WON Landing Page OCT 2022

ThermaCELL lets you ‘Fish On!’: No bites from insects while fish take your bait

This summer, I had the pleasure of going on a tarpon fishing trip with Capt. Tony Petrelli. As we pulled away from the dock and headed out in the swamps near Port Charlotte, Fla., the captain warned me that it could get buggy as we floated past the mangroves. But I was prepared, with my brand new ThermaCELL mosquito repellent appliance.

Photo courtesy of Tricia HooChung-Perea

Since 2001, ThermaCELL has built quite a reputation for having an effective alternative to spreading chemicals on the skin. ThermaCELL uses allethrin, a synthetic copy of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemums. It has been proven to repel up to 98 percent of mosquitoes in worldwide testing by the U.S. Army. Last year, the appliance was just redesigned to have an ergonomic hand grip, matte finish and quiet on/off button.

For this excursion, I opened up a new portable unit. I loaded up the butane cartridge, slipped one of the three scented pads into the burner slot and clicked it to the “on” position. It released a faint wisp of smoke and started its work. The pads emit a very light smell and turn from blue to white as an enclosed flame safely burns inside the plastic casing. The unit is lightweight and designed to be hand-held. Even though the appliance is ergonomic, I recommend getting the carrying holster to free up the hands and decrease the likelihood of it falling off the boat.

Warning: These units get very hot.

Tricia HooChung-Perea. Photo courtesy of P.J. Perea

I guess I never noticed the heat when I had past versions of the appliance during turkey hunting, over layers of clothes. But today, the weather was sunny and warm, with just an occasional breeze. I was wearing lightweight shorts, so I had to clip the unit to the rod holder on the boat’s steering console. Luckily, ThermaCELL units boast a 15×15 foot zone of protection. The manufacturer says each pads provides four hours of protection and the butane cartridge will operate for 12 hours. I found that my pad kept burning effectively for 6-and-a-half hours. The results were amazing; I could see mosquitoes and all sorts of flies swerve away from the invisible wall.

Throughout the boat ride, no one on board had a bug bite. The only bites we had were a few nibbles from tarpon. And unfortunately, none bit hard enough for us to catch the monster fish that day. But the mosquitoes were definitely out to get me later. Only after I turned off the unit to get into my car, one darted right into me.

A solid color (choice of olive or grey) ThermaCELL personal unit with a butane cartridge and three refills retails for $23.99. The camouflage set sells for $27.99. A Realtree edition sells for $29.99. Each unit is reusable and various counts of refills are available. The carrying holster with clip is available separately for $11.99. Personally, I wish the carrying holster came in fashion colors. I would love to accessorize my unit with my outfits, especially when I use the unit in non-hunting activities. But no matter what its appearance, the protection cannot be beat. So if there’s a chance of insect attacks, I’ll happily add it to any outfit.

~Tricia HooChung-Perea

Check out the lineup of fine ThermaCELL products here

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


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