Does Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Work? A User’s Review

So, does Thermacell Mosquito Repellent work? Well, after 2 months of use, I can tell you that it can definitely repel mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes can carry diseases like the West Nile Virus, which can be dangerous for people. This is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the United States, and in 2020 there were over 650 reported cases of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you’re worried about being eaten alive by these black flies and other bugs, and you hate smearing your whole body with bug spray, you’re in luck with the Thermacell repeller.

does thermacell work

Read about Beneficial Insects

What is the Thermacell Mosquito Repellent?

If you’ve ever been outside on a hot summer day, chances are you’ve seen a mosquito or two (or a hundred). They’re often found near standing water.

These pesky insects are more than just a nuisance – they can also carry diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and Zika virus.

So how do you protect yourself from these disease-carrying mosquitoes?

One way is to use a Thermacell Mosquito Repellent. These devices work by releasing a plume of insect-repelling vapor into the air, creating a ” mosquito-free zone” up to 15 x 15 feet.

They’re ideal for use when camping, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities. And best of all, they’re safe to use around children and pets.

Near-Perfect Efficacy of a Thermacell Device

The Thermacell mosquito repellent has been recently accoladed with a number of published studies. These studies talk in detail about Thermacell’s near-perfect efficacy at repelling mosquitos. Naturally, I went out and bought two different models in hopes they live up to the hype.

In this article, I’ll take you through everything you need to know about Thermacell devices. From their exceptional mosquito repellent abilities to some minor inconveniences, I’ve got it all covered here.

Let’s get started!

does thermacell work on flies

Where Can You Use a Thermacell Device?

Are the mosquitoes out in full force? If you’re looking for a way to enjoy the outdoors without being constantly bitten, you need a Thermacell Mosquito Repellent. This handy device uses heat to create an invisible barrier that mosquitoes can’t stand.

Just turn it on and walk away – it’s that simple! You can use it anywhere mosquitoes are a problem, including your backyard, the park, or even at the beach.

How Does a Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Device Work?

Thermacell Mosquito Repellents use Allethrin for most of their devices and Metofluthrin for the Thermacell Radius and E55. Both are synthetic insecticides that are derived from pyrethroids that are naturally extracted from Pyrethrum flowers.

Pyrethroids, in general, are widely considered to be the most effective Thermacell mosquito repellents. I looked up various published studies for both compounds and was pleasantly surprised.

Metofluthrin was shown to be up to 97% effective at reducing mosquitoes’ land rates after just 30 minutes of operation. Additionally, the American Mosquito Control Association labeled Metofluthrin as “extremely effective” at repelling mosquitoes from the protection sphere of the diffuser.

do thermacell mosquito repellents work

The Use of Allethrin in a Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Device

The Thermacell appliance uses a synthetic version of an insecticide called allethrin, which is found in chrysanthemum flowers. This insecticide is similar to another one called pyrethrin.

Allethrin has also received its share of recognition. Acta Tropica, a specialized journal in infectious diseases, conducted an extensive comparison between most Thermacell mosquito repellents found on the market.

Chrysanthemum flowers contain a compound that is effective in repelling mosquitoes. When scientists noticed that mosquitoes avoided being near chrysanthemum flowers, they discovered that the plant contains a synthetic copy of allethrin, which is odor-free and ideal for people with allergies.

The Thermacell repeller, therefore, provides a natural and effective solution to the problem of mosquitoes and mosquito bites.

Read About the Use of Pyrethrum

Allethrin Works Better with Thermacell Product

Indeed Thermacell mosquito repellent devices using Allethrin were superior at repelling mosquitoes and minimizing their biting pressure than their competition.

The more I researched Thermacell mosquito repellent devices, the more convinced I was that they were unparalleled in terms of performance. However, one thing remained for me to reach a verdict, and that’s to test them for myself.

Testing Thermacell Radius on My Porch

In the middle of summer, I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy to sit on my porch. Not only is it constantly infested with hungry mosquitos, but it also enjoys its fair share of black flies.

Thermacell mosquito repellent says it takes 30 minutes for you to notice a difference; 15 minutes in, I could already see their numbers had dwindled.

I came back 45 minutes later and sat on my porch worry-free for the first time since I bought the house. I couldn’t even spot any black flies at all. Incredible!

how does a thermacell work

Am I satisfied with my purchase?

Absolutely! However, I did notice that having a fan on made the mosquito repellent considerably less effective.

