No, that's not a handful of dirt. It's also not a handful of dried chocolate or cocoa powder, and it's certainly not dehydrated poop (a co-worker's guess).

What you're looking at is something that over eighty percent of Americans already have in their home, but usually just throw away instead of using it for another purpose.

It's not poisonous, it's generally safe around children and pets (as long as you're careful not to let them consume it), and it really smells good in addition to offering you the chance to spend some evenings on your patio or deck without fear of being drained of your body's blood supply by these nasty little things:

Yellow Fever, Malaria or Zika Virus Infected Mosquito Insect Macro Close-up
Getty Images
A mosquito, that is silhouetted against the moon,bites a human arm
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A Cup Of Coffee Is Great For Keeping Yourself Alert, And Using The Coffee Grounds Can Help Keep You From Being Attacked By Mosquitoes While You Enjoy Your Caffeine Buzz

Coffee grounds also work really well on repelling other outdoor nuisances like ants, wasps, fleas, bees, and many other annoying creatures found around your home. In fact, the smell of coffee can also help repel mice and other rodents.

Why are coffee grounds so effective?

According to the experts in scents, the coffee scent is very strong, and it's a fragrance that mosquitoes and the other pests just cannot stand to be around. The scent masks the other scents that normally attract these bugs, and for some reason, it also affects their ability to reproduce.

Meet the humble "coffee puck." (Getty Images)
Meet the humble "coffee puck," or in this case, lots of pucks. (Getty Images)
In nutshell, ground coffee is what brewed coffee is made of.
Break up the pucks and you get this. (Getty Images)

Here's What You Do With Your Coffee Grounds To Protect The Patio Or Deck At Your Place

You can do several things with coffee grounds to use them as an insect repellent, but according to several sources I checked, the most effective way is to burn the coffee grounds to create your own patio/deck fogger. Here's how:

  • After brewing your coffee, dump the grounds into a foil-lined bowl and wait for the coffee grounds to fully dry out.
  • Once dry, take the coffee grounds outside to an area where you know mosquitoes hang around, and make sure you've got a level spot in which to place the bowl of coffee grounds. Be certain it's someplace that you, the kids, or your pets won't knock it over.
  • This is the part you should be careful doing: add a small dash of lighter fluid to the coffee grounds and give it 30 seconds to a minute to soak in.
  • Next, light it up. You should see the lighter fluid burn off and leave you with a small bit of smoke coming off the coffee grounds. You've just made a very effective bug repellent.
  • Be careful not to do this when it's windy, and make sure you extinguish everything before leaving the area.
Getty Images
Getty Images

You can also spread (unlit) coffee grounds in the yard where pests congregate, or keep plenty of it around your patio/deck areas in bowls or cups to keep the coffee scent flowing. Here's a quick tutorial on how to burn coffee grounds to use as a fogger:

Plant Some Of These In Your Garden to Keep Mosquitoes Away

As we previously told you, mosquitoes are the most dangerous creatures on earth. If you want to keep them away from you're yard, these plants can help!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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