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  1. The key element these torches have in repelling insects is citronella oil. The strong citrus-type odor makes it more difficult for mosquitoes to locate and lock in on a host, which in this case would be you and your guests. The oil also repels fleas, ticks and black flies. To answer your question--do they really work? The answer is yes, but only to a degree. The odor will certainly cut down on insect bites. While there are no guarantees that it will keep you or your guests from being bit, the odor will certainly reduce the percentage of bites. The key is to keep close to the torch emitting the scent. That said, you may need to have a torch every three feet or so to get results.

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