If you love your morning cup of joe, there’s a pretty good chance you’re throwing out spent coffee grounds on a regular basis. Not a coffee drinker? These days, local coffee shops offer their spent grounds for free. Find one near you, and stop by to pick up a bag or two.

SMOKE OUT MOSQUITOES

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, coffee grounds are a safe and effective way to keep pests away. The smoke from burning used ground coffee is especially effective to send mosquitoes away because they are seriously repelled by the smell, which to humans is quite subtle.

Start with completely dry used coffee grounds. Place the grounds in a bowl or other flat surface lined with foil, and light them with a match, the way you would incense. Add a few fresh bay leaves to amplify your repellant. Set the container(s) upwind to get the scent moving.

REPEL INSECTS AND FLEAS

Caffeine and diterpenes found in coffee grounds can be quite toxic to insects, which makes them effective in deterring fruit flies, beetles and other such pests. Scatter the grinds in your garden to help create a barrier that slugs and snails do not like to crawl over.

To rid your dog of fleas, try this: After bathing, rub 1 to 2 cups of wet grounds into his fur. Rinse well. This will kill fleas and also leave Fido’s fur silky smooth.

NATURAL FERTILIZER

Spent coffee grounds contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, along with a variety of micronutrients. When mixed with the soil in your garden or houseplants, coffee grounds will release the nutrients while they decompose. This makes for a good slow-release fertilizer.

Coffee grounds help attract worms, which are great for your garden. If you love to fish and have your own worm bed, you may already know that mature horse manure and coffee grounds make the richest, finest worm bed mix. You’ll grow some mighty fine bait once you start adding spent coffee grounds.Mary invites questions, comments and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, “Ask Mary a Question.” This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of Debt-Proof Living, a personal finance member website and the author of the book Debt-Proof Living, Revell 2014. To find out more about Mary visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

© 2019 CREATORS.COM

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