What Candles Keep Flies Away?

Flies are a pest. A universal assessment of the pesky little blighters that get under our noses, on our food, and around our homes. There are many repellents for the common fly which range from sprays to sticky hanging paper that stops them right in their tracks! However, this is candle article, so let us take a step into the candle world to see if we can combine our love for the flickering stress reliever with the functionality of a fly deterrent.

You may, or you may already be aware that a fly-repellent candle is already on the market. What we need to discover is whether these are purely practical candles or whether they will still emit the relaxing flames and subtle scents which we all love our candles for.

Whilst flies will be discouraged by the flame, heat, and smoke from a candle the scent is the main deterrent. One popular aroma to keep flies and other insects at bay is citronella. Other scents which are known to deter flies are lavender, cinnamon, lemongrass, and peppermint.

What attracts House Flies?

There are lots of reasons that you may find flies in your house. Summertime will always bring the odd fly or bug but should you have an infestation you need to discover the source as a priority whilst also looking into prevention.

Reasons, why flies may be attracted in to your home, include:


Jams, marmalades, sticky soda bottles! Flies love them all and an open jar or spillage on your counter top will have them buzzing around to find a sugar high!

Rotten fruit and vegetables

Flies love to get right into the cracked and damaged areas of fruit and vegetables and lay their eggs. One rotten tomato and you can find yourself overcome with fruit flies in the blink of an eye. Be sure to throw our any fruit or veg that shows any signs of being past its best.

Uncovered trash cans

Any variety of leftovers be it fruit, veg or meat are an invitation for a fly to lay its eggs. Just scraping your finished plates into the garbage is simply not enough to keep the pesky blighters away. Always make sure that the lid on your trash can is closed keeping any flies that have made their way inside from multiplying!

Pet poop!

If you are a dog or cat mom or dad make sure that you clear the yard of any faeces straight away. Poop attracts flies and once invited into the garden it won’t be long before they make their way into the house too.

What scent will keep Flies away?

There are many scents that flies dislike. Luckily, most of them are pleasant to the human nostril meaning that we can combine our love for a scented candle with the prevention of the dreaded house fly.

Citronella is the most popular scent and will usually be the essential oil used in a dedicated fly-prevention candle. However, there are other fragrances that flies hate that will also take care of the job at hand whilst keeping our homes smelling wonderful. These include:

  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Pine
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass
  • Cinnamon
  • Mint
  • Rosemary
  • Basil

Whilst we are all about the candles here at Flame Stuff these scents can also be used in sprays, air fresheners, or even the live plants to keep flies at bay.

There are other smells that will work to discourage flies. However, as these include vinegar, cayenne pepper, and catnip we wouldn’t suggest them as a candle scent!

Do Fly repellent Candles work?

Fly-repellent candles are easily accessible and can be bought anywhere from Amazon to Walmart! The most popular scent is citronella. Citronella, as its name suggests, has a lemony scent and its name is derived from the French word meaning ‘lemon balm. The essential oil is found in both the leaves and the stem of the plant and is both an extremely popular and effective insect repellent.

That said, burning a citronella candle in an attempt to prevent flies may not be the best use of the popular essential oil. Whilst they can, and in some cases do, studies have shown that they are not overly successful. This is, in part, due to the quantity of the essential oil used in the candle not being enough to be effective.

While there are other scented candles that you can use to deter flies and other insects the same factors would apply when measuring their effectiveness.

What is a Fly’s favorite smell?

So, what smells don’t we want fragrancing our living quarters? Setting out to keep the flies away but instead inviting them in would be the biggest of schoolboy errors. Luckily, it would be highly unlikely to find candles scented with the smells that flies do like but its worth noting that left around, you could be inviting in the bugs.

Ammonia, decaying fruit, rotting flesh, and faeces are high up there on a fly’s list of favorite smells! Thankfully not things that most of us just have lying around the house. That said, it’s all too easy to forget a dog poop in the yard, not remember to close the trash can or not see the moldy orange at the bottom of the fruit bowl. All these easily missed scenarios are simply asking for a fly infestation!

In Summary

Taking steps to prevent flies is a must as it is all too easy to end up with an infesting of flies in a short space of time. Don’t leave sticky substances or food on your countertops and ensure that the lid on your trash can is always closed. Make sure that you clear up after your pets straight away whether that be out in the yard or a litter tray inside.

Burning candles can act as a deterrent. The most popular, and the most effective scent is citronella and they are readily available both online and in stores.