Outdoor PestsMosquitoes

What Do You Put in a Campfire to Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Mosquitoes 7

Camping is an activity enjoyed by many, but it often comes with the nuisance of mosquitoes. These pesky insects can turn a peaceful night under the stars into a swatting frenzy. Fortunately, there are several natural and effective methods to keep mosquitoes away from your campfire. This comprehensive guide will explore what you can put in a campfire to keep mosquitoes at bay.


You can put citronella-infused firestarter logs, cedar logs, and herbs like rosemary, sage, lavender, and mint in a campfire to keep mosquitoes away. Additionally, planting mosquito-repelling plants like citronella, marigold, lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and mint around your firepit area can create a mosquito-repelling atmosphere. Always remember to follow safety precautions and consider the environmental impacts when using these methods.

Natural Materials and Substances

Citronella-infused Firestarter Logs

Citronella oil is a natural and non-toxic way to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects. The smoke and scent produced from burning citronella-infused logs can help keep mosquitoes away. Citronella is a common ingredient in many mosquito-repelling products, and its strong, distinctive aroma can effectively mask the scents that attract mosquitoes to humans.

Cedar Logs

Cedar logs, especially the bark of the cedar tree, can repel mosquitoes due to a chemical compound called thujone. The aromatic scent of cedar is not only pleasant for humans but also acts as a natural insect repellent.


Burning fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, lavender, and mint can help deter mosquitoes around a firepit. These herbs emit a strong scent when burned, which can mask the odors that attract mosquitoes. You can purchase bundles of these herbs at your local grocery store or grow them in your garden.


Planting mosquito-repelling plants like citronella, marigold, lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, and mint around your firepit area can create an atmosphere that mosquitoes don’t like. These plants emit fragrances that are pleasant to humans but repulsive to mosquitoes.

Safety Precautions

When using these materials in your campfire, it’s important to follow safety precautions. This includes using established fire rings or pits, avoiding flammable liquids to light the fire, and not burning synthetic materials. Always keep a bucket of water and a shovel nearby to extinguish the fire if needed, and never leave a campfire unattended.

Environmental Impacts

While these methods can effectively repel mosquitoes, it’s also essential to consider their environmental impacts. Burning wood, coal, gasoline, or propane in a campfire can release harmful emissions and contribute to air pollution. To reduce the environmental impact, consider using cleaner-burning fuels like propane or dry, seasoned wood from sustainable sources.

Effectiveness Compared to Commercial Mosquito Repellents

Commercial mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or p-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD) are generally more effective and provide longer protection times compared to most plant-based repellents. However, some plant-based repellents, such as clove oil and cinnamon oil, can still offer a reasonable level of protection against mosquitoes for shorter periods.

Using These Methods in Conjunction with Other Strategies

These methods can be used in conjunction with other mosquito deterrence strategies for maximum effectiveness. For example, applying a mosquito repellent on your skin and clothing, wearing protective clothing, setting up mosquito nets around your sleeping area, and choosing a dry camping site away from stagnant water sources can further help keep mosquitoes away.

In conclusion, while mosquitoes can be a nuisance when camping, there are several natural and effective methods to keep them away from your campfire. By using citronella-infused logs, cedar logs, herbs, and mosquito-repelling plants, and by following safety precautions and considering environmental impacts, you can enjoy your camping trip without the constant buzzing and biting of mosquitoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy citronella-infused logs or cedar logs for my campfire?

Citronella-infused logs and cedar logs can be purchased at most home improvement stores, outdoor supply stores, or online. Ensure to check the product details to make sure they’re infused with citronella or are indeed cedar logs.

Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh ones?

Yes, you can use dried herbs. However, fresh herbs tend to produce a stronger scent when burned, making them more effective at repelling mosquitoes.

Are there any side effects to using plant-based mosquito repellents?

Plant-based mosquito repellents are generally safe to use. However, some people may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions to certain plant oils. It’s always a good idea to do a patch test on a small area of your skin before applying the oil all over your body.

How long does the mosquito-repelling effect of these methods last?

The duration of the mosquito-repelling effect can vary depending on several factors, including the type and amount of material used, wind conditions, and the number of mosquitoes in the area. Generally, the effect can last for a few hours, but you may need to add more materials to the fire or reapply plant-based repellents periodically to maintain their effectiveness.

Can I use these methods in my backyard fire pit?

Absolutely! These methods are not just for camping trips. You can use them in your backyard fire pit or any outdoor area where you want to keep mosquitoes away.

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