Coffee ground “incense” keeps wasps and mosquitos away…

Before you dump those coffee grounds into the trash, try putting them on a foil pie plate to dry out. When dry, add a couple drops of lighter fluid and light the mound with a match – it will smoulder, somewhat like incense with a thin line of smoke – as it wafts a fragrance which most people love but insects such as mosquitos and wasps can’t stand!  Continue reading to see how Basil leaves rubbed on skin can also repel these pesky insects.

Various resources enlighten us with several tips about dried coffee grounds:

Not only do they repel mosquitoes, but also other insects such as wasps and bees. Coffee grounds are the bee’s knees when it comes to staying bug bite free. Most bugs have a very strong sense of smell. Coffee grounds are very potent and even more potent once they are burned. The strong scent and “smoldering effect” will fight off pests and keep them away. Additionally, smoke is generally associated with danger, so bugs will look elsewhere for shelter. 

So, it works, but where do I start?

  • Start with DRY, used coffee grounds. Instead of sacrificing the fresh grounds, you can remove the used grounds right from the coffeemaker and put them in an aluminum foil pie plate or frying pan. Then find a cool, dry area and wait for them to completely dry.
  • Place the grounds in a bowl or on a flat surface outside. Double check that the area is free of animals or children.
  • Burn the grounds like you would incense. You can add just a few drops of lighter fluid to the dried coffee grounds—but be sure not to totally soak them. You don’t want them to burn too quickly. *Adding fresh bay leaves will amplify the results of your repellent! 
  • Choose a spot upwind for best results to get that scent moving!
  • Smoldering, smoking coffee grounds is also an option. If you want to help the coffee grounds smolder, then cover the fire on the plate with a damp towel. The grounds should continue to smoke and smolder.

There are also great notes here for using aged coffee grounds for your plants and to sprinkle them around areas where water pools in order to prevent mosquito larvae from developing.  See more about how to burn-coffee-to-fight-pests

**If you prefer the scent of Basil over Coffee, you can “consider using basil as a natural insect repellent. You can use basil as a companion plant or rub it on your skin for personal protection. You can also crush or burn basil leaves to deter unwanted pests. Doing so eliminates pests without harming the insects that help your lawn and garden.”