I absolutely hate mosquitoes, but I don’t like to use repellents with Deet. I figure anything that will strip paint from a car can’t be all that healthy to soak my body in.
Since I could never find anything natural that worked I started using a ThermaCELL a few years ago. I loved it, it worked and no Deet. It had one draw back though. I guide so when ever I traveled by commercial air to get to my jump off spot I couldn’t bring my ThermaCELL Since you are not allowed to carry the fuel cylinders on commercial flights. So during those hunting seasons I was back to wearing paint stripper. Then a couple of years ago I saw one of our neighbors wearing this weird blue thing on her belt. I asked her what it was, she told me it was a mosquito repellent thing. She then preceded to show me how it worked. I’m thinking this may be the answer to my mosquito problem during hunting season. Since then I have done some testing and liked it but it also had some draw backs. Both systems have their good points and bad points.
ThermaCELL, they work very good on mosquitoes and most biting and chewing bugs, at least the ones that fly. During hunting season I would go through about ½ to ¾ of a fuel cylinder a day and about 1 card per day. All this depended on how much moving and how much glassing we would do. ThermoCELL is quite and goes not give off any scent. They are fairly large but will fit in a shirt pocket and are not to bad to tote around. On a scale of one to ten, ten being the best I would give ThermoCELL a 9.
OFF Clip On works with a AA battery that runs a small fan. The fan makes a little noise so you need to watch where you use it. The OFF Clip On does not work quite as good at getting rid of bugs but is sufficient. The refill are much cheaper than Thermo Cell’s and last about one day depending how much you use it. They are too bulky to carry in a pocket and the clip does not work very good in the brush so you need to attach them to your belt weigh a piece of string. They are also a ugly blue that sticks out like a sore thumb. On a scale of one to ten, ten being the best I would give the Clip On a 7.5.
Over all I would opt for the ThermoCELL for hunting, they do a better job keeping mosquitoes at bay. Neither system works when you are moving; they will only work while you sit. However if I am working in my garden I would use a Clip On because of the difference in the price of the refills and the sound from the fan doesn’t make any difference. A side note, a ThermoCELL can be used to cover your scent. I did some experimenting at my black bear station with a ThermaCELL using it for cover scent/attractant. I soaked used cards with scented oils then let them dry for a few days. I would take one and use it in a ThermaCELL the same way you use the regular cards, they gave off a mild scent of what ever smell I was using. The oils that worked best were commercial candle scent oils; however at best the cards would only last about an hour.