Not to mention, I did find a couple of mosquito bites on my arms and legs after I went in. It seems no mosquito repellent is 100% effective, but no mosquito repellent I’ve tested came as close as the Thermacell.

So, now that we know that the Thermacell mosquito repellent is effective, let’s learn more about it.

Thermacell Repellent Mats

Thermacell offers heat-activated repellent mats to deter mosquitoes and many other bugs. All you have to do is insert a repellent mat into the device, turn it on, and voila – you’re good to go!

The repellent mat will last for up to 12 hours, providing you with long-lasting protection against these unwanted guests. And best of all, the Thermacell repellent mat is completely safe to use around children and pets.

As long as you have replacements for the repellent pads and the butane cartridge, a Thermacell can run indefinitely. Each pad contains the active ingredient and will last for 3 to 4 hours while each butane cartridge should provide 12 hours of use.

Set a timer for the mat so it doesn’t overheat and run out of fuel. The mat comes with one fuel and three mats. If you’re going camping for a few days, buy refills in advance. Once you use it, you’ll want to use it more often.

When necessary, the pad can be replaced with an allethrin insecticide and a new butane cartridge.

A Thermacell work similar to a citronella candle. It uses heat to evaporate a more-powerful synthetic insect repellent, in order to disperse mosquitoes and other biting insects. This is how citronella candles work.

Turn it on, wait a few seconds, and you’d hear that hissing sound, which indicates that the butane is being released.

how does thermacell work

Do These Repellent Mats Work? Is Thermacell Safe?

If you use the Thermacell device for three hours a night, it will last for four nights before you need to replace the repellent mat. Each DEET-free repellent mat contains enough allethrin to last for four hours, so you would need to use three repellent mats for every fuel cartridge.

This blue mat produces a repellent that is spread evenly around the mat, creating a mosquito-free zone. The repellent is safe to use around small children and pets, and it will not produce any harmful fumes or open flames.

The indicator light lets you know when the mat is working, and the mat lasts for up to 12 hours.

How Safe Are Pyrethroids?

When pyrethroids were first marketed for spatial repellents, they were met with skepticism over their health risks.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Pyrethroids are, indeed, neurotoxic, and can be fatal if administered in high doses. However, the way a Thermacell mosquito repellent vaporizes the chemical makes it practically unlikely to pose any risk to public health.

For example, the American Mosquito Control Association notes that you’d need to be subjected to “at least 100-fold higher concentrations” to impose any danger on mammals and birds.

Thermacell also uses diluted pyrethroids, vaporizes in small amounts, and is EPA-approved.

You need to be careful if you own cats or fish, though. As allethrin is toxic in small doses and can be fatal to cats if they inhale too much of the chemical.

Thermacell warns us to keep our pets away from the vapor and states that bees can also be harmed by exposure to the chemical.

Finally, because a Thermacell mosquito repellent uses heat to vaporize the pyrethroids, it’s best to keep it away from children’s reach.

thermacell mosquito repellent review

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Devices

How you use your Thermacell mosquito repellent device will vary from product to product. Here are some of the most popular models around.

  • Radius Zone
  • Thermacell E55
  • Patio Shield
  • Thermacell MR450

All devices work using the same heating mechanism. However, the Radius Zone and E55 are powered by Li-Ion batteries, whereas the Patio Shield and MR450 are powered by butane cartridges.

The butane-powered devices use repellent mats, whereas the battery-powered devices use repellent cartridges. Still, a repellent mat can be quite effective against biting insects.

Radius Zone Vs. E55

Both the Radius Zone and E55 are quite similar, but in my experience, the Thermacell device E55 is the superior option to buy. It comes with the same battery life, a simpler user interface, and a much more effective mosquito repellent.

The thing about the E55 is that it’s the newest offering by a Thermacell mosquito repellent. They’ve tweaked the design of the internal heating system and added indicator lights to see when it’s turned on.

The mosquito repellent cartridges also come with a higher concentration of metofluthrin (5.5% versus 4%), which should be more effective at deterring flying insects.

Thermacell Patio Shield

Thermacell Mosquito Repeller Patio Shield; Includes 12-Hour Refill; 15 Foot Zone of Protection; Highly Effective Mosquito Repellent for Patio; Bug Spray Alternative; Scent Free
  • EFFECTIVE MOSQUITO PROTECTION: Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Patio Shield creates a 15-foot zone of protection against mosquitoes. Use this sleek...
  • HEAT-ACTIVATED TECHNOLOGY: No cords or batteries. Powered by a safe and compact 12-hour fuel cartridge. Emits scent-free repellent that drives away...
  • EFFECTIVELY REPEL WITHOUT SPRAY OR SCENT: Repel mosquitoes without DEET sprays or lotions on your skin. No smoke, flames, or harsh odors like...

