Life

The 4 Best Mosquito Repellent Devices

Thermacell

There are many gadgets that claim to safeguard your outdoor space from pesky bugs, but the best mosquito repellent devices feature an odorless, DEET-free based repellent (either allethrin or metofluthrin). Not only will these compact and portable gadgets provide a silent, mosquito-free zone of protection of at least 15-feet around them, they have also been evaluated by the EPA for safety and effectiveness. Choosing the right one for you will come down to where you'll use your device the most and how much you want to spend.

There's one company that immediately stands out in the category: Thermacell. The brand's signature and award-winning technology — which uses an internal fuel source to vaporize a repellent-infused cartridge — is not only effective, it's completely fragrance-free and much safer than a candle or a coil as there's no open flame to worry about.

Though all of the Thermacell models work basically the same (they all offer 15 feet of protection around them), the biggest difference you'll find (besides size) is the power source. The fuel-powered repellers are the most affordable, but they require the purchase of both a butane cartridge and a repellent mats to work, so you will need to consider the cost of those refills into your overall budget. However, as long as you have refills on hand, the invisible mosquito forcefield will remain steady for hours on end, making them an ideal pick for more remote activities like camping, fishing, or hiking.

A battery-powered repeller comes at a slightly higher price tag, but it buys you the convenience of rechargeable fuel source and the added safety of an auto-off timer. You will still need to factor in the cost of replacement repellent cartridges, though. And since your operation time is limited by your battery life — unless you're set up near an outlet, that is — this pick is probably best suited for home and backyard use.

With all that in mind, you can spend more time enjoying the great outdoors (sans lotions, sprays, or itchy bites) with one of the best mosquito-control devices below!

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1
The Overall Best Fuel-Powered Mosquito Repellent Device
  • Dimensions: 3.4 x 3.4 x 6.5 inches (length x width x height)
  • Zone of protection: 15 feet

With a sleek, colorful design and a very affordable price tag, you won't mind setting this Thermacell mosquito repellant device out on your back patio or taking it with you on a picnic. The cylindrical unit uses DEET- and fragrance-free allethrin, to keep mosquitos away. A butane fuel cartridge inside the device heats up small pads infused with the repellent. In the box, you'll get one butane cartridge, which will last up to 12 hours, and three blue repellent mats, which are effective for up to four hours and will conveniently turn white once they've stopped working. Fuel cartridges and mat refills are available in affordable bundles, offering 12-300 hours of protection. The stylish device is available in six colors and has more than 2,500 reviews.

Success story: "This product basically creates a Star Wars like force field around you. There is a NOTICEABLE difference when this is in use versus not. Very simple to use. Cute little thing to have on your table. Overall, wish we discovered this sooner..."

2
The Overall Best Battery-Powered Mosquito Repeller
  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 1.9 x 3.3 inches (length x width x height)
  • Zone of protection: 15 feet

Though it's more expensive than the pick above, the more compact Thermacell Radius device is unique in that it works with an included rechargeable (via a micro USB port) lithium-ion battery as its power source to heat the repellent, so you won't need to buy any fuel refills. Once fully juiced up, the Radius device will keep your area protected for up to six-and-a-half hours (though it can remain on while it's charging, too). This is the only model on this list with an optional auto-off function that when selected, will turn the device off after 120 minutes, ensuring your repellent is never wasted.

Keep in mind that this is the only Thermocell device that uses a special liquid-based Metofluthrin cartridge (instead of a pad) as its form of repellant, which you click into a slot at the top. To avoid any potential leaks, it may be best to keep this unit on flat surfaces only instead of toting it on a backpacking expedition. With your purchase, you get one 12-hour repellent cartridges, but you can also grab longer-life refills, which offer up to 40 hours of bug security. Get it in black or vibrant blue.

Success story: "I am so thrilled - worth the price! I live on the river in south Texas and we have crazy mosquitoes out here. Nothing works for long. This really does put a radius around the patio - no mosquitoes in sight!!"

3
The Most Portable Mosquito Repellent Device
  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 2.9 x 1.8 inches (length x width x height)
  • Zone of protection: 15 square feet

This extra-portable Thermacell mosquito repellent can be clipped to your belt for hands-free protection that goes where you go. A butane fuel cartridge (one included) heats up and disperses the allethrin in a small mat, creating a mosquito-free zone. Each cartridge lasts up to 12 hours and the device comes with three mats, each working for up to four hours. This gadget also has a notable ZoneCheck function, which gives a visual indication to let you know when a zone of protection has been created around you.

Just like all the other fuel-powered devices on this list, standard refills for both the cartridges and color-fading mats are available in bundles, offering 12-300 hours of protection.

Success story: "I do not know how I've gone my life without these!!! All of our activities are outdoors and living in deep East Texas with our woods and humidity, the mosquitos are AWFUL!!! These things REALLY work!!!! We can actually hike and hang out without having to worry about getting eaten alive!"

4
A Mosquito Repellent Device That Doubles As An LED Lantern
  • Dimensions: 4.75 x 4.75 x 8 inches (length x width x height)
  • Zone of protection: 15 feet

In addition to a bug shield, this Thermacell lantern also emits a soothing, LED-powered glow. The device uses allethrin to deter bugs and is fueled by a butane cartridge. As with other similar devices above, this pick comes with the standard 12-hour fuel cartridge and three repellent color-fading mats, each lasting approximately four hours (and you can buy refills in bundles, offering 12-300 hours of protection). Tip: You can use on the battery-powered light (three AAA batteries are not included) with or without the repellent function.

Success story: "I am so happy with this product! We live in the country and are surrounded my pesky mosquitos. We used this one for a cookout just now and it’s amazing!!! We were getting eaten alive and then they disappeared as soon as this product was heated. Only took a few minutes. Highly recommend!"

5
You May Also Like: A Mosquito Repellent Hoodie

Made with permethrin, another synthesized chrysanthemum extract similar to allethrin, this ExOfficio hoodie provides a way to wear your protection from mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, and other bugs. The ultra-lightweight, cotton-blend hoodie is machine-washable and the repellent is effective through 70 washes. It's available in ten colors and comes in sizes XX-Small - XX-Large.

Success story: "I was doing microbiology field work on the North Slope of Alaska and the mosquitoes were epic, requiring head nets and covering every surface. This performed excellently and was not too hot (the Arctic was 71 degrees!)"

6
You May Also Like: These Reusable Repellent Bracelets

These DEET-free Mosquito Guard bracelets are infused with the essential oils, like citronella, lemongrass, and geraniol that are most commonly used in natural mosquito repellents. They're great for kids, but also stretchy enough for adults to use comfortably. Though the research on band-type mosquito repellents has found them to be less effective than lotions and sprays, because they concentrate repellant in one small area, Amazon reviewers have found creative ways to try to make them more potent by wearing them around ankles, upper arms, or even around a cup to keep bugs at bay.

Success story: "I have bought these many times. Truly the best quality mosquito repellent band out there. Super stretchy and soft; you barely know they are there. Can even wear around your neck to avoid bites in the back of your neck. My 6 year old hates to be sprayed with bug spray and he plays outside all year long and often in wooded areas. They are perfect and work really really well."