Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Reviews

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Reviews (2023 Updated)

Living in the mosquito-prone South, I’ve tried various methods to repel mosquitoes without much success. My daughter and I are particularly attractive to these insects, making outdoor activities unbearable at times.

However, I found the perfect solution with Thermacell’s mosquito repellents. Unlike traditional options, Thermacell’s products are chemical-free and use allethrin, a synthetic version of a natural mosquito repellent found in chrysanthemum flowers.

The cordless and portable devices, fueled by butane, offer up to 6–8 hours of protection with a USB recharge option. Now, I can enjoy outdoor gatherings and gardening without the nuisance of mosquito bites, thanks to Thermacell.

In the mosquito-prone South, my attempts to ward off these insects were futile until I discovered Thermacell’s game-changing mosquito repellents. Along with my daughter, who’s also a mosquito magnet, outdoor activities became unbearable.

But Thermacell’s chemical-free approach, using allethrin, proved highly effective. Their portable and cordless devices, powered by butane, offer long-lasting protection, making outdoor gatherings and gardening a joy without the annoyance of mosquito bites.


  1. Exceptionally efficient in deterring mosquitoes from vast outdoor spaces
  2. The system boasts a resilient app, enhancing its foolproof nature.
  3. Easily expandable to cover larger areas
  4. Features an appealing and long-lasting industrial design


  1. Comes with a substantial initial cost and ongoing expenses for purchasing consumable repellents.
  2. Optional accessories are notably expensive as well.
  3. There may be slight inaccuracies in the repellent level tracking.
  4. Limited to connecting solely with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks

How do Thermacell Mosquito repellents Work?

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent devices operate through a simple yet effective system with three main components: a case for holding fuel and repellent, blue repellent mats, and a butane tube that acts as the fuel.

The case comes in various styles, resembling lanterns or portable GPS trackers, offering both aesthetics and functionality. The blue mats contain the pest repellent, while the butane tube provides the necessary fuel for activation.

To set the device in motion, the butane tube is inserted into the Thermacell Repeller’s case, and a blue mat is placed over the heating element.

After switching on the device, the butane gradually fills the unit, and a slight twist of the “on” slider ignites the butane, creating a controlled fire.

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This fire heats the blue mat, causing the insect repellent to be released into the air for up to four hours. The synthetic repellent effectively drives away mosquitoes within a 15-foot radius.

However, there are important considerations when using thermacell Repellers. They require 15–30 minutes to reach full effectiveness, and windy conditions may hinder their performance.

The process of creating a protective bubble of insect repellent takes time, and strong winds or fans can disperse the repellent, reducing its efficiency.

Additionally, these devices work best when stationary, as they are designed to protect a fixed 15-foot area around their location, making them less effective for individuals on the move.

Types of Thermacell Repellers

Here are the six major types of repellants that have proven to work beyond expectation.

1. Backpacker Repeller

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Reviews

Perfectly suited for backpacking and camping trips, the Backpacker Repeller is lightweight and compact, weighing only 4 ounces.

Offering up to 90 hours of mosquito protection per refill, it uses a backpacking stove fuel canister (sold separately) to activate a repellent mat that disperses allethrin insect repellent.

Current Price: $29

2. Lantern Repeller

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Reviews

This versatile device functions as both a camping lantern and a mosquito repellent, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer not to rely on charging.

Operating on batteries (please note: batteries are not included), the lantern employs a butane cartridge and a mat with synthetic insecticide, establishing a 15 x 15-foot mosquito-free zone around it.

Each refill offers up to 40 hours of mosquito protection, making it a perfect companion for camping trips and outdoor gatherings, providing both illumination and insect security.

Current Price: $31

3. Portable Repeller

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Reviews

A must-have for outdoor enthusiasts who indulge in activities like hiking, fishing, or camping.

This handheld device establishes a 15 x 15-foot (225 square feet) mosquito-free zone around its position, providing up to 12 hours of protection per refill.

The repeller easily clips to belts, backpacks, or boats, making it perfect for fishing or spending time on the lake.

Powered by a compact 12-hour fuel cartridge (included) and requiring no batteries, the repellent mats change color when replacement is due, lasting up to 4 hours each.

