Coke as a pesticide

He says the drinks are effectively sugar syrups and when they are poured on crops they attract ants which in turn feed on the larva of insects.

Mr Sharma says using sugar syrup for pest control is not a new practice.

“Jaggery made from sugar cane has been used commonly for pest control on many occasions. Pepsi and Coca-Cola are being used to achieve the same result,” he says.

Fellow scientist, Sanket Thakur, has a different explanation: “All that is happening is that plants get a direct supply of carbohydrates and sugar which in turn boosts the plants’ immunity and the plantation on the whole ends up yielding a better crop.”

Vikas Kocchar, regional manager for public affairs and communications of Coca-Cola, says claims that the drink can be used as a pesticide have no scientific backing.

Anupam Verma, Pepsi sales manager in Chhattisgarh, says sales figures in rural areas of the state have increased by 20%.

But he adds: “If there was any truth in these claims then we would rather be selling our product as a pesticide rather than soft drinks.

“There is more money in selling pesticides than in selling soft drinks. Their claim smacks of lies. At best it is idle natter.”

To what extent farmers in India might currently be using soft drinks in place of pesticides, and just how effective that technique might be, are yet to be determined. Since 1994

Help Supercharge Snopes For 2020

We have big plans. We need your help.

Uses For Coke In Gardens – Using Coke For Pest Control And More

Whether you like it or hate it, Coca Cola is enmeshed in the fabric of our daily lives…and most of the rest of the worlds. Most people drink Coke as a tasty beverage, but it has a myriad of other uses. Coke can be used to clean your spark plugs and car engine, it can clean your toilet and your tiles, it can clean old coins and jewelry, and yes folks, it is purported to even relieve the sting of a jellyfish! It seems that Coke can be used on darn near everything. How about some uses for Coke in gardens? Keep reading to find out more about using Coke in the garden.

Using Coke in the Garden, Really!

A Confederate colonel by the name of John Pemberton was wounded during the Civil War and became addicted to morphine to alleviate his pain. He began searching for an alternative pain reliever and in his quest invented Coca Cola. He claimed that Coca Cola cured any number of ailments, including his morphine addiction. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Since Coke started out as a health tonic, might there be some beneficial uses for Coke in the garden? It seems so.

Does Coke Kill Slugs?

Apparently, using coke in the garden is nothing new to some folks. Some people poison their slugs and some drive them to drink by luring them with beer. What about Coke? Does Coke kill slugs? This supposedly works on the same principle as beer. Just fill a low bowl with Coca Cola and set it in the garden overnight. The sugars from the soda will entice the slugs. A come hither if you will, followed by death by drowning in acid.

Since Coca Cola is attractive to slugs, it stands to reason that it might be enticing to other insects. Seems this is true, and you can build a Coca Cola wasp trap much the same way that you did for your slug trap. Again, just fill a low bowl, cup or even a cup open Coke can with cola. The wasps will be attracted to the sweet nectar and once in, wham! Again, death by drowning in acid.

There are additional reports of Coca Cola being the death of other insects, such as cockroaches and ants. In these cases, you spray the bugs with Coke. In India, farmers are said to use Coca Cola as a pesticide. Apparently, it is cheaper than commercial pesticides. The company denies there is anything in the beverage that could be construed as useful as a pesticide, however.

Coke and Compost

Coke and compost, hmm? It’s true. The sugars in Coke attract the microorganisms needed to jump start the breaking down process, while the acids in the drink assist. Coke really does boost the composting process.

And, the last item to use Coke for in the garden. Try using Coke in the garden for your acid-loving plants like:

  • Foxglove
  • Astilbe
  • Bergenia
  • Azaleas

It is said that pouring Coke into the garden soil around these plants will reduce the soil pH.

Here’s A Good Use For Cola Drinks – Pesticide!

Here’s something that has given me cause for optimism about the environment.

Evidently cola drinks, no matter the brand, can be used instead of toxic pesticides, and are much cheaper.

What a great use for these drinks!

Indian farmers use Coca-Cola to protect their plantations against pests. They claim that this soft drink due to its sugar content appears to be an effective anti-pest agent.

Pepsi and Coca-Cola regional managers disagree with them saying that using the drinks in pest control has no scientific ground. I don’t blame them for considering this use for their product to be a massive turn-off. After all, people might get the impression that if it kills bugs, it might kill them too. Who wants to drink bug spray?

