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Can You Use Coffee Grounds to Repel Mosquitoes? Here’s What the Science Says.

Coffee, a beloved beverage consumed by millions daily, leaves behind a residue known as coffee grounds. While many discard these grounds, recent research suggests that they might have an unexpected use: as a mosquito repellent.

Research Insights

  1. Larvicidal Efficacy Against Aedes Mosquitoes: A study titled “Efficacy of used coffee grounds as larvicide against Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894) and Ae. aegypti Linné, 1762 (Diptera: Culicidae)” explored the potential of used coffee capsules as a larvicidal agent. The results indicated that the used coffee capsules were ineffective at killing the larvae of Aedes species at the tested dosage. This suggests that while coffee grounds might not be effective in their raw form, there could be potential when combined with other agents or used in different preparations.
  2. Potential Insecticidal Properties: Another study titled “The Valorization of Spent Coffee Ground Extract as a Prospective Insecticidal Agent against Some Main Key Pests of Phaseolus vulgaris in the Laboratory and Field” delved into the insecticidal properties of spent coffee grounds (SCGs). The methanolic extract of SCGs showed varying degrees of insecticidal effects based on the concentration used. This indicates that coffee grounds, when processed, can have potential insecticidal properties.
  3. Combination with Novaluron: A more recent study, “Spent Coffee Grounds and Novaluron Are Toxic to Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) Larvae”, found that the combination of wet spent coffee grounds and novaluron, an insect growth regulator, showed toxic effects on Aedes aegypti larvae. This suggests that while coffee grounds alone might not be highly effective, their combination with other agents can enhance their repellent properties.

Burning Coffee Grounds: A Traditional Approach

In some cultures and communities, burning coffee grounds is a popular method to repel mosquitoes. The smoke produced, combined with the aroma of the coffee, is believed to deter these pests. While this method is eco-friendly and cost-effective, scientific research on its efficacy is limited. However, for those looking for a natural repellent, it might be worth giving this method a try. It’s essential to ensure safety when burning coffee grounds, using a safe container and ensuring proper ventilation.


The exploration of used coffee grounds as a mosquito repellent is still in its nascent stages. While direct application might not yield significant results, there’s potential in combinations, specific preparations, and traditional methods like burning. As research continues, we might soon have an eco-friendly, cost-effective solution to our mosquito woes, all while enjoying our daily cup of joe.

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