Are Tikki Torches Bad for the Environment?

Tikki torches are pole-mounted oil lamps made of bamboo or metal used to add decorative value to the garden area.

Tikki torches are made of bamboo sticks and have a flammable fluid in the upper chamber. A cotton or fiberglass wick is placed inside the chamber, which soaks oil and lights up the Tikki torch.

As far as the environment is concerned, Tikki torches pose a minimal threat to the surrounding area. However, mosquitoes are quite vulnerable to Tikki torches, as they repel mosquitoes and bugs away from them.

What Is Tikki Torches?

Tikki torches have a traditional origin and have gained popularity in recent years.

Primarily the Tikki torches were made of bamboo and there was a high risk of fire hazard, in case of carelessness.

But over the years, aluminum and other metals are also used to make the pole and fuel chamber of the Tikki torches.

The Fuel chamber allows every flammable oil. From kerosene oil to cooking oil, whatever comes in handy.

The wick is either a cotton woven into a strip-like structure or a professional fiberglass stick. Cotton wicks are more cost-friendly than fiberglass ones but require maximum maintenance.

Which Is The Best Fuel Oil For Tikki Torches

Tikki torches use oil as a fuelling system. Tikki torches can use kerosene oil, turpentine oil, citronella, or even olive oil to turn on the flame in a flammable chamber.

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To have minimal environmental impacts and public health concerns, citronella is thought to be one of the best fuelling oils for Tikki torches.

Citronella Oil has a plant origin, which is closely related to the lemongrass family.

EPA has marked burning citronella a safe fuel in Tikki torches among other fuelling oils.

Pure citronella oil is safe to use around pets and kids. Moreover, it releases negligible toxins when burned in the Tikki Torches.

If you don’t have access to citronella oil, another eco-friendly option is cooking oil such as mustard or olive oil.

Are Tikki Torches Made Of Flammable Material

Tikki torches have raised concerns because the material used in making them was highly flammable. The fuelling chamber was also lined with bamboo making it more vulnerable to catching fire.

But recently, alternative materials like metal and aluminum are introduced in the manufacturing of Tikki torches.

These alternatives have pushed Tikki torches away from the flammable zone and listed them as good for public health and safety and the surrounding environment.

Do Tikki Torches Kill Bugs And Mosquitoes

It is often assumed that Tikki torches kill mosquitoes and bugs. But unfortunately, they do not.

Certain bugs are attracted to flames but Citronella Oil gives off a faint fragrance that repels bugs.

Tikki torches can’t kill bugs unless the bug falls into the flame itself.

In the case of mosquitoes, Tikki torches produce faint smoke which can also keep mosquitoes a few meters away.

So, the answer to the question ‘Do Tikki torches kill bugs and mosquitoes?’ is a simple No.

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Do Tikki Torches Pose A Serious Threat To The Environment

Tikki Torches pose no serious threat to the environment because it releases negligible emissions after burning.

To analyze environmental risk, the fuel oil used to light up the Tikki torch must be evaluated. Generally, low-emission fuelling oil like Citronella is used, which poses minimal threats to the environment.

EPA has approved citronella oil to be a safe burning option for Tikki Torches.

In case of mishandling, Tikki torches can cause serious fire hazards. And to avoid such incidents, simple precautionary steps can be followed.

Precautionary Measures For Using Tikki Torches

Placement-Tikki torches are used in the garden areas near trees and plants. To avoid accidents, torches must be placed 6-8 feet apart from one another.

It is advised not to put torches directly under trees or hung branches.

Fixation-Tikki torches must be anchored properly.

To make children and pets friendly, tie them to the non-wooden fence and anchor them deeply into the ground.

Fuelling-Always use a non-toxic plant-based oil for burning. Make sure to refill the torches carefully using a funnel to avoid oil spillage.

Make sure to put away the fuelling can or bottle away from children and food items as it may be mistaken for apple juice or cooking oil.

Extinguishing The Tikki Torch-One of the most vital steps of keeping and maintaining a Tikki torch is to extinguish it properly after usage. Although the flame will come to an end when the fuel oil is finished.

But one must extinguish the flame and carefully put the cap on the wick to cut off the oxygen supply.

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Oil Spillage-Fuelling oil can drip and spill in the surrounding area. To clean oil spillage, simply cover the area with sand to soak up oil and pick it up.

When Not In Use-when temperatures are about to fall below freezing points, wipe all the oil from the fuelling chamber and cover the Tikki torch with plastic wrap.

Tikki torches can stand all weather conditions but fuelling oil can freeze in lower degrees.

Application Of Tikki Torches

One of the obvious applications of a Tikki torch is garden décor. But other applications require a highlight.

  • Tikki torches can be used as bug and mosquito repellent.
  • Adds a decorative value and a pleasing sight to your garden area.
  • A little fragrance oil when mixed with fuelling oil can infuse the air and act as an air freshener.
  • Tikki Torches can also be used as a light and heat source in the fuzzy evenings.


The sole purpose of Tikki torches is décor. Tikki torches are lightened up by citronella oil, a non-toxic oil that emits minimal emissions.

When handled carefully, the potential fire hazard can also be minimized. Environment Protection Agency has approved that Tikki torches are not bad for the environment because they burn clean fuelling oil.

To maximize sustainability, solar-powered Tikki torches can be used as a garden décor and light source.

As an environmentalist, it is our foremost duty to opt for options that are eco-friendly and cause no serious damage to the environment and Tikki torches are one of them.



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