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Outdoor Ambiance with Citronella and Torches
by Barb Hopkins
When the weather warms, many evenings are spent outdoors enjoying backyard barbecues and gatherings. Outdoor lighting such as area lights, wall lights, landscaping lights and walkway lights illuminate the backyard living space, but they do not help repel pesky mosquitoes. Citronella torches do repel mosquitoes and offer casual, ambient lighting to enhance your outdoor décor.
Why citronella torches work
Citronella or mosquito torches use citronella oil. According to the University of Illinois Extension Office, citronella is “derived from a lemon-scented grass (Cymbopogon nardus).” It’s often used as a mosquito repellent. Burning a citronella tiki torch can act as an active mosquito repellent for about 30 to 40 minutes. Citronella oil is non-toxic, and it is the oil’s aroma that keeps mosquitoes as well as fleas and ticks away.
Even though the mosquito only lives a few weeks, it can be one of the most annoying pests in your back yard. When a mosquito bites, the human body has an allergic reaction to the bug’s saliva. The result is an itchy, red welt. Keeping mosquitoes at bay by using citronella torches or candles is an easy way to reduce bites.
Creating ambiance with outdoor citronella lamps
Outdoor lighting often includes LED or solar lighting. Adding citronella torches to your backyard décor can add fun and style. Traditional tiki torches can be found for less than $10 at Kmart.com. The torch stands 5 feet tall and features an all-natural bamboo weave around the lamp. It has a 12-ounce refillable citronella canister with a fiberglass wick. The tiki torches are for outdoor usage only. Use multiple torches to light the area around a deck or patio, while keeping the mosquitoes away.
Citronella tiki torches from Kmart are available in several styles, making it easy to select one to fit your home’s outdoor theme. The torch styles include the metal scroll style, a Chambord metal style and the South Seas tiki torch, available in a two-pack. Decorating with tiki torches for Fourth of July celebrations has never been easier! Kmart even features a red, white and blue style, perfect for patriotic parties.
Other options include tabletop citronella lamps and candles. The Windfighter metal oil candle has a protective outer covering that keeps the wind from extinguishing the flame. Citronella bucket candles can be found in the traditional metal style bucket or fun, fashion colors to match your décor. If bucket candles aren’t your style, consider a package of citronella tea lights that can be floated in shallow bowls of water for a beautiful table centerpiece.