Repel Mosquitoes With These $10 Essential Oil-Based Incense Sticks

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There are so many wonderful things about summer — traveling to sunny locales, long evening walks and ice cream cones dripping down tiny hands — that it’s easy to block out the more annoying aspects. This includes one of life’s great nuisances: mosquitos. Not only am I a mosquito magnet, but I’m one of those unfortunate souls that has particularly bad reactions to bites. We’re talking immediate itchy swollen welts that last for weeks.

As a result, I’ve become a bit of a mosquito repellent connoisseur, and I often rely on more “natural” oils and sprays for my skin. Citronella candles were undoubtedly the scent of my childhood, but they simply aren’t that effective. There is, however, one handy little item that I’ve found does a pretty great job of repelling mosquitos and has its own pleasant, unique smell: Murphy’s Naturals mosquito repellent incense sticks.

These sticks use the power of five plant-based oils: lemongrass, rosemary, cedarwood, citronella and peppermint. A 2009 study found that geraniol and linalool, two compounds found in common essential oils, are effective at keeping bugs away. You can find geraniol and linalool in lemongrass oil, which is in these incense sticks, along with others including rose, basil and lavender oils.

In my opinion, these incense sticks have an incredibly pleasant smell that is just as memorable and oddly soothing as a citronella candle. I also love that they can be housed in chic incense burners that match the aesthetic of the outdoor area, elevating the vibe as a whole while also working to keep mosquitos away.

In order to make these incense sticks most effective, reviewers recommend using at least two at a time to create a barrier of sorts. It will mean you run through them at a faster rate, but I personally think it’s worth it for the peace of mind and itch-free skin. You can purchase a single box for just $10, but given that you’ll want to stay on top of the situation all summer long, you could try purchasing a three-pack for $22, like I did.

Keep reading to check out a number of very enthusiastic reviews and pick up a few packs of these summertime lifesaving incense sticks. At the very least, it’s another tool in the arsenal of fighting what the Amazon reviewer below called “blood sucking, irritating, ha-ha-you-can’t-hide, evil insects.”

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Murphy’s Naturals mosquito repellent incense sticks

Each box comes with eight incense sticks, and can be purchased individually or in three-packs.

Promising reviews: “Definitely works! I have been using these for two years now. I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida, where the mosquito is the state bird, and the no-see-ums are their angry cousin. And they seem to find me right away. Always. I literally would have to cover my arms and legs in 80+ degree weather to keep from being devoured after dusk. I light one about 5-10 minutes before I’m ready to chill outside, and they’re AWESOME! Yes, there’s only eight to a pack, but they burn so slow. I extinguish it in a can of sand before I’m ready to head indoors, and light it up again at the next outing. One will usually last around four or five lightings for me. I definitely recommend for those who are unfortunately prone to being a target for those blood-sucking, irritating, ha-ha-you-can’t-hide, evil insects.” — Sunny V.

“Works great at repelling flying insects, smells good, lasts several hours! These last a long time (3-4+ hours), smell good (like incense with a bit of citronella), and actually work to keep annoying bugs away in the nearby vicinity! The only downside (very minor) is that they can take a while to light properly. You have to keep a flame over the end for 15-30+ seconds before they catch enough of an overall flame required to be blown out and stay smoking. It would be nice if it only took a few seconds of flame from a stick lighter in order for it to start and stay smoking.” — JSK

“Great alternative to citronella candles. With all the rainy weather we’ve had, bugs are multiplying like nuts, so I used these for a recent picnic to help keep them away. They worked well keeping gnats and mosquitos away. You do need to use a few at a time, which can make these a bit expensive but it’s worth it not dealing with the bugs.” — CanHope

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