The Patio Shield, a Thermacell device, is similar to the E55 in terms of performance but requires butane to work. It is as effective as bug spray against mosquitoes and other biting insects.

Keep in mind that the E55 is still superior in terms of area of protection. The UI of the Thermacell Patio Shield is a little hard to navigate, too.


Thermacell Mosquito Portable Adventure Repeller; Includes 12-Hour Refill & Belt Clip; 15 Foot Zone of Protection; Effective Mosquito Repellent; Deet Free Bug Spray Alternative; Scent Free, Graphite
  • EFFECTIVE MOSQUITO PROTECTION: Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Portable Adventure Repeller creates a 15-foot zone of protection against mosquitoes. Use...
  • HEAT-ACTIVATED TECHNOLOGY: No cords or batteries. Powered by a safe and compact 12-hour fuel cartridge. Emits scent-free repellent that drives away...
  • EFFECTIVELY REPEL WITHOUT SPRAY OR SCENT: Repel mosquitoes without DEET sprays or lotions on your skin. No smoke, flames, or harsh odors like...

The MR450 is a Thermacell mosquito repeller that looks similar to a remote control. Its armored design makes it able to withstand any fall damage.

It was made with portability in mind and can offer you mosquito protection on the go. I just wish they came with batteries instead of butane cartridges.

The butane cartridge that powers the MR450 will last for approximately 12 hours, and the repellent pad will give you four hours of protection from flying pests, like mosquitoes, sand flies, no see ums, and other insects.

If you’re planning on using the MR450 for hiking, it won’t be effective at all. Don’t forget that you need to be stationary and allow the area to saturate with the chemical in order to be protected.

How to Use Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Devices?

There are a few mosquito repellent devices on the market, but Thermacell is one of the most popular. Here’s a quick guide on how to operate one of these devices.

First, you’ll need to insert a fuel cartridge into the device. Make sure that the cartridge is properly seated and screwed in before continuing.

Once the cartridge is in, insert a mosquito repellent into the device. There are specific mats for different size devices, so be sure to choose the right one.

Once the mosquito repellent is in place, turn on the device by pressing and holding the power button. The light on the device will let you know when it’s on and working.

Now, just sit back and enjoy your mosquito-free zone!

thermacell review

How Long Does Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Last?

These repelling-mosquitoes devices are designed to provide protection for extended periods of time. But just how long do they last?

In theory, one device can provide mosquito-free protection for up to 16 hours.

Of course, mosquito activity can vary depending on the time of day and the weather conditions. So, your device may not need to run for the full 16 hours to keep mosquitoes at bay.

To get the most out of your device, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use it properly. And be sure to replace the butane cartridge and mats when they run out.

With proper care and maintenance, your mosquito repellent device will provide long-lasting mosquito protection all season long.

What Can Cause the Thermacell Mosquito Repellent to Malfunction?

There are a few things that can cause the Thermacell Mosquito Repellent to malfunction. One is the windy conditions. If it’s too windy, the repellent won’t be able to work properly or the flame will go out.

You also need to make sure that it hasn’t run out of butane. Check the butane level first before anything else.

Also, if you don’t use the right type of fuel, it can also cause problems. Make sure you’re using the right fuel and following the instructions carefully, and you should be able to avoid any issues.

It can also malfunction if you run out of butane or if you fail to screw in the cartridge properly. You would notice that the device has stopped working once you start getting bitten by mosquitoes!

Do Thermacell Mosquito Repellents Work on Gnats and Flies?

The answer is yes! Thermacell devices emit a small amount of heat, which creates an invisible zone of protection against mosquitoes and other insects.

The heat doesn’t bother people or animals, but mosquitoes and other flying insects are repelled by it. So, if you’re looking for a way to keep mosquitoes and other insects at bay, Thermacell repellents are a great option. Plus, it’s easy to use – just turn it on and enjoy your mosquito-free zone!

Read About What Attracts No See Ums

Where Can You Buy A Device?

These repellents create a barrier against mosquitoes, preventing them from biting you so you can enjoy your time outdoors. But where can you buy Thermacell mosquito repellents?

