Yes, it’s true. I’ve found something that can mask the smell that attracts mosquitoes to me. Well, so far it’s worked. I tried the mosquito trap that was on the internet but it failed me. I was so hopeful for the “natural” way but hey, this works and that’s what counts.
So, what is it that’s working for me? It’s called Thermacell Mosquito Repellent. A neighbor told me about it as he uses it when he’s outdoors working on his yard.
I found it at Fleet Farm — a store that sells fishing, lawn, sporting goods, etc.
This is what the contents inside the package look like (see below). The “appliance” is about the size of an old (really really old) mobile phone.
The “bottle” you see is a cartridge that goes inside the appliance and contains butane. It generates heat that is directed to the metal grill you see at the top of the appliance and is supposed to last 12 hours.
The three plastic packages you see contain “mats” that are saturated with repellent (allethrin, a copy of a repellent that naturally occurs in chrysanthemum flowers). They are placed behind the grill and each one is supposed to last 4 hours. So, with one cartridge you need three mats.
This is what the grill looks like (in a holster) with the mat placed inside it. It starts out blue then turns white when the repellent is used up.
The first time I tried it, the mat only lasted 2.5 hours instead of the 4 (four) that they claim it should last. So — figure on it lasting 2.5 to 4 hours.
The repellent smell masks your sweat and the C02 you exhale when breathing as that’s how the mosquitoes know how to find us. Now, I’ll bet you’re asking if you’ll smell like butane while wearing this, eh?
Well, I didn’t. I did smell a strong odor when I first turned on the appliance but it dissipated quickly.
The repellent is supposed to create a 15×15 foot area around you that mosquitoes, black flies and no-see-ums will stay away from. According to the Thermacell website, this should not harm children or pets — well, I’m assuming they’re only talking about the smell and not if it’s ingested.
This is what the mat looked like after 3 hours of use …
Right next to this Thermacell appliance box at the store was the Thermacell holster which I strongly recommend as you can clip this right to the back of your pants, belt, etc. instead of placing it on the ground next to you. It’s very very handy so you can work handsfree.
Onward to yard work, hiking, etc without being “bugged” by mosquitoes. Finally!
If you have additional questions, the Thermacell website has a Frequently Asked Questions section.
(Note: The header image is a wallpaper courtesy of National Geographic, photographer Darlyne A. Murawski.)