world's first mosquito coil

The world’s first mosquito coil was invented by Eiichiro Ueyama in Japan in 1890. It was made of pyrethrum powder, sawdust, and dried mandarin orange skin. The coil was burned slowly and released a smoke that was toxic to mosquitoes.

Uncovering the Fascinating Origins of the World’s First Mosquito Coil

In the relentless battle against mosquito-borne diseases, a pivotal invention emerged in the late 19th century that revolutionized mosquito control: the world’s first mosquito coil. Developed by a Japanese inventor named Eiichiro Ueyama, this remarkable innovation laid the foundation for a highly effective method of repelling these blood-thirsty insects. In this article, we delve into the intriguing history of the world’s first mosquito coil, exploring its origins, composition, and subsequent impact on mosquito control worldwide.

The Genesis of the Mosquito Coil

Eiichiro Ueyama, a visionary Japanese inventor, drew inspiration from traditional incense sticks commonly used for their fragrance and spiritual significance. In 1890, Ueyama conceived the idea of transforming the age-old concept of incense into a practical solution to combat the menace of mosquitoes. With this goal in mind, he set out to create the world’s first mosquito coil.

Eiichiro Ueyama - Inventor of First Mosquito Coil
Eiichiro Ueyama – Inventor of First Mosquito Coil. Image Credits – Kincho

The Innovative Design

Ueyama meticulously developed a spiral-shaped coil using a blend of natural ingredients known for their mosquito-repelling properties. A primary component of the mosquito coil was pyrethrum powder, derived from dried chrysanthemum flowers. This natural insecticide contains compounds called pyrethrins, which effectively repel mosquitoes, making it an ideal active ingredient for combating these pests.

Ueyama was a pharmacist who was looking for a way to repel mosquitoes. He had read about the insecticidal properties of pyrethrum powder, and he decided to experiment with using it to create a mosquito coil.

Ueyama mixed pyrethrum powder with sawdust and dried mandarin orange skin to create a paste. He then rolled the paste into coils and dried them. To use the coils, Ueyama would simply light one end and let it burn slowly. The smoke from the coil would repel mosquitoes.

Ueyama’s mosquito coils were an instant success. They were much more convenient to use than traditional mosquito repellents, such as citronella oil and smudge sticks. Ueyama’s coils were also more effective at repelling mosquitoes.

In 1902, Ueyama founded the Dainihon Jochugiku Company to produce and sell his mosquito coils. The company quickly became the leading manufacturer of mosquito coils in Japan. Today, Dainihon Jochugiku is one of the largest manufacturers of mosquito coils in the world sold by brand name Kincho coils.

Kincho Mosquito Coils
Kincho Mosquito Coils. Image Credits – Kincho

Advantages and Applications

The introduction of mosquito coils marked a significant turning point in mosquito control. The coil’s compact and portable design made it easy to use both indoors and outdoors, allowing people to seek protection wherever they went. Additionally, the slow-burning nature of the coil ensured prolonged mosquito repellency, making it an efficient and cost-effective solution in regions where mosquitoes posed a risk.

Impact on Mosquito Control

Following its invention, mosquito coils gained rapid popularity in Japan and eventually spread across the globe. The economic and health benefits of mosquito coil usage were evident, as it helped reduce the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases, particularly malaria and dengue fever. The affordability and ease of use made the mosquito coil an accessible tool for communities and households in affected areas, contributing to improved public health outcomes.

Evolution and Modern-Day Significance

Over time, the mosquito coil has undergone various advancements to enhance its effectiveness and safety. Today, mosquito coils are often designed using a combination of synthetic insecticides like allethrin or d-allethrin, which have greater stability and effectiveness against mosquitoes. This evolution has resulted in an array of mosquito coil options available on the market, catering to different preferences and regional requirements.

Some of the latest innovations in mosquito coils include:

  • Long-lasting coils: Long-lasting coils can burn for up to 12 hours, providing protection from mosquitoes all night long.
  • Spiral coils: Spiral coils are more efficient at burning than traditional coils, and they produce less smoke.
  • Scented coils: Scented coils are available in a variety of different fragrances, such as lavender and citronella.


The world’s first mosquito coil, invented by Eiichiro Ueyama in 1890, brought about a paradigm shift in mosquito control strategies. With its humble beginnings rooted in the concept of incense, this innovative device paved the way for a revolutionary approach to protect against mosquito-borne diseases worldwide. As mosquito coils continue to evolve, their impact persists, providing accessible and effective mosquito control solutions for a safer and healthier future.


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