The point of using soft drinks for agricultural purposes instead of pesticides is that Coke costs 10 times less. Farmers say that treating an acre with pesticides costs 70 rupees ($1.50), while treating it with Coke mixed with water costs 55-60 rupees less. (about 21 cents) As this practice has become more and more popular among Indian farmers, Coke’s sales have increased substantially.

The way this works is that when sweet sugar drinks are sprinkled on crops, they attract ants, which in turn eat larvae of insects.
Anupam Verma, Pepsi sales manager in Chhattisgarh assures us that if there were any truth in farmers’ statements, then they would sell their products as a pesticide rather than a soft drink because he makes the point that selling pesticides makes more money than selling drinks.

Using Coke as a pesticide isn’t exclusively an Indian invention. Many people set containers filled with Coca-Cola out to drive off pests like slugs and bugs from their yard or garden. The sweet drink attracts them, and acids that Coke contains kill them.

Nine nit treatments that actually work

WE put the call out for effective ways to treat head lice after a Gympie mother said it had been the worst year for nits she had experienced with her primary school daughter.

Here are nine ways to get rid of nits that Gympie parents say works for them:


Tea tree and lavender essential oils in a spray bottle with water and or conditioner. Works a treat at keeping them at bay. Spray on you or your child’s hair daily. (Brii Bliesner)


I followed the process of cover in conditioner, comb out live ones and pull out eggs individually. Repeat every 2nd day for 10 days. That’s what works! Not those expensive shampoos. Painfully removing them. (Claire Field )


You all need to buy apple cider vinegar pour it through the hair leave it in comb with nit comb dry and every day spary the apple cider vinegar making it moist onto your children’s hair….I’m telling you its natural and it WORKS !!!! (Samantha Wilkinson O’May)


Brown Vinegar, safe and works use with nit comb… change between this and tea tree and lavender spray… better than store bought products. (Angela Rumbel).


Wash hair then add Coke, let dry then wash out as normal. Works really well. Works on fleas too. (Christina Murphy)


My son has allergies so I use coconut oil and a nit comb and it works a treat! (Bec Troy Smillie)


Hair straightner will kill the eggs if your kids can deal with the heat of it. (Jacqueline Vearing)


LICEWORX head lice products. (Christine Binns)


Conditioner and the metal comb, along with putting it up each day and then adding hair spray as the nits don’t like it. Sadly parents are not educated enough in the treatment, some think once is enough, but we need to be diligently looking each day until they are all gone. (Kathy Pitt)

No Caption


A GYMPIE mother is urging parents to treat children’s lice problem with vigilance after experiencing what she says has been the worst year ever for lice in her household.

Her eight-year-old daughter, who attends primary school in Gympie, has spent the start of this year riddled with nits, despite her despairingly trying everything.

“There has only been two weeks of the year where she hasn’t had nits in her hair,” she told The Gympie Times.

“We have tried all of the natural and chemical treatments and spent a fortune, but they just keep coming back.”

She believes the problem lies in nits being repeatedly spread at school, because parents fail to continue to treat lice after the initial treatment.

She said it is important to break the cycle by repeating treatments, and sterilising brushes and washing linen and items that have come into contact with the lice.

Leading head lice expert emeritus professor at James Cook University Rick Speare said incomplete treatment cycles can be the cause of recurring head lice.

He told parenting website Kidspot that parents mistakenly believe they need only check when itching and scratching is present, but the most effective regime consists of two treatments, seven days apart.

He said while some developments in nit treatment mean some cases treated with a dimeticone product, such as NYDA and NYDA Plus, may only require one treatment because they can kill embryonic lice in eggs – in most cases, two treatments are needed to rid the pests.

He said children should be checked thoroughly once a week for lice.

“People are lazy; they think they can do it once and it goes away,” the fed up Gympie mother said.

“It’s a pain in the bum but you just have to do it.”

Spotlight on treatment products

Kidspot listed more than 20 head lice products on the market in Australia, falling into four groups based on the active compounds:

• Pyrethrin: for example Banlice Mousse and Pyrenel Foam.

• Synthetic pyrethroid (permethrin and bioallethrin): for example Lice Breaker Pyrifoam Treatment, Orange Medic Plus, Quellada head lice treatment and Paralice Aerosol Spray.

• Organophosphates like malathion or maldison: (Hugh Alsop cautions this agricultural pesticide recently hit the news in Hong Kong in relation to cases of food poisoning), found in products such as KP24 medicated foam and lotion.

• Herbal and essential oils: the active ingredient in NitBusters, Ego Moov Head Lice Foaming Gel, Ego Moov Head Lice Solution, and Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Head Lice Gel.