Current Price: $36

4. E-Series Rechargeable Repeller

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Reviews

The E-Series stands as my most preferred model. I utilize multiple units to create protective zones akin to Venn diagrams, effectively covering 20 x 20 feet per device.

Placing them at floor level in strategic corners yields better results than traditional sprays. With each cartridge lasting up to 12 hours, obtaining replacements is a breeze (I conveniently subscribe and save).

Additionally, the E-Series proves to be an excellent companion for beach trips or camping adventures, ensuring mosquito-free picnics.

Current Price: $40

5. In-ground Radius Control

Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Reviews

A discreet Thermacell option, the In-ground Radius Control comes in a convenient two-pack, mountable in your landscaping or on the deck.

Each pack contains two perimeter multi-insect repellers and all necessary installation and refill components.

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Offering approximately 30 feet of perimeter protection, covering a total of 450 square feet, you can activate these 15 minutes before they are required, and once the orange light illuminates, they become effective.

To preserve fuel, remember to switch them off when not in use.

Current Price: $45

6. Patio Shield Repeller

\Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Reviews

The Patio Shield is specially designed for use on decks or patios, utilizing a rechargeable battery and a distinct cartridge compared to the E-Series.

Employing a mat containing synthetic insecticide, this model effectively establishes a 15 x 15-foot mosquito-free zone around the device, providing up to 12 hours of protection with each refill.

Ideal for stationary use due to its limited range, the Patio Shield proves invaluable for backyard parties or barbecues, and using a couple of these will suffice.

Current Price: $53

What Michelle and I liked about the Thermacell Repellant

Thermacell is a revolutionary bug repellent device that replaces the noisy and bulky bug zappers of the past. Its modern design emits a silent and scent-free vapor, providing an inconspicuous solution for keeping bugs at bay.

The device is straightforward to set up, requiring just seconds to prepare. Once charged, users can insert the liquid cartridge, power it on, and, within a few minutes, enjoy a bug-free zone.

The E55’s ultra-portability makes it a convenient travel companion, easily fitting into backpacks or purses. Its sleek and compact design ensures it blends seamlessly into any outdoor space without being an eyesore.

The Thermacell’s effectiveness was confirmed during indoor testing, where it emitted no discernible scent or sound.

Although a slight plume of vapor was visible, it remained inconspicuous when used outdoors with a breeze to disperse it.

The device’s ease of use and quick setup make it a practical and hassle-free choice for anyone seeking a bug-free outdoor experience.

Whether camping or enjoying time in the backyard, Thermacell mosquito repellant offers a reliable and efficient solution for keeping pesky bugs away.

How Thermacell Keeps Mosquitoes at Bay

Utilizing butane fuel as its energy source, this ingenious device heats a repellent pad saturated with allethrin, a synthetic insecticide and repellent derived from a natural component in chrysanthemum flowers.

By evaporating the repellent, it forms a protective zone around you and your loved ones, proving to be an effective method of mosquito repellency, as confirmed by various studies conducted in the field.

Allethrin: Nature’s Defense Weapon

At the heart of Thermacell’s effectiveness lies allethrin, a potent synthetic insecticide and repellent that surpasses its natural counterpart in strength and can be produced in substantial quantities.

Alongside other synthetic insecticides like DEET and permethrin, allethrin boasts exceptional capabilities for deterring and exterminating a wide array of biting insects.

An All-Purpose Bug Repellent

Thermacell’s repertoire of products solely relies on allethrin, making its potential as an insect repellent not limited to just mosquitoes. In fact, the remarkable allethrin can effectively repel the following insects:

  • Mosquitoes
  • Flies
  • Biting midges
  • Chiggers
  • Fleas
  • Sandflies
  • Ticks

Refueling Your Thermacell Device

To refuel your Thermacell Device, you need to replace two essential components. The conventional devices use butane as fuel, requiring replacement every 8 to 12 hours, depending on local conditions.

Repellent mats change from blue to white as they release chemicals and should be replaced after about 4 hours of use.

To refill the butane, turn off the device, open the compartment, and replace the empty cartridge with a new one from Thermacell.

