This mosquito repellent is definitely unlike any other.
Ad agency TBWA and insurance agency Manulife have dubbed this plant pot the “life-saving pot,” and they claim that it’s the first that doubles as a mosquito repellent.
The pots are coated in paint that contains permethrin, a non-toxic insecticide that repels mosquitoes.
Each pot is hand-painted and fired up at a wood-fire brick kiln. Once the pots have cooled, they are layered with two coats of the repellent paint.
The paint repels up to 80% of mosquitoes, including the Aedes mosquito which carries both the Zika virus and dengue, according to the ad agency and insurance agency who conceptualised the idea.
The pots aren’t available commercially, but are slated to be given out to select senior citizens in districts in Singapore that have been affected by dengue and the Zika virus.
But because the pots haven’t actually been made available to the public, it’s impossible to know how effective they’ll actually be.
This isn’t the first time permethrin has been used as a repellent. The insecticide is also used to treat clothing, and was first registered in 1990 for use as a repellent on clothing by the U.S. military.
Permethrin has been used before as a paint additive, with a housing estate in Singapore using paint containing permethrin to paint blocks of flats in 2016.
But a spokesperson for the housing estate added that the paint would “only deter insects from landing on the walls; it does not kill them.”
She also added that the paint only works indoors, and not on exterior walls — so it’s likely that if the pots are exposed to constant rain, the permethrin in the paint might be less effective over time.
Singapore’s hot and humid climate makes it the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. In 2016 alone, the country had almost 13,000 cases of dengue.
And of course, mosquitoes need a place to breed. In most instances, they prefer to lay their eggs in still, stagnant water — making overwatered plant pots the perfect environment for them.
If you look carefully, you’ll also notice one other detail.
Look closely at the pot’s intricate blue and white pattern and you’ll realise the images of plants and nature are actually made of small dead mosquitoes. Morbid much?
“Each mosquito has to be painted in great detail. From afar, you should only see a tree, but when you look closer, you realise it’s actually mosquitoes,” said Shee Bee Heo, an artist who was responsible for hand-painting each pot.
If you don’t believe us, take a closer look at the pots in this video:
So it’s basically a pot made to kill mosquitoes, decorated by pictures of dead mosquitoes.
We’re not quite sure how to feel about that, but hey, if it keeps the mozzies away, we’re not complaining.