Professor Speare said head lice are showing widespread resistance to permethrin and pyrethrins, while recent findings were labelling treatments with dimeticones, which are silicon-based oils as the best.

He said if parents are still finding lice after treatment they should check the product they are using to make sure it does not contain an ingredient that lice are becoming immune to.

The DIY head lice remedy one mother swears by

I’ve dealt with a panoply of infectious ailments since becoming a parent. Pneumonia; hand, foot and mouth disease; impetigo; conjunctivitis; ear infections; and an endless parade of garden-variety viruses have warranted regular trips to the pharmacy and the doctors’ surgery over the years. Particularly memorable was our family’s first round of gastro – an illness I’d evaded for 32 years but have had twice, once on my birthday, since having kids.

One invasion I’m fervently thankful we’ve escaped so far is head lice. Microscopic pathogens – even if they result in soul-crushing evacuations of the digestive system – I can handle. An infestation of visible creepy crawlies in my children’s hair – no thank you. It’s a shudder-inducing thought, and I doubt I’d be up to the task of dealing with the critters. And the thought that they could end up in my hair – excuse me while I breathe into this paper bag.

But – mercy be – there are steps you can take to protect your family members’ scalps from head lice. On new SBS series Medicine or Myth, mother and daughter duo Patti and Mia peddle their homemade head lice repellent to an expert panel looking for remedies to send to scientific trial. It’s a subject close to the heart of panel members Dr Charlie Teo and Dr Ginni Mansberg, both parents who have dealt with their share of nit infestations over the years.

First off – just what are head lice? According to the Health Direct website, they are “tiny wingless insects about the size of a sesame seed that live in the hair of humans and animals where they feed on blood by biting the skin.” Lice spread by close head-to-head contact and sharing combs and hairbrushes. “They swing from hair to hair like Tarzan,” explains Mansberg helpfully. Fortunately for parents, children affected by head lice can attend school as long as effective treatment begins before the next school day.

To keep dreaded nits at bay, Patti has created a spray made from tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary oils that she applies to eight-year-old Mia’s incredible calf-length locks every day. It acts as both a repellent and a treatment, with the tea tree oil, the active ingredient, killing lice and their eggs.

The panel is convinced of the repellent’s efficacy thanks to the well-established medicinal properties of tea tree oil and chooses not to send Patti’s head lice spray to trial. They are nevertheless impressed by the product. “I wish I’d heard this presentation when my children were still at school,” Teo says. “It would have saved us thousands of dollars.”

Inspired by Patti’s miracle medicine, I turned to social media to marshal more tried and tested home remedies for treating head lice. I was overwhelmed with responses from brave parents who have battled nits and won. Many used variations of the same tea tree oil spray used by Patti in an effort to avoid using conventional chemical treatments. Others suggested more questionable methods of nit removal, such as washing hair in mouthwash or dousing hair daily with hairspray to form a protective shield – two strategies I’d rather avoid.

Here are two more head lice home remedies (not at all endorsed by SBS Life).

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is one of the hardest working items in the pantry. According to the oil’s devotees, its potential uses are endless, from moisturising to repelling mozzies to making mayonnaise – and now you can add treating head lice to the list. One such remedy involves applying coconut oil to the hair before sliding off eggs. Hair is then rinsed with apple cider vinegar and wrapped with cling wrap for 30 minutes. Next, wash hair and comb through conditioner. Do it all again two days later, and comb through conditioner with a nit comb every second night for the rest of the week. According to website Healthline, there’s still not enough known about how coconut oil could treat lice, so if it doesn’t work after three treatments, it’s time to talk to your doctor.


Some claim Coke can be used to remove rust, so it comes as no surprise that it could potentially kill pests too. Devotees of this mention wash hair before dousing it from roots to tip with two litres of Coke (!). They then let hair dry without rinsing, presumably ignoring the inevitable stickiness. Once it’s dry, it’s time to wash and condition as normal.

And if all else fails, follow this mum’s advice: “shave heads, burn house down and start again!”

This article contains general information only and does not recommend or endorse any particular treatment. It is not intended to replace the advice provided by your own doctor or medical or health professional.

Nicola Heath is a freelance writer. Follow Nicola on Twitter @nicoheath

Are alternative remedies simply a myth or do they have a place alongside modern medicine?

Medicine or Myth? follows everyday Australians as they pitch their diverse and sometimes divisive health remedies to a panel of medical experts, led by Dr Charlie Teo, in the hope of being selected for a real-world trial.

