Coffee grounds are seen as effective mosquito repellents, but will this help prevent the spread of Zika virus?
With Zika virus now entering the country, fear grows that it would spread across areas where the dengue-carrying mosquito species is found.
While the government, through the Dengue Action Response Team is doing its part in preventing the spread, we, in our own household, can do our share by doing a simple trick that is considered safe for the family and can be done in your backyard.
Introducing coffee grounds as mosquito repellents.
In his blog, David Wolfe, a health, eco, and nutrition expert noted how coffee grounds are effective natural mosquito repellents, unlike commercial repellents that he said have more than a few harmful effects that arise from breathing them in. He wrote:
“The solution? Believe it or not, coffee grounds!
“The Environmental Protection Agency says coffee grounds work as a very effective natural repellant that will keep many insects including mosquitos, wasps and bees away.”
He said that in his research, “Many insects have a very strong sense of smell, and coffee grounds, which are incredibly strong-smelling when they burn, drive them crazy.”
Wolfe also included a video, which was done in 2014 that teaches people how to burn coffee grounds.
- Take your used or fresh coffee grounds, put them in a bowl and cover it with aluminum foil. Leave this bowl in a dark, cool place and let the grounds dry completely.
- Then, place the grounds (either in a bowl or on a sheet of foil) on a flat area outdoors and burn them like you would incense. If you’re indoors and trying to keep mosquitoes out, open your windows. If you’re using this method at an outdoor gathering, just leave the bowl burning in a central place.
- If there are still more mosquitoes in the area, add some fresh bay leaf to the coffee grounds and burn them together.
- If it’s a windy day or the area you’re trying to de-bug is large, you may wish to place as many as 5 of these burning bowls around to make sure the area is well covered.
Dr. Terry Simpson, a renowned weight loss surgeon, who spent years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering, also backed the idea of how coffee gounds can inhibit the spread of Zika. He said in his blog that one of the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, Aedes Albopictus, lay fewer eggs when coffee waste is present in its habitat. He concluded that from the study:
“The observations of the present study indicate a pronounced vulnerability of Ae. albopictus to the presence of coffee in its habitats during the early phases of its life cycle. The observations that coffee repels gravid females and inhibits larval eclosion provide novel possibilities in the search for novel oviposition deterrents and anti-larval eclosion agents against dengue vectors.”
He added that these mosquitos are attracted to brown-coloured water, and the compounds in the coffee “prevent normal mosquito development.” So, he said that old coffee grounds may be “useful to decrease the mosquito population.”