What is mosquito coil and does it work?

If you have searched for ways to repel mosquitoes at least once in your life then you probably have heard about mosquito coils so let me tell you a bit more about them and about whether they actually work as an efficient mosquito repellent.

A mosquito coil essentially is an incense like the ones that are used in aromatherapy as well as in different religious rituals only this one is used for repelling mosquitoes. If usually incenses are made from different fragrant biotic materials then mosquito coil is made from dried pyrethrum powder paste which when burned gives out a specific smell that repels mosquitoes. So why is it called a mosquito coil instead a mosquito repelling incense or any other name? It is because the mosquito coil is shaped into a spiral giving it a coil like shape, hence the name of it.

Mosquito coil as a method of repelling mosquitoes was invented in the last decade of 19th century by a Japanese man by the name of Eiichiro Ueyama, because he wanted to turn the Japanese method of repelling mosquitoes by simply burning pyrethrum powder and sawdust into a more permanent and long-lasting form of mosquito repelling. So by 20th century he had already made a few different versions of the incense when finally in 1902 he came up with a spiral shaped incense that burns slowly, efficiently repelling mosquitoes with its smoke. But it wasn’t until the middle of 20th century that these mosquito coils could become a commercial product that is now manufactured in many countries in Asia and is one of the most popular ways of repelling mosquitoes there.

The way you use mosquito coil is you put it up at the center of the mosquito coil suspending it in the air and ignite the outer end of the spiral. mosqutio-coil-redBecause it comes wedged in fireproof material you can be sure that it won’t burn further than the coil itself, however you still shouldn’t use or leave it around flammable materials. Thanks to the material that the mosquito coil is made out of it will slowly smolder giving out smoke and scent that repels mosquitoes providing mosquito free time for around 8 hours.

But does it mean that it is an efficient mosquito repellent?

When it comes to the climate and conditions of most countries in Asia then yes there it is an efficient mosquito repellent because it is cheap and will last for a while. However, if we talk about continents such as North America, Australia or even Europe then there mosquito coils aren’t that efficient or that safe for that matter and there are a lot of other, better ways to combat mosquitoes. Firstly because the coil does produce smoke it means that they should be only used either outdoors or in spaces where there is great ventilation to prevent smoke inhalation that can be equal to inhaling cigarette smoke. Secondly, different mosquito coil manufacturers use different ingredients to produce their products, and some even have active substances that are very potent and can cause you to get sick even further making us further rethink the usage of mosquito coils as efficient mosquito repellent and come up with other options how to fight the buzzing insects like mosquito nets, regular spray mosquito repellents and even mosquito foggers.

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Main website editor at InsectCop.net. Expert in mosquito foggers!


  1. That makes little sense. Why would they be effective in Asia and not in North America? What “other, better ways to combat mosquitoes” do you know? Besides rubbing chemicals on your body, this is about it.

    1. “Other, better ways to combat mosquitoes” include using mosquito traps, zappers, foggers and other such devices to keep the insects away.

      1. None of those work better. Zappers are completely ineffective against mosquitos. Foggers dispell for some period of time (few hours) but are toxic, and you’re not going to fog before every time you go in the backyard. Traps that have any demonstrated effectiveness (the ones that use a CO2 lure) cost hundreds of dollars, and it’s questionable even then whether they work or not. What particular product have you used that works better than coils for anywhere near the cost?

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