citronella Candles Repel Wasps? | 3 Ways to Use Them

Citronella candles are made by adding the essential oil from the citronella plant. This is a relative of Thai lemongrass and actually means ‘lemon-like’. Citronella candles work to mask the smell of humans which helps to repel mosquitoes. Citronella can also mask the smells of foods that will attract wasps keeping them away. Their lemon smell will also work to deter wasps as they hate this citrus scent.

Wasps can often be attracted to our outdoor areas when we are entertaining outside or cooking food. The smell of meat cooking on the grill can be enough to attract wasps to your yard.

Citronella candles can be used to mask this smell and keep wasps away.

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3 Ways to use citronella candles to repel wasps

Strategically placing citronella candles around your home can keep wasps out of your yard and away from your food. Here are some ideas for the best way to use citronella candles to keep wasps away.

1. Place them on your outdoor table

Outdoor tables covered in delicious food can attract wasps. Placing 2-3 small citronella tealight candles in the middle of the table is good way to cover the smell of the food and keep wasps away.

2. Place them near your sliding door

Place citronella candles either side of your screen or sliding door to stop wasps from coming into your home. They can find their way in even through small gaps so keep them away with the smell of citronella.

Place them on windowsills next to your sliding door or look out for hanging citronella candles.

3. Choose candles with citronella and another essential oil

Look out for candles with a mix of essential oils added. Candles with added essential oils will keep wasps away as they hate the smell. Look out for candles with lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, spearmint and lemongrass oils.

Check out citronella candles here on Amazon.

Are all wasps repelled by citronella?

Some wasps will be determined to get to your foods or drinks and citronella may not be enough to keep them away. The smell of meat in can be enough to attract some wasps despite the use of candles.

Always keep your food covered outdoors to avoid wasps landing on your food. A grill cover is also another great way to keep wasps away from your yard when you are finished grilling.

Clean out drip trays and keep your outdoor area free of food scraps to avoid attracting more wasps.

Will a citronella candle repel yellow jackets?

Yellow jacket wasps can be repelled with citronella candles. The citronella will mask the smell of the food that they are attracted to. Yellow jackets also hate the citrus aroma of citronella so will keep away.

How to keep wasps off the porch

To keep wasps away there are lots of natural methods you can use. Check out these easy ways to keep wasps off your porch and out of your yard.

Citronella candles

Citronella candles are a great way to keep wasps away. Place them around your porch and light them when you are outdoors. The smell of citronella deters wasps as they hate the smell. Citronella can also mask the smell of food that will attract wasps.

Use wasp traps

Wasp traps have a sticky coating that will trap the wasp once it enters the trap. The traps can be hung under your verandah or from a nearby tree. The trap itself contains a substance that attracts the wasps but once they are in there they can’t get out.

Check out wasp traps here on Amazon.

Make a detergent spray

Mix 3-4 tablespoons of household dish detergent with 3 cups of water. Add it to a spray bottle and spray it all over small wasp nest. Wear protective clothing when doing this and avoid attempting on larger wasp nests.

The household detergent will coat the nest and the wasps inside. This will block their breathing apparatus and they will die quickly.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is a smell that wasps hate and it can work well to repel them from your porch or yard. Place peppermint oil diffusers on your porch to deter those pesky wasps.

Natural repellant sprays

Look for a natural repellant that is ready made and easy to use. They will contain essential oils that wasps hate such as peppermint, spearmint or lemongrass. They are in ready made spray bottles and will not harm people or pets.

Check out natural wasp repellant sprays here on Amazon.

Check out this quick video for 10 natural ways to deter wasps.


Wasps are a pain whether they are around your barbecue area, on your porch or in your yard. Citronella candles are a great way to keep them away naturally. The smell of citronella will mask any food smells that attract wasps and will deter them with their lemony scent. Citronella has the added benefit of repelling mosquitoes so try some candles around your home.