This beer carton is designed so that, when burned, it will keep mosquitoes away. Photo: Supplied
Creams, sprays and coils are known methods to keep mosquitoes away, but a Brisbane company claims it has a new solution - beer.
Strictly speaking, it isn't the beer itself keeping the pests at bay but the eucalyptus-laced cardboard box that can be ripped up and burned to create a natural repellent.
The cartons have been used in a limited run by Papua New Guinea beer company SP Lager, which is owned by Heineken.
The Brisbane office of marketing company GPY&R, which works for Heineken, created the box after six weeks of tests.
Y&R Group Brisbane manager Phil McDonald said SP Lager's market research showed many of its customers enjoyed drinking beer around a fire. However they were also hampered by large numbers of mosquitoes.
According to Australian Doctors International there are up to 1.8 million suspected malaria cases in PNG each year.
Mr McDonald said the idea of the 'Mozzie Box' was born during a trip to the country last year.
"We saw them ripping up the carton of beer and throwing that on the fire, so the guys came up with a fantastic idea to put something in the cardboard that actually was set off by the flames and repels mozzies," he said.
"We worked out how to apply [the repellent] during the printing process as an extra colour and then we tested it ourselves."
Mr McDonald said no formal scientific testing had been done and the product didn't come with a guarantee.
"It's effectiveness level is that of mosquito coils and those sorts of things. There's no guarantees it's going to stop you getting bitten by mozzies and getting malaria," he said.
"If we're honest, we're not going to solve malaria with cartons of beer but we are going to raise awareness of the issue."
Mr McDonald said while the product was well received, its purpose was as an awareness-raising tool and it was unlikely the special boxes would be sold permanently.
And as for a potential Australian mozzie box, some tweaks would be needed.
"We're not as liberal with the burning of fires as our friends in PNG. We'd have to get the innovation hat on and think of something different, but it's not out of the realms of possibility," he said.