#MedicineorMyth, an eight-week series, airs every Monday at 8.30 pm on SBS, or catch up anytime on SBS On Demand.

Coke on Our Heads : Think of death as a nap.

I have been assured by the State of California that the spraying of malathion Monday night in the San Fernando Valley was no less dangerous than sprinkling an average neighborhood with a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola.

I came by this information through a telephone call to Isi Siddiqui, who is assistant director of the Department of Food and Agriculture, the agency responsible for killing Mediterranean fruit flies while, if possible, simultaneously sparing humans.

Among my concerns was the amount of the chemical they sprayed over the Valley, which is where Coca-Cola came in.

Siddiqui is one of those easy-talking, reassuring people who, in the midst of chaos, could convince us that drive-by shootings are beneficial in terms of the long-range effect on traffic congestion.


“It’s a smaaalll amount,” he said, in response to my question. “We use 2.4 ounces of malathion mixed with 9.6 ounces of corn syrup per acre, that’s all.”

I have a friend named Nicole who is 2 years old and uses the same phrase. She says, “One more, that’s all,” when she wants a cookie. She eats the cookie and says “One more, that’s all” again. Hundreds of cookies later, she walks away.

“Think of it,” Siddiqui said, “as a 12-ounce can of Coke sprinkled over an acre.”

I’ve been in this business a long time and no one, to the best of my memory, has come up with a sweeter metaphor for possible chemical pollution.


Under other circumstances, he might have said think of war as fireworks. Think of mugging as sport. Think of death as a nap.

What Siddiqui did was add the 2.4 ounces of malathion and the 9.6 ounces of corn syrup and come up with 12 ounces. Coca-Cola was used because of the imagery involved.

“In Europe,” he said, “people use malathion to control head lice.”

He was on a roll.

“Really?” I said, at a loss for any wiser response.

“They use it in shampoo.”

“What about the long-term effect?” I asked. “Is there a genetic time bomb here?”

I’ve always wanted to use that phrase.


“There was a study taken of a 1980-81 spraying,” Siddiqui said. “There was no link with any health problems.”

He let that sink in for a moment then said, “Did you know there were only two fatalities from the Santa Clara Valley spraying seven years ago? One was from a traffic accident. The lady was fleeing .”

A little irony here. She was probably fleeing from the malathion. The moral is that it’s wiser to take your chances with chemistry than with traffic.

“What was the other death?” I asked Siddiqui.


“Well,” he said more somberly, “one of our helicopters crashed.”

When you’re with the state, the death of a woman fleeing malathion is irony and the death of a helicopter pilot spraying malathion is a tragedy. Reverse it and you’re an ecologist.

Well, all right.


I’ve heard all the reassuring words. Doctors you couldn’t get to if you were bleeding on their doorstep are suddenly elbowing each other out of the way to kiss the ground the chemists walk on.

One of them, a twisted friend, suggested that the only living organisms in jeopardy were goldfish in open ponds and asthmatic old men.

“In any event,” he said, “we can do without them.”

“The spray is so mild,” Sidduqui assured me, “it won’t even kill a fruit fly if it hits one.”

“Then why,” I asked, “are we spraying the little suckers?”

“They eat the stuff,” he said. “That’s why we put it in corn syrup. They like corn syrup. They eat the corn syrup, the corn syrup contains malathion and . . . “

He let the sentence drift off.

I write this the day after they sprayed the San Fernando Valley. To the best of my knowledge, no puppy dogs have been found dead on the lawn. No lovers were emulsified in mid-play. No kids were fried in their cribs.

But, notwithstanding a sweet-talking state, I am unconvinced it is as safe to stand under a malathion drop as it is to be sprinkled with Coca-Cola.

They said DDT was safe once and Agent Orange and cigarettes and gamma rays. All you had to do was duck and cover, or smoke through a filter.

Then we began to die.

I don’t know whether or not malathion is safe. A study taken about five years ago really says nothing about long-term effects simply because the term hasn’t been long enough.

Ecologists don’t know either. I called some yesterday and all I got was referrals. The referrals referred me to more referrals.

“In Florida,” Siddiqui said, “they’re so convinced malathion is safe, they spray in the daytime.”

“Then why do we spray at night?” I asked.

“To minimize exposure, of course,” Siddiqui said.


Two thousand years ago the Greek dramatist Euripides said, “Man’s most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.”

Two thousand years from now humanity may wake up and wonder why we weren’t more judicious about the chemicals we believe in today.

This may be one of the few times I’d have preferred Coca-Cola.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *