Keep Mosquitos Away From Your Campsite With This Genius TikTok Hack

Anyone who has spent any time outside can attest to the fact mosquitoes are seemingly everywhere during the warm weather months. Campers are quite familiar with these flying insects, as they are an annoyance that can inflict an irritating and itchy sting. They are also a very real health threat as they are known to carry a wide range of diseases, including West Nile, Dengue, Zika, and Malaria.  As a result, campers are often consumed with finding ways to keep insects out of tents and campsites. So, it is little surprise this TikTok coffee hack for keeping mosquitoes away has drawn so much attention.

This hack is actually a very simple process that requires nothing more than items virtually every camper already has on hand — coffee grounds (dry), a non-flammable container (a coffee cup is used is the TikTok), and a lighter. It is also easy to accomplish — simply pour a small amount of coffee grounds into the non-flammable (glass, ceramic, or metal) container and light. The smoke wafting from the smoldering grounds not only fills the air with the scent of coffee, it causes mosquitoes and other insects to vacate the area. This ensures campers a chemical-free, bug-free campsite.

Why this mosquito repellent hack should work

As stubborn as they seem, mosquitoes are actually repelled by a variety of things. Among the things mosquitoes try to avoid, smoke is one of the more common. According to a 1995 study found in the Papua New Guinea Medical Journal, a variety of woods and other burning items can repel mosquitoes and reduce the amount of bites inflicted on people. With that in mind, campers can also utilize campfires as a way to help keep their campsites from becoming overrun with mosquitoes.

However, at times, building a roaring fire is not convenient. There are also some areas and instances — such as burn bans — when open fires are not allowed. So, during times like these, a small container of smoldering coffee grounds is a much more convenient, practical, and acceptable option. Additionally, according to a 2015 published paper found in Parasites and Vectors, coffee contains a number of elements that serve to dissuade mosquitoes. Burning coffee grounds should help disperse these unpleasant elements (to mosquitoes) and keep the campsite insect-free.

But does this mosquito repellent hack really work?

Despite the recent attention it has garnered on TikTok, this hack is actually not a new idea for many experienced outdoor enthusiasts. Because many commercially available mosquito repellents contain ingredients that are potentially harmful, campers often seek out chemical-free options, including household items that can be used as repellents. While staples such as vinegar can be used as spray-on repellents, finding a way to keep the entire campsite mosquito-free is a bit more challenging. Hence the use of smoke, a proven deterrent for mosquitos, that can blanket a large area.

The use of coffee as opposed to a full-fledged fire has its advantages as noted above, not the least of which is that coffee has natural repellent qualities of its own. Numerous commenters on the TikTok post back up the claim that this hack works. Additionally, many posts, blogs, and articles from campers, pest control experts, landscapers, and others support the claims that there is some validity to this method. Even some coffee companies such as Death Wish Coffee exert claims that the method used in this hack has merit.