garden pests gardening insects

ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent

From time to time I ask for and receive various garden related items to review. I get no monetary compensation for doing the review, but I do get to keep the item I’m reviewing. Sometimes the item is worth keeping and sometimes it isn’t. Either way, I offer an honest review describing what I liked or didn’t like about the item. The item being reviewed for this blog post is a ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent Appliance.


I’ve been a mosquito magnet ever since I can remember. I’m not sure if the attraction is my blood, complexion, height, width, or something I’ll never know or understand, but I do know that as soon as warm weather arrives, and I’m out gardening in shorts and sleeveless shirts, skeeters feast on me! Unless I’m protected with something containing at least 20% DEET, I’m sure I’d be sucked dry in less than 24 hours!

Most of the sprays and lotions out there have that “mosquito spray” aroma, masked with some other kind of chemical ingredient that is supposed to make the stuff more bearable to our noses. And there are other things besides the sprays that work well for some folks, including lotions and oils of all kinds.

I remember a “Spyder Rydge” camping expedition many years ago, along “Chigger Lake” somewhere in Jefferson County, Kentucky. My brother-in-law brought some Avon Skin-So-Soft lotion and was using it for protection from skeeters. Unfortunately, it had no effect on the chiggers!

I’ve not made a final decision about ThermaCELL yet. Initial testing isn’t looking too good, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now. Out of the box prep wasn’t too difficult, instructions were easy to follow and I had the “appliance” (I’m reassessing my idea of what an appliance is) up and running in only a few minutes. I thought about using Deet on one arm and nothing but the appliance placed on a table close to my other arm, but considering the science of this experiment (I’m no scientist) I thought better of it. So, I’m just taking the unit out with me on treks to the garden, and while sitting out by the fire with a beer.

I was intrigued by the technological aspects of ThermaCELL, which prompted me to ask for the product for review. This is the first “appliance” I’ve seen that uses butane as a heat source as part of its repelling abilities. And all the parts are contained within one unit. Gimmicky? Perhaps. My final analysis isn’t quite complete, but so far I’m leaning toward gimmicky.

One initial fireside test has been completed. The unit ignited and began emitting the repellent, however, it had no effect on several mosquitoes that bit my son’s legs.

By TC Conner

Pro hobbyist photographer, drone enthusiast, musician, husband and father.

4 replies on “ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent”

When I lived back east I bought something called “Mosquito Magnet,” a rather large device that uses a propane tank and electricity, along with some chemical compound. It’s supposed to attract the mosquitoes and catch them, thus diverting them from the carbon-based beings inhabiting the immediate area. I found that it did, indeed, attract mosquitoes very effectively. But it didn’t seem to trap them and, due to having attracted them, guided them to feast on the blood of the hapless humans who were trying to have a pleasant evening barbecue. Not recommended. No stars.

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