If you’re like me, mosquitos seem to be drawn to you like a magnet. I’ve tried citronella candles which just don’t seem to do much, if anything. Deet chemical repellents work pretty well but I don’t like having to slather on that stuff when I grill outside with family and friends. Also, I’m sure guests would prefer not to have to put chemicals all over them just to spend time cooking out on the deck, patio, or back yard. The Thermacell Patio Shield is an actually effective alternative to citronella candles. It works the way I had hoped the citronella candles would. Mosquitos don’t like chrysanthemum and this is the secret to Thermacell. Unlike citronella which apparently mosquitos obviously aren’t too bothered by, they really do stay away from chrysanthemum fumes. Thermacell has developed a synthetic chrysanthemum formula they apply to small pads that are heated by a small propane heater which emits the chrysanthemum fumes.
I was skeptical when I first discovered some gizmo that claimed to create a 15 foot barrier that kept mosquitos out. I’m happy to say that it really is effective. I’ve included a couple YouTube videos below of reviews of the Thermacell product, demonstrating how effective it is at keeping mosquitos away. It really is an impressive product. If you’re a camper or hiker you can use one of the models designed for that purpose that clips to your belt. For those of us that just want to be able to spend some time grilling outside without getting eaten alive, the Thermacell Patio Shield is an excellent solution. Thermacell also offers a few different lantern options as well as a torch option which are ideal for night time events.
A small mat or pad containing the insecticide allethrin is placed inside the Thermacell and a butane heater heats the pad which releases the allethrin into the air. Unlike citronella, the allethrin is strong enough to effectively ward off mosquitoes in a reasonable size radius from the device. There should not be any breeze for it to be effective. Wind will blow the allethrin away from the area and cause it to dissipate too quickly for it to be effective in the desired area.
You can expect 3 to 4 hours of life from a Thermacell pad, which contains the active ingredient. The butane cartridge should last approximately 12 hours. Of course you can simply replace the pad with the allethrin insecticide as needed as well as the butane cartridge. As long as you have replacements for the pads and cartridges it will run indefinitely.
The chemical used in the Thermacell pads is called allethrin. Allethrin is a member of the pyrethroid insecticide family and is known to generally not be harmful to mammals. Thermacell does recommend trying not to directly inhale the fumes but it should be safe for friends, family, and children. Apparently cats should be kept away from allethrin though as it is toxic to them.
Cats should be kept away from Thermacell fumes. Allethrin is very toxic to fish too so if you happen to have a koi pond next to where you plan to use it you may want to find an alternative, however most other pets should be fine.
In addition to mosquitos, Thermacell will repel black flies, sand flies, no-see-ums, and some other biting and non-biting insects. It’s the ideal method of repelling the majority of unwanted pest insects when outdoors.
You shouldn’t try to use a Thermacell in any type of enclosed space such as a tent or indoors.
We found through our research that the Thermacell line of products is quite effective at repelling mosquitos and other biting insects when there isn’t a breeze. Generally speaking, when there is a breeze you’re less likely to be bothered by small flying insects like mosquitos since they are too small and light to fly well in those conditions. Thermacell offers a few different products to deal with different needs. The Thermacell Patio Shield is the ideal solution for grilling out in the backyard on a deck or patio. Thermacell also offers devices designed as torches or lanterns which may be more appealing for your purpose. There are several variations of belt clip models for hiking as well. Ditch the citronella candles and torches and step up to a truly effective solution.
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