Mosquito Coil - Do The Work? -

Are Mosquito Coils Effective? - MosquitoNix®

May 29, 2023 1 Comment

Mosquitos are not only annoying, but they can also carry mosquito-borne illnesses. If you or a loved one is bitten by a mosquito, there is a risk that you could get sick with a virus like Zika or West Nile. This can really put a damper on those idyllic summer evenings or outdoor events like a cookout or bonfire.

It is no surprise that humans have been attempting to rid ourselves and our outdoor spaces from mosquitoes and other flying, biting insects that plague us. At some times of the year, biting insects can be enough to drive your party indoors despite the beautiful weather and great company.

Mosquito coils, also known as a mosquito incense, are an insect repellant that has been around since the late 1800s in Japan when a businessman and his wife mixed pyrethrum, derived from chrysanthemums, with sawdust and fashioned it into its iconic coil shape to burn longer while keeping mosquitos and other biting insects away. Mass production of the coil repellents began in the 1950s, and they soon caught on in many countries, including the United States.

Today's mosquito coils still contain a form of dried pyrethrum powder along with citronella and other binding agents. When lit, the coils produce smoke that spreads outward to keep away flying pests. The smoke does not kill mosquitoes; instead the smoke from burning mosquito coils discourages mosquitoes from hanging around. These coils are popular with the general public because they are portable, long-lasting and inexpensive.

Do Mosquito coils work?

Mosquito coils are a repellant, which works by discouraging mosquitoes from hanging around but does not kill them or their larvae. Repellants are only deterrents and do not guarantee that your outdoor space will be fully protected.

When used correctly, mosquito coils are okay at discouraging mosquitoes and other biting insects but their layer of protection is thin, even at best. The most advantageous way to use mosquito coils on your property would be in conjunction with a mosquito protection system to fully protect your outdoor spaces.

Those who choose to primarily use mosquito coils for their insect protection are at the mercy of their climate, the day to day weather and other environmental variables. Wind can waft coil smoke in shifting directions, making their protection spotty at best. Also, different manufacturers use mosquito-repelling substances in varying amounts, which can produce a wide range of results.

How do mosquito coils work?

Mosquito coils come in coils, as the name suggests. The end of the coil is lit and as the coil burns, it emits smoke that keeps mosquitoes and other flying pests at bay for eight hours or so, depending on the size of the coil and the nature of the combustible material deployed.

Mosquito coils usually come with a stand to hold them and make them more stable than if they were to stand alone.

For a tiny space, say an apartment patio, one coil may be enough. However, for those who have larger, more open spaces, multiple mosquito coils would be needed to cover the entire area.

When ready to go back indoors, the mosquito coils must be extinguished. It is important to plan on how to stop mosquito coils from burning, so they do not become a fire risk. A common method of stopping and of preserving the remainder of the coil for the next time you will be outdoors is to wrap aluminum foil around the lit end of the mosquito coil to extinguish it and preserve the rest. Once the flame reaches the edge of the foil, it will burn itself out.

Are mosquito coils dangerous?

Many studies have shown that the coils do not pose a health risk when used responsibly, although some experts have questioned these findings. The mosquito repellent coils themselves are not harmful to humans. However, depending on your sensitivity to certain chemicals and how long you use the coils, you may experience some respiratory issues, especially if you have asthma, allergies or other conditions that impact your breathing.

Please follow these safety recommendations when using mosquito coils:

  • Never leave a mosquito coil burning unattended.
  • Only use mosquito coils in well-ventilated outdoor areas.
  • Stick to coils manufactured by nationally recognized brands.
  • Consider smokeless mosquito coils to avoid combustion byproducts (which can impact your health).

Mosquito coil risks

First and foremost, because they burn, mosquito coils will always carry a risk of being a fire hazard. Mosquito coils must only be used outdoors and under adult supervision. Leaving a mosquito coil unattended around children, pets or even just the wind increases the risks of burns and fire.

Mosquito repellant coils can cause respiratory irritation, especially if inhaled directly. Children are often more sensitive to respiratory irritation so it is important to monitor children closely when a mosquito coil is in use.

In addition to being a fire hazard and causing respiratory irritation, mosquito coils have a smoky aroma which can be absorbed by clothes and other soft surfaces. Mosquito coils may not be a good solution for you or your family if you are sensitive to strong smells.

Trust MosquitoNix ® to protect your outdoor spaces

Mosquito coils are simple, inexpensive products that can reduce these biting insects on your property. However, if the weather conditions aren't reliable, coils may not be enough to keep mosquitos away from your family, friends and pets. Mosquito coils also do not prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses, so you may still be at risk for viruses like Zika and West Nile.

At MosquitoNix, we offer various mosquito control services to fit all your residential and commercial needs. We have custom misting systems for long-term mosquito control around your home or property, ongoing fogging treatments that can be used short-term for outdoor events and all-natural green services for those looking for non-toxic, eco-friendly options. We even have a portable mosquito control device that's perfect for taking camping. To learn more, request a free quote today.

1 Response


October 04, 2019

Great piece. I have been using mosquito coils with my windows shut thinking it’s the best way to kill mosquitoes. Thanks for the article. You may have just saved my life.

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