Please, Do Not Follow Instructions You will find these mosquito coils all over the tropics, and in some other places as well. A lot of brands come from China, but here in Curaçao most have been made in Venezuela. Those from China tend to be more heavily perfumed, like they want to disguise themselves as incense, fooling nobody; except maybe the mosquitoes. These often just don't seem to have the proper respect for this what's, to them, supposed to be deadly venom - Mortal Coils.
Do they work? People keep asking this via search engines: Yes, they do work. They contain pyrethrum, a so-called "natural" insecticide. Even though the pests seem to become more and more resistent to it; an all too familiar story.
(translated from Spanish)
What they tell you here is all wrong:
1. This will never work. What you want to do instead is, lift one spiral end up and the other one down and then carefully work your index fingers through them to the middle. Even then, you will at times break them, which obviously is exactly what the manufacturer hopes for, as this results in waste and therefore higher sales.
2. This you can follow safely, but better put the spiral up the other way round for improved overall balance. 3. OK, but only as far as it goes. When the coils get damp (as they inevitably will in the humid rainy season, when there are most mosquitoes), they will stop burning after a while. Hint: Keep your supply dry on top of the radiator of your refrigerator. 4. A real joke. If it weren't so sad, it'd make me laugh. It works, mind you, for a short piece that will burn for no longer than ten minutes, after which you have to start all over again.
So creative and ingenious people have come up with an alternate solution for the problem what to do when the center of your coil has broken off because you so carefully followed instructions. Clamp it in a cloth-pin and balance that on an empty bottle, like this:
Trouble is, you have to move your cloth-pin holding the spiral at least every hour or so because it will stop burning when the Hot Point reaches the cloth-pin.
Die Endlösung der Moskitofrage It took a real genius to get this problem licked by realizing it had to be approached from the entirely opposite angle. If you could take out a patent on an idea I would have done so, only to get it stolen by everybody.
So I'm obliged to give it away free:
See? It's quite simple. Light the coil at the middle end and it will burn for hours.