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While old coffee grounds can be repurposed and recycled for a number of things, including composting and cleaning, it is also highly effective at repelling mosquitos. When coffee grounds are burned, they release a chemical compound into the air that mosquitoes hate to smell. 

And since mosquitoes can be an absolute pain during the warmer months, the sweet aroma from coffee grounds is an excellent way to combat your mosquito problem and keep them away.

So, instead of discarding your coffee grounds following your morning cup of coffee, you can use the grinds to keep those annoying mosquitoes at bay.

Let me show you just how.

burning coffee
Image Credit: Canva

How to Burn Coffee Grounds to Keep Mosquitoes Away

Before you begin, do this in a safe and controlled setting. Choose an outdoor area away from any flammable materials or structures.

Step 1 – Prepare the coffee grounds

Take the recently brewed old coffee grounds and allow it to dry completely. If you utilize wet coffee grounds, you might find it difficult to get it to light, so we recommend waiting until it is dry.

Step 2 – Use Aluminum Foil

Once the coffee grounds are dry, place it on an aluminum foil plate. Place the aluminum foil on a heat-resistant, leveled surface, like a concrete floor or table. 

You can also use a firepit or grill to burn the grounds.

burning coffee grounds 2

Step 3 – Light the Grounds

Add a couple of drops of lighter fluid, then use a match or lighter to light the coffee grounds. Try not to saturate the grounds with lighter fluid, as you want to ensure that the grounds don’t burn too quickly.

The coffee grounds will create a small smoke. As they burn, the aroma will be released into the air, creating a natural barrier against mosquitoes.

Place the burning coffee grounds where mosquitoes are likely to gather, such as near sitting areas or around entrances to your home. This will create a localized barrier and minimize mosquito activity in those areas.

burning coffee grounds

Safety Tips When Burning Coffee Grounds

  • Please be sure to keep this away from kids and animals. 
  • Avoid burning coffee grounds indoors, as this might pose a fire risk.
  • Never leave burning coffee grinds unattended. Ensure the fire is fully extinguished before leaving the area.
  • Please dispose of the ashes properly once they have cooled down.
used ground coffee
Image Credit: The Thrifty Apartment

Why use coffee grounds to repel mosquitoes?

Coffee grounds are eco-friendly, natural, and non-toxic. Coffee contains chemical compounds with mosquito-repelling properties. When coffee grounds are burned, these compounds release a unique fragrance. Since mosquitoes have a strong sense of smell, the intense smell of burnt coffee grounds dominates their receptors, making it difficult to find you.

Mosquitoes are attracted to people by the carbon dioxide they exhale and the body heat released, the unpleasant scent of burned coffee grounds helps to deter mosquitoes from biting.

In addition, by opting for coffee grounds, you’re choosing a natural and sustainable alternative that doesn’t contribute to pollution or harm to wildlife.

And if you are a coffee drinker, coffee grounds are an easily accessible product that you can use to help with your mosquito problems. 

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Burning coffee grounds is effective at repelling mosquitoes. With this technique, you can create a natural barrier that deters mosquitoes from your outdoor space. So, the next time you enjoy your morning coffee, remember to hold on to those old coffee grounds and repurpose them as a natural mosquito repellant.

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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