If you like incense, mosquito coils can be an effective, natural way to repel mosquitoes. The smoke drives them away, and also makes them sluggish, so that they’re easier to find–and easier to kill.
Mosquito coils are not just regular incense: They contain a variety of chemicals that have been used for centuries to repel mosquitoes. According to Wikipedia, they may contain some are all of the following:
- Pyrethrum (Natural, powdered material from a kind of chrysanthemum plant; performance moderated)
- Pyrethrins (Extract of insecticidal chemicals in pyrethrum)
- Allethrin (sometimes d-trans-allethrin) (The first synthetic pyrethroid)
- Esbiothrin (A form of allethrin)
- Dibutyl hydroxyl toluene (BHT) (An optional additive to prevent pyrethroid from oxidizing during burning)
- Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) (An optional additive to improve the effectiveness of pyrethroid)
- N-(2-ethylhexyl)-bicyclo-(2,2,1)hept-5-ene-2,3-dicarboximide (MGK 264) (An optional additive to improve effectiveness of a pyrethroid)
To use them, you place them on a small stand that holds the center in place. They can last for several hours.
In our experience, they work great in the house when there might be a few mosquitos around, especially in a small room. We don’t find them very effective outdoors, or when there are a lot of mosquitoes. But of course, if they’re all you’ve got, they’re better than nothing.
Be aware of the fire danger–and also the danger to your lungs. These chemicals are not something you want to breathe in for long periods of time with no ventilation.