Tag Archives: back yard

Save the Citronella and Other Ways To Keep Bugs Away

Our summer here in the Northwest has been absolutely beautiful.  In July we had the lowest precipitation in 53 years, meaning almost none.  August is starting out just as nice.  One of our favorite things to do at night is sit in our backyard, playing a game of cribbage, sipping a drink, talking with the fire pit lit, eating dinner.  Anything!

That means bugs and bites which I’m not fond of.  Lets face it, I’m a magnet for the bug world.  We were going through lots of citronella candles.  We’d burned them so much there was still some wax to burn, but the wicks were gone.   My hubby was ready to throw them in the garbage but I said No!….


I gathered the candles and some wicks fro Michaels.

used candles  candle wicks

Using a knife, I cut out the good parts.  A few spots were not worth saving.  I grabbed a fry /wok  kinda pan from the garage .   I had picked it up at a yard sale for a $1.00. and used it as my double boiler.  I melted the wax until it was liquid.

dounle boiler 1

If I had some extra citronella oil I would of added it, but I didn’t so I went without.  I poured the liquid back I the empty candle dish from Home Goods, then immediately dropped four wicks in it.  The wax hardened within the hour, but I let it sit overnight before I lit it.   Make sure to have a piece of foil under the dish when pouring the liquid to catch the drips.

final product

My pretty new citronella is working fine and looking  good in the backyard.

outside 1

outside 2

outside 3


We purchased a couple of Tiki Torches at Home Depot, 2 for $40.00.  I love that they stand on their own, there easy to move around, the cans of citronella fuel is replaceable, and they come with a lid to protect them when not in use.

Tiki Torch

We also purchased a bug zapper.  I think it was from Fred Meyer, but cannot remember.  We bought it early in the season and I tossed the paperwork so I can’t tell you much more.  I do remember shelling out $30.00 for it.  The zappper has a cord to plug into for recharging and operates on an infrared light.  I think it’s been pretty effective.

bug zapper

Do you like to spend your evenings outdoors?  What do you do to keep the bugs away?

I’m joining the  linky party at House of Hepworths.  Check it out for some inspiration!