You can purchase Thermacell products online or at select retailers. To find a retailer near you, simply enter your zip code on the website. You can also purchase Thermacell products on Amazon.

When shopping for Thermacell products, be sure to look for the holster. This handy accessory allows you to carry your Thermacell mosquito repellents with you, so you’re always protected.

do thermacells work

Overall Benefits of Using Thermacell Products

These Mosquito Repellent wards off mosquitoes and other bugs without an open flame, providing better and safer protection than other products. Here is a run-down of the benefits of mosquito repellent devices:

Small and Portable

These Thermacell mosquito repellers are available in both small and portable sizes, making them perfect for taking with you on your next outdoor adventure.

And best of all, they’re completely silent and easy to use. Just turn them on, and you will have hours of fun outdoors without fearing those pesky mosquitoes!

It is quite popular amongst outdoor enthusiasts.  In fact, you will find this product in most bass pro shops and in Dick’s sporting goods.

Safe to Use

This product is a great option for those who are looking for a mosquito repellent that is safe to use and does not have a strong smell from oils or chemicals. The repellent is free of open flame and contact with skin, making it a great choice for those who are concerned about safety.

Refill Multiple Times

You can refill this handy little device with fuel cartridges, and you can use it repeatedly. Needless to say, it’s a cost-effective solution to your mosquito problem.

The fuel cartridges used in this mosquito repellent device are easy to find and relatively inexpensive. This makes it a great choice for people who are looking for an affordable way to keep mosquitoes at bay.

Comes in Various Designs and Options

Mosquito repellents come in a variety of sizes and shapes, including a small mat that you can place on your patio or deck. It’s great for when you have an outdoor activity with your family.

Thermacell mosquito repellents are mostly powered by fuel. The Radius Zone mosquito repellent, on the other hand, is a battery-powered option.

Devices that can be used as torches or lanterns are available. These may be more appealing for your purpose. There are several variations of belt clip models for hiking as well.

Offers Lower Overall Cost

The cost of your Thermacell products will also vary according to the model and frequency of use.

Battery-powered Thermacell mosquito repellers are generally more expensive but don’t require you to buy butane packs every week. You’ll only have to buy the 40-hour mosquito repellent refill for rechargeable devices.

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Refills; Compatible with Any Fuel-Powered Thermacell Repeller; Highly Effective, Long Lasting, No Spray, No Scent, No Mess; 15 Foot Zone of Mosquito Protection
  • EFFECTIVE MOSQUITO REPELLENT FORMULA: Thermacell Mosquito Repellent creates a 15-foot zone of protection against mosquitoes. This 36-hour refill pack...
  • HEAT-ACTIVATED TECHNOLOGY: No cords or batteries. Powered by a safe and compact 12-hour fuel cartridge. Emits scent-free repellent that drives away...
  • EFFECTIVELY REPEL WITHOUT SPRAY OR SCENT: Repel mosquitoes without DEET sprays or lotions on your skin. No smoke, flames, or harsh odors like...

On the other hand, fuel-powered devices will need you to buy butane packs and repellent mats. A single butane pack will last you for 48 hours, whereas you can choose repellent mats that last from 12 hours to 300 hours.

How Much Does It All Cost?

In my opinion, I prefer battery-powered Thermacell mosquito repeller for the lower overall cost. My coworker insists butane devices are much more convenient. After all, they don’t require constant recharges, which is something that drives him crazy sometimes.

I did the math, and although my coworker has a point, putting down an extra $100 every month for butane packs seems unreasonable.

You can try a rechargeable device and see how you like it. If you don’t, Thermacell repellents have a very responsive support team for refunds and you can easily swap your model for a butane-powered one.

Read About the Danger of Gnats

Does Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Work? Conclusion

If you’re thinking about buying a product that is quite effective in repelling mosquitoes my advice is, don’t waste your time and money on anything other than a Thermacell device.

Yes, Thermacell mosquito repellents work. I’ve recently discovered the Thermacell Patio Shield, and I love it as well! Just check out any gardening products review, and you’d see a positive review.

The active ingredient in a Thermacell repellent mat or repellent pad can truly repel bugs. These Thermacell products have proven to work, have exceptional customer service, and pose no threat to your health.

You can also try out the spatial repellent if you need something for your patio. Simply keep your pets away from it and place them in areas where mosquito larvae are present.

CLICK HERE to shop our complete selection of non-toxic pest control options!

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