Mosquito-Repelling Newspapers Could Help Fight Disease

Man reading a mosquito fighting newspaper

What if the simple act of reading a newspaper could help keep bloodsucking, disease-spreading mosquitoes at bay? We're not talking about simply swatting at the annoying little pests. A Sri Lankan newspaper teamed up with ad agency Leo Burnett to turn newspapers into actual mosquito repellents in a surprisingly simple way. 

Man reading a mosquito repelling newspaper

Created for 2014 World Health Day, the newspapers have citronella oil added to the ink to deliver insect repellent while citizens get up to date on current events. The project aims to prevent Dengue fever, a deadly disease that affected 30,000 people in 2013. Each newspaper included an information insert about the disease and how to prevent it.

Sri lanka residents waiting at a bus stop

While this mosquito-repelling newspaper project was just a one-day event to call attention to a widespread problem, it's a clever idea, further enhanced by the citronella-scented promotional posters that were placed at bus stops and other public places prior to the newspaper release. It's low-tech, low-cost, and doesn't require chemical pesticides to be effective, provoking thought on other ways we could think outside the box to solve pressing issues.