Thermacell Bug Repellent Review

With today being the autumnal equinox, mosquitoes should disappear for the season…but they are not. I camped last weekend and would have been miserable if I had not brought bug repellent. I was so pleased with my Thermacell that a bug repellent review is in order

I paid for this device out of my own pocket and I am not receiving any payment for this review. This is my honest opinion of my own personal property.

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Types of Bug Repellent

There are a number of kinds of bug repellents and I use several kinds for different purposes. Find what works best for you and your particular situation. There are pros and cons to each type.
Hammock with Net

I like to use a combination of methods for comfort. I soak my gear and clothes in Permethrin and let it dry to prevent ticks, use Deet on my skin until bedtime, use bug nets and screens, and I used to burn a citronella candle until I bought my Thermacell.

Citronella candles have such a small concentration of citronella that they are rather ineffective. I was searching for a way to rid the communal camp area of biting pests. In my mind, I was looking for the repellent sticks that burn like the old coils our parents and grandparents used to light at the drive-in. I ended up picking up a Thermacell, shrugging my shoulders, and throwing it in the cart anyway. It turns out that it was a good decision.

Check out the following sections for lists of the different repellent types. These lists do not contain every type of repellent, but they will give you a good starting point.

Chemical Repellents

Natural Repellents

  • Citronella
  • Geranium
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Peppermint

Barrier Repellents

  • Clothing
  • Bug Nets
  • Shelter
  • Fans

Zone Repellents

You can also find a comparison chart of the types here on the Thermacell site.

Bug Repellent Safety

Always consider safety when using repellents. Read this article for more information.

The Bug Repellent Review

I was skeptical of this product, but was very pleasantly surprised. We did not have mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies, or gnats in our campsite. It definitely worked for the 15 foot radius as advertised. In addition to the repellent’s effectiveness, I bought the Earth Scent model which has a nice fragrance. Overall, I give the Thermacell a high rating.

The Good

  • No mess
  • No bad odor
  • Very effective
  • Natural
  • Easy to use
  • Don’t have to wait for it to finish burning to go to bed
  • Services everyone in the campsite
  • Lightweight for car, kayak, or horse camping

The Bad

  • Needs to stay relatively stationary, so doesn’t work on horseback
  • Takes a few minutes to start working
  • Too heavy for backpacking unless you want to make a sacrifice
  • Can be a little more pricey to use than Off (about $.67 per hour), but worth it for many of us


I was so pleased with the performance of the Thermacell that I will definitely continue to use it, where applicable. The difference in my comfort is worth a little extra money.

I would love to hear about your best bug repellent regime. Leave me a comment below or click “Like” if you found some value in this article and would like to see more of this type.

Watch the video below from Thermacell that shows how this device works.