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ThermaCell Insect Repellent

18th Oct 2011

We were really excited to be given the opportunity to test this product. Living in Snowdonia, north Wales, we are too often plagued by clouds of midges, necessitating a retreat indoors instead of enjoying an otherwise lovely warm evening eating outside.

Could this be the answer? Strangely, 2011 summer was unusually midge-free. We regularly remarked how unusual it was to sit outside, unmolested. It was suggested that the particularly severe cold spell the previous December was the cause. Frankly, we actually forgot that we had the Thermacell, and enjoyed the freedom.

Of course, it didn’t last. Sometime in August we felt the familiar nip. Just one or two. Oh no, more and more. We remembered the Thermacell, dug it out, read the instructions, switched it on and sat it out, waiting. But not for long. The clouds swirled around us and we fled indoors, itching and scratching.

We re-read the instructions, more carefully. Maybe we should have anticipated the onset and pre-lit it. So, a couple of days later, that’s exactly what we did, going to our seating area in the garden, firing up the device, and then waiting inside for about 30 minutes so it could pervade our seating area. It was a carefully controlled experiment. Four of us sat, in summer shorts and tops. Alas, we saw that everything was operating as described, but there was no discernible effect on the midges. They flew into the ‘prohibited’ zone without hesitation, settled on us and bit us. We looked ‘outside’ the zone and again, there was no obvious variation in intensity of infestation.

We really wanted – and want – it to work. We will persevere next year; but we have profound doubt that Welsh midges will observe instruction and steer clear. We will readily listen to suggestions/ instructions as to how best to proceed. It’s not fun writing this negative report.

It seems that the device probably works better with mosquitos so we'll get it tested with them as soon as we can...