There are so many wonderful things about summer — traveling to sunny locales, long evening walks and ice cream cones dripping down tiny hands — that it’s easy to block out the more annoying aspects. This includes one of life’s great nuisances: mosquitos. Not only am I a mosquito magnet, but I’m one of those unfortunate souls that has particularly bad reactions to bites. We’re talking immediate itchy swollen welts that last for weeks.
As a result, I’ve become a bit of a mosquito repellent connoisseur, and I often rely on more “natural” oils and sprays for my skin. Citronella candles were undoubtedly the scent of my childhood, but they simply aren’t that effective. There is, however, one handy little item that I’ve found does a pretty great job of repelling mosquitos and has its own pleasant, unique smell: Murphy’s Naturals mosquito repellent incense sticks.
These sticks use the power of five plant-based oils: lemongrass, rosemary, cedarwood, citronella and peppermint. A 2009 study found that geraniol and linalool, two compounds found in common essential oils, are effective at keeping bugs away. You can find geraniol and linalool in lemongrass oil, which is in these incense sticks, along with others including rose, basil and lavender oils.
In my opinion, these incense sticks have an incredibly pleasant smell that is just as memorable and oddly soothing as a citronella candle. I also love that they can be housed in chic incense burners that match the aesthetic of the outdoor area, elevating the vibe as a whole while also working to keep mosquitos away.
In order to make these incense sticks most effective, reviewers recommend using at least two at a time to create a barrier of sorts. It will mean you run through them at a faster rate, but I personally think it’s worth it for the peace of mind and itch-free skin. You can purchase a single box for just $10, but given that you’ll want to stay on top of the situation all summer long, you could try purchasing a three-pack for $22, like I did.
Keep reading to check out a number of very enthusiastic reviews and pick up a few packs of these summertime lifesaving incense sticks. At the very least, it’s another tool in the arsenal of fighting what the Amazon reviewer below called “blood sucking, irritating, ha-ha-you-can’t-hide, evil insects.”
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