It’s important not to use personal butane for refilling. When the repellent mat turns completely white, it indicates that allethrin is depleted.

Turn off the device and replace the old mat with a new one, being cautious of the residual heat.

A slightly brownish or burnt appearance on the old mat is normal, according to Thermacell.

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 Cost of Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Devices

Thermacell’s line of effective mosquito repellent devices comes with varying price tags, ranging from $24.99 to $49.99. The final cost depends on the specific model, color, and optional features you opt for.

Refills for Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Devices

To keep your Thermacell device operational, you can purchase refill bundles, priced at $7.99. These bundles include 12 hours’ worth of butane and repellent mats. Each bundle comprises three mats, with each mat offering four hours of protection against mosquitoes.

Adaptability for Camp Stoves

In a thoughtful move, the company even provides an adaptable model that fits the small fuel tanks typically used for camp stoves. For avid backpackers, this option proves ideal, as it adds minimal weight to your gear, and you were already planning to carry fuel tanks anyway!

Battery-Powered Option: The Thermacell Radius

For those seeking an alternative to butane-powered devices, Thermacell introduces the battery-powered Radius. This compact and convenient device, although priced slightly higher at $50, offers its own unique set of advantages and trade-offs when compared to the butane model.

Comparing Thermacel to DEET and other repellents,

Thermacell asserts that their products stand out as the most effective. However, let’s examine the findings from existing literature to verify these claims.

Thermacell claims its products are superior to DEET and other repellents, and some studies have supported this assertion.

A study found that Thermacell products were at least as effective as Off! Clip-on products in killing and repelling ticks, with the advantage of inducing mortality at a longer range due to its innovative heating method for repellent dispersal.

However, no specific studies have directly compared Thermacell to other repellents for mosquitoes.

Thus, in mosquito-infested areas, it’s recommended to use multiple forms of protection, such as layering topically applied repellents like DEET or picaridin on the skin with permethrin-treated clothing for comprehensive defense.

Thermacell devices utilize allethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid, which is heated and dispersed into the air, offering an alternative to applying repellent on clothing. 

Yet, users may still consider additional skin protection, as wind currents can diminish the allethrin’s effectiveness.

In conclusion, while Thermacell products have shown promise in their ability to combat ticks and offer an innovative method of repellent dispersal, more research is needed to directly compare their efficacy against other repellents for mosquitoes.

Using a combination of repellents and protective measures is advised for optimal defense against various insects.

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 Valuable Suggestions

To maintain the best performance of Thermacell repellents, it is advisable to avoid placing them directly beside uncovered food. 

Although studies confirm that the product leaves an almost undetectable residue on surfaces, it’s always better to be cautious.

Rest assured, Thermacell is entirely safe for humans and pets, leaving no cause for concern on that front.

Before use, ensure the units are fully charged, and if you’re going camping, you can rely on batteries for power.

For optimal lifespan of your cartridge and battery, remember to switch off the unit when not in use. It will significantly enhance their durability.

Keep in mind that thermocells are designed exclusively for outdoor use and should not be utilized indoors. Always adhere to the provided instructions for appropriate usage.

Shipping and Warranty Details

Due to their lightweight, most retailers offer free shipping for Thermacell units. Furthermore, Thermacell provides a 100% guarantee on all their products, ensuring customer satisfaction.

Final Verdict

For outdoor enthusiasts engaging in activities like camping, hiking, or simply enjoying their backyard, Thermacell devices present an excellent option.

To decide on a Thermacell purchase, carefully evaluate your specific requirements and preferences. I

If you frequently spend time outdoors and are bothered by mosquitoes and flying insects, Thermacell can offer an effective and convenient solution.

Additionally, it proves advantageous for individuals with sensitivities to traditional insect-repellent products, as it eliminates the need for direct skin contact.


  1. ThermaCELL and OFF! Clip-On Devices Tested for Repellency and Mortality Against Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodida: Amblyommidae) | Journal of Medical Entomology | Oxford Academic
  2. Review Article Chemical and Plant-Based Insect Repellents: Efficacy, Safety, and Toxicity
  3. Thermacell E55 Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller Review | CNN Underscored

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