Satan's Chief Tormentor
ThermaCELL, does it work or is it just another gimmick?
The mosquito. We spend untold millions just to keep these annoying, disease ridden pests from buzzing our ears and biting our bodies. Controlling or repelling mosquitoes from your yard or person is of high priority in The South, where mosquitoes travel in large squadrons intent upon sucking the life blood from all living objects. Like tiny Vampires, (who don't sparkle, unlike the sissy vampires that are currently popular) mosquitoes are on a one-minded mission to bite and ravage anything with blood coursing through its veins.
All over the world mosquito bites are a major annoyance and health hazard. Many inventions are out there promising to rid your person and body of mosquitoes. Mosquito sprays, mosquito traps, mosquito torches, all are out there and we spend good money on them, with most mosquito remedies providing little or no relief.
But now, someone has built the better mouse trap. The ThermaCELL is touted and promoted to completely rid your immediate area from these pesky buggers. It works by inserting a plastic bottle of butane into the unit and then installing a treated pad on the front face where the heating element is. The pad is heated up, releasing some magic potion into the vicinity, about a 6-10 foot radius. Each butane bottle lasts about 12 hours and each pad about 4 hours. Refills are available in different sizes, as is a nifty carrying case.
Now personally, I hate mosquitoes. I don't see a good reason for their existence on this earth and am more than prepared to do my part in the complete and total eradication of all of their kind. I live in the South, and we know all about mosquitoes. We have one variety which we call tigers because of the bands of black that ring their backsides and for their voracity. I have personally witnessed three of these tigers land on a squirrel and suck every drop of blood from his body. Poor little thing just dried up and fell out of the tree. Nothing but fur and squirrel dust. Terrible sight.
So it's imperative to have some sort of mosquito control around here. For years I've used the near 100% formulations of DEET and they work okay. But, they seem to have an odor that deer don't appreciate fully, making bow hunting even more difficult. And they're greasy. They leave an oily residue on your skin that's about as unpleasant as a skeeter buzzing your ear. And then there are those who have some concern about the effects on your health from DEET and the other mosquito repellents, which I'm nowhere near smart enough to speak on.
So what to do? Well, Uncle Ted, Wango-Tango, Troll of Rock and Roll Nugent recommends ThermaCELL on his show from time to time, and me being a huge fan of anything Nuge, decided to trot down to the local Bass Pro Shop and pick me one up. I bought the Earth Scent version and one refill pack. This Earth Scent also promises to mask human scent while driving skeeters away. Assembly is simple, just screw the afore-mentioned butane bottle into place and insert a blue pad onto the heater. Turn the switch to On and hit the lighter button a few times. There's a viewing window in the top of the unit that allows you to see when the burner is lit and the level of butane in the bottle is visible from the rear. The pad simply turns white as it's used up.
I used mine this afternoon in a very heavily infested bottom on our property. I sat in the woods-built blind for about thirty minutes, letting the mosquitoes home in on me and had a couple dozen hovering and making Kamikaze attacks in their attempt to drain me of my blood. Once I was satisfied that I had a good supply of mosquitoes handy, I lit the burner and waited. After about 3 minutes there began to be a slight stream of smoke rising from the pad, and like magic, the mosquitoes were gone. I don't mean that they were just not biting me or buzzing my head, like they'll still do even after soaking in DEET, I mean they were gone.
I don't know where they went, probably back to Hades to guard the gates, but they were gone.
Now this is a great product. And I am now a customer for life, or at least until some moron bureaucrat decides the ozone layer is going to fall on our heads or some such nonsense. Finally, we have an inexpensive product, I paid full price, $24.95 for the unit and $6.95 for a refill pack, that really works and works really well.
There are a couple of things to know first, it won't help if you're walking or if there's a heavy breeze or wind. But if there's a heavy breeze, then the mosquitoes aren't that big of a problem anyway. It also doesn't actually kill the mosquitoes, which I personally would be thrilled by. And the bottom cap of the unit doesn't look to me like it will be around for long, not a problem if you have the case, which I intend to get, but if it were hinged it would be a lot more secure. Also, I refer to it as inexpensive although some may think it's a lot to pay. However, as an Outdoorsman who has had West Nile, and spent a lot of money on every mosquito repellent out there, I think it's an outstanding bargain.
So buy ThermaCELL, it's a solid ten in my book. And, it's a great gift for anybody who likes to sit around outside and hates mosquitoes.