6 Best Mosquito Coils for Indoor and Outdoor Use

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Mosquito coils aren’t anything new and revolutionary in the insect repellent market. That said, I find them particularly useful in semi-open areas, and I’ll always take them over topical creams and sprays. But, unless you’re using the best mosquito coils, you may be setting yourself up for failure.

There are a couple of things to look for in mosquito coils, some elements or features that separate the standard smokers from the top-notch repellents. Take a look at my top picks to see what’s essential and what’s not.

6 Best Mosquito Coils to Stay Bite Free

You can get these in packs of four or eight, with each package containing ten coils. I recommend these for campsites, patios, wide-open rooms, cabins, and various other places.

Each coil can burn up to seven hours, which is more than enough for an all-nighter on the patio with family and friends. The range of each coil is roughly 10 feet, so it’s probably best to use more than one.

If possible, I’d suggest surrounding the area in coils instead of just using one in the middle of the table. That way, you won’t have to breathe in the potent barrier of smoke.

You can’t use coils without stands, and PIC includes stands in both the four-pack and eight-pack. Just keep in mind that the stands are basic and not enclosed holders. So there will be a risk of a fire starting.

  • Ten mosquito coils per pack
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    Decent amount of smoke
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    Slow burn rate
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    Coil stands included
  • Potent smell

These W4W mosquito coils feature a potent repellent formula inside the flammable material. When used in open spaces, the smoke and the unique formulation of the repellent can keep mosquitoes away in a radius of up to ten feet.

The coils may burn anywhere between five and seven hours, depending on weather conditions. I like that you can buy these coils in various packs: three-pack, five-pack, and 12-pack.

With each bundle package, you’ll get some stands too, always half the amount of coils you’re getting. I would’ve preferred a 1:1 ratio, but the W4W coils are a bit pricey already.

Due to how thick and scented the coil material is, I wouldn’t advise using W4W coils inside your home. Patios, campsites, pools, and other areas are fair game.

Given the range, you shouldn’t have a problem hosting quite a few barbeques when its warm outside. That’s even if you live near a river or by the sea.

  • Coils and stands included
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    Slow burn rate
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    Coverage per coil
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    Potent repellent formula
  • Slightly expensive

If you’re all about safety first, you’ll probably look no further than the Milwaukee Off! Mosquito coils. These coils come with pretty big stands with bases made out of round ash catching trays. Barring windy conditions sending ashes and embers flying all over the place, you will be safer using this type of coil repellent.

However, I also have some bad news. These coils have a fast burn rate and may not last for more than four hours.

With that in mind, you should know that the Milwaukee Off! formula is one of the most potent and fast-acting on the market. I like that the standard 10’ x 10’ coverage is respected. This type of radius makes evenings spent outdoors more pleasurable.

I would also like to point out that the scent, while smoky, is not what you would expect. The coil’s fumes don’t smell like chemicals or traditional mosquito poisons.

  • Available in multiple bundles
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    Coil stands with trays included
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    Impressive coverage
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    Pleasing scent
  • Fast burn rate

If you’re satisfied with PIC products, but you want to change your approach, know that you don’t have to switch brands. The PIC Citronella Mosquito Repellent Coils CIT-COIL-4 are almost as efficient as their pyrethroids counterparts.

The mix of essential oils and the acidity that’s released as the coils burn will keep mosquitoes away in a 10ft — radius around each coil. Interestingly enough, you can get a burn time of up to seven hours. That is a pleasant surprise as you would expect oil-based formulas to burn faster.

The coils come in 12 packs of four coils. They’re not great for the dinner table since the citronella scent is potent and because the faded pink color doesn’t have much of an appeal. The package also includes simple stands.

However, I don’t find them ideal since the trays are narrower than the coils. That means that some of the ash may yet fall over the tray sides.

  • Coil stands with trays included
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    Burns for up to 7 hours
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    10ft barrier per coil
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    Natural repellent
  • The smoke and citronella combination can be overpowering

If you already have stands and you’re not particularly picky about your coils, then I suggest looking into mosquito coil refills. It can be a great way of buying coils in bulk and saving some money. You only have to break off how much you need for various holders.

The refills weigh roughly 2oz and feature the trademark S.C Johnson wax that gives them a consistent burn time. Each coil refill only burns for about four hours. That may not seem like much, but given that the radius of the barrier is much bigger than what most competitors offer, they’re more than worth it.

I also like how easy it is to break off and mold the coils into whatever shape you want or need. That makes the refills compatible with all types of holders, stands, or trays. As for the smell, the formula is quite potent, and you can expect a powerful odor. Make sure to keep the coils away from your table, perhaps in the patio corner.

  • Flexible and moldable coils
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    Affordable
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    Efficient pyrethroid formula
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    Even burn rate
  • Fast burn rate

I understand that not everyone’s a fan of mosquito coils. So, if you’re interested in creating a smoke barrier, but you want something easier to conceal, perhaps the Murphy’s Naturals mosquito repellent incense sticks might appeal to you more.

The bamboo sticks feature rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, cedarwood, and citronella coating. Although each stick can give out a decent smoke barrier, the repellents released are natural and not dangerous or annoying to humans and pets.

Each tube of incense sticks has 12 sticks. You can get individual tubes or packs of five. The burn time is not too impressive compared to mosquito coils, but at two and a half hours, this is better than most incenses, making it one of the best mosquito 

The area covered by the smoke and the natural plant extracts barrier is roughly the same as what you can get with most mosquito coils. I think that you should have no problem creating a safe zone of up to 10ft in radius with the Murphy’s Naturals mosquito incense sticks.

  • Very tough material
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    Very affordable
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    Decent ventilation and temperature control
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    Extension patch for knee protection
  • May be hard to get a tight fit around the ankles

What Makes Mosquito Coils Effective?

It’s not just the smoke that helps keep mosquitoes away. Along with the flammable material, a variety of repellents such as pyrethroids are usually also burned. As the repellent is burning, the repellents or insecticides are released.

Even less efficient formulas will still be effective. That’s because the smoke will mess with the mosquitoes. It may even render them unable to bite you. But, more likely than not, the moke will make it so any potential bites won’t be as itchy and annoying.

Disadvantages of Mosquito Coils

Although these products are generally safe, I wouldn’t call a mosquito coil a set it and forget it solution. There’s still a considerable risk of a fire breaking out.

Also, because most coils will burn until there’s nothing left, leaving them to burn overnight could make closed rooms too smoky.

You should also understand that when used outside, wind can impact mosquito coils and incenses. Strong winds won’t necessarily disperse the barrier all over the place, but they may move it away from you.

The Main Reason Why I Recommend Mosquito Coils

There are pros and cons to using even the finest mosquito coils. That said, there’s one particular reason why I like them and prefer using them over other repellents, traps, killers, or deterrents.

I find that the trade-off is well worth it, with the extra smoke and sometimes awful odor. That's even if many people favor using topical sprays and creams.

I’d rather fill the air with some mosquito deterrents than slather my skin with various synthetic products night after night during warm seasons.

I would also recommend you use mosquito coils if you’re prone to allergies. That’s because I find it hard to find very effective natural topical mosquito repellents.

How to Smoke Mosquitoes Away Without Too Much Smoke

I think that mosquito coils will almost always outperform other types of repellents. Or, at the very least, they’ll disorient many creepy fliers enough so that you can catch and kill them mid-flight.

This list has both synthetic and natural solutions to your problem, based on what you would prefer to smell, how much burn time you need, or what setup you have.

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