Do Tiki String Lights Actually Keep Bugs Away?

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Outdoor string lights are decorative accessories that can double as bug repellent, depending on their color and scent. If infused with citronella oil, for example, the lights can repel flying insects like mosquitoes, who aren't a fan of the citrusy smell. And if the bulbs are yellow, this could also keep mosquitoes at bay, as the insects aren't drawn to the color. Lit citronella tiki torches in candle or oil form, meanwhile, act in much the same way, repelling bugs through smell (and smoke). However, it should be noted that none of these light options are completely effective. But in recent years, an alternative has hit the market: bug-repelling tiki string lights.

While certain outdoor string lights and torches can reduce the number of bugs around you, they only work as a shield against bug bites when you're in close proximity. Alone, the lights aren't a foolproof method for keeping an area bug-free, and, ultimately, you'll need to combine them with other bug-repellent strategies to keep mosquitoes and other flying bugs away. A better alternative is a specialized mosquito-repellent product like TIKI® Brand's BiteFighter LED Mosquito-Repellent String Lights, which launched in 2021. The BiteFighter string lights are a set of outdoor LED string lights developed to provide more bug-repelling coverage — therefore, being more effective for a large patio or backyard.

BiteFighter LED Mosquito-Repellent String Lights specs

According to the product page, the BiteFighter offers both lighting and mosquito repellency with an on-off switch. The $159 product is said to deliver "330 square feet of coverage and up to 200 hours of proven mosquito repellency" (via TIKI®). It starts its repelling function in 15 minutes and allows you to leave on just the lights if that's all you need. The 36-foot lights come with 14 LED bulbs and three replaceable pods containing repellent fluid. The replacement pods come separately at $72 for the 3-pack but there is a bundle set for about $200.

To install BiteFighter's string lights, lay out the cord in your desired pattern and fasten in the bulbs and pods. TIKI® recommends 10 feet above the ground as the maximum height to hang them for the best results. Test that they all work and then fix your string lights in place with hooks. TIKI® also produces a singular BiteFighter Tiki Torch (on Amazon) with refillable fuel.

What customers are saying about these mosquito LED lights

In their user reviews of TIKI® Brand's BiteFighter string lights, customers on Amazon have been overall positive, with nearly 70% awarding the product five stars. Add in four-star reviews and the positive rating percentage exceeds 80%. The product currently holds a rating of 4.3 stars. In addition to how they look and their ambient glow, some reviewers have noted appreciation for being able to turn off the repellent in times when there aren't a lot of bugs flying around. This said, one review sees the height limit as a downside because the lights can't be used for other types of outdoor spaces like balconies. Other customers report the lights, while effective, are a more costly option for a bug repellent that can be destroyed in harsh weather.

Even though the manufacturer labels them weatherproof and shatter-resistant, it might help to bring in your BiteFighter LED outdoor string lights during strong storms so they can last longer. Overall, these tiki string lights could prove a good investment if you spend a lot of time in your outdoor space, given that they're a hassle-free way to maintain comfort.