Although there are many different options available for outdoor lighting, tiki torches are popular because they add an authentic island summer feel to any outdoor event. They come in many different varieties, they are easy to use, and best of all tiki torches are affordable. Now, there are even tiki torches available that have citronella, which is known for keeping mosquitoes and other pests away.

Tiki torches add an authentic feel to an outdoor event.


Citronella tiki torches serve double functions. One function of a citronella tiki torch is to create an ambient and festive outdoor setting. They can be lined along the walkway to give a luau feel to a party or just one or two tiki torches could be the perfect lighting for a romantic setting. The second function of the citronella tiki torch is to keep those hungry mosquitoes, flies and gnats away.

History of Citronella

Citronella oil is an herbal extract obtained from the citronella plant, which is an Asian grass. It was traditionally used in medicine although and has only been recently used in the United States as an insect repellent. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), citronella was licensed for use as an insect repellent in the U.S. in 1948. Citronella oil is safe enough to dab on the skin and it is classified by the EPA as a nontoxic biopesticide. When citronella burns slowly in tiki torches, it keeps the biting insects away for hours.

Type of Torch Needed

Citronella tiki torch would require an oil torch. The wicks on oil torches are either cotton or tightly woven fiberglass, allowing some to burn for up to 16 hours. While the flames cannot be adjusted, oil torches can stay on in winds at speeds up to 10 mph.


Citronella tiki torches are available in a variety of styles. Bamboo torches have a Polynesian feel and can be purchased at most garden centers and discount department stores. There are also more durable citronella tiki torches that are available in copper, steel and aluminum. Citronella tiki torches also come in smaller sizes like tabletop torches that are portable and easier to move around.

Safety Tips

Tiki torches can be safe to use when practicing common sense and following some general rules. First, tiki torches are made for outdoor use only, so never burn tiki torches indoors. A tiki torch should never be placed under a covering or canopy and keep them away from high traffic areas or anywhere someone could bump into it. The tiki torch needs to have a stable base so that it cannot tip over. Extra care should be exercised with tiki torches made of flammable materials such as bamboo, or cheaply made and inferior products.