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on August 2, 2011
Nothing in this world is perfect. If you are looking for something that eliminates mosquitoes and no-see-ums 100% of the time, then you just gotta break down and screen in your outdoor area and/or slather on the deet when in warm, humid places. Otherwise, I highly recommend investing in a Thermacell unit... or two... or more!

About the Reviewers: We live in coastal, east-central Florida. Our house backs up to a slough just off of the Indian River Lagoon. Lots of stagnant water around,so prime testing grounds! In addition, mosquitoes find me incredibly attractive, as evidenced by the 32 welt-sized bites I received during an hour-long dinner at a seaside restaurant last week (maybe I need a Thermacell for my purse). My husband is less prone to bites, but finds even he can't last long in our swampy backyard in August.

How We Use Thermacells: We have two Thermacell units, along with holsters. They turn on with a click; then we simply place them at opposite ends of the table or area we intend to use. The pads really do seem to last 4 hours; the 3:1 ratio of pads to butane cartridges in the refill packs leaves us with lots of extra pads. Replacing pads it a breeze. The metal surface is well-protected from fingers by the grill. We push the old pad out using the new one, then use the old pad to make sure the new one is properly centered. The butane cartridges need replacement less often, and screw in and out with a twist. I do wish there was a window that allow you to see how much butane was left. The holsters are great for holding extra pads on one side and extra butane on the other. The holsters also allow us to wear the Thermacells when working in the yard or hang them from the fence nearby; on nights when the bugs are really aggressive, we use the holsters to hang the Thermacells right under the table or chair in which we intend to sit. During the climax of bug season (when these vile creatures attack and feed 24/7), we will place the units outdoors and let the Thermacells warm up for a few minutes (5-10 min) before re-entering the enemy's domain long-term. If it is windy, we place both units a few feet upwind of our location. When not in use, we store the units indoors; the metal is cool to the touch within minutes.

Recommendations: The number of units you'll need depends on the size of your outdoor area and severity of your mosquito problem. For 11 months of the year, our two units protect my husband and me from these annoying pests with only the occasional single bite. This is amazing considering how much time we spend outside, and just how bad the "blood-vulture" problem is here in Florida year-round. However, during the "Dog Days" of summer, we do find that sometimes two Thermacells just aren't strong enough to fend off the overwhelming hordes that attack at dusk. With the Thermacells, we usually are fine up until about 7pm, but after that, you really need to pull out the bug spray or pack it up and go inside. Also, with only two of us, it's pretty easy to plan and focus our Thermacells on a small protected refuge. However, when we entertain parties of 5 or more, the two units just aren't quite enough to cover the area we need defend. I'm back today to purchase two more units so that we can place one unit at each corner of our patio when we entertain guests to create a larger area of protection.

Conclusions: We have tested these units here at home for over a year, plus on multiple camping trips. Our Thermacells have allowed us to reclaim life outdoors from these awful blood-suckers! I can say unequivocally that Thermacells drastically reduce the chances of being bitten. Using Thermacells sure beats slathering on icky sprays and lotions, and 95% of the time, Thermcells are the only thing we use to fend off the mosquitoes and no-see-ums. I highly recommend investing in the holsters--they are very helpful to keep the units out of the dirt when camping or picnicking, to assist with customizing the zone of protection, and to keep extra pads and cartridges on hand.
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on August 14, 2008
I am the most mosquito bite prone person I know. When I used this I still got a couple of bites, but not nearly as many as with spray.

One disadvantage is that if it is breezy, your coverage is kind of shot. Overall I would recommend it, but it might be best to augment it with a little bug spray too.
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on September 30, 2007
I bought this device for deer hunting in the early fall when the mosquitos are still very plentiful. It works great, but the butane heats the device and warns the user not to touch the screen. I had hoped I could just throw it back in my pack when I was finished for the day and move on, but I'm afraid it would ignite something. It's just a minor inconvenience, but one that I would have preferred to know about before the purchase.
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on January 6, 2009
Anything I do not have to apply to my skin and keeps away the bugs makes me a happy camper! It even repelled meat bees and flies while we ate lunch in Yellowstone.
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on June 9, 2014
Wikipedia says that there are about 460 recognized species of mosquitoes. On a daily basis between 1900 and 0900 in May, June, July and August, I swear 18,000 of each species shows up within a thirty-foot radius of my house.

I live in northern Minnesota near the famous hangout of Rocky J. Squirrel and Bulwinkle Moose, Nell, Dudley Dooright, Nathasha and Boooureese. . . . This is not a fractured fairy tale: there's lotsa' bugs here! Maybe no worse than places like Alaska, Maine or the Maritime Provinces, but still . . . . . 'Seems like everybody's got 'em bad this year again.

The earth scent mats advertised with the brown Mr, BJ have a bog-like odor to them. It might be offensive to city dwellers but, if you live in rural setting it's no more pungent than the smell of a freshly tilled field or a bale of hay. They smell like a combination of sphagnum moss and loamy soil with substantial vegetative organic material. It can be over-bearing in an enclosed space but it doesn't really smack you in the nose when you're outside. Again, it's not an offensive odor by any means. It's just 'earthy' like a freshly tilled garden plot.

I was outside for about five hours tonight between 1800 and 2300. (I hung MR. BJ from the belt in the back of my pants - that's a no-no.) Apparently, I was trying to ruin the carburetor on my generator. Mr. BJ kept the mosquitoes away long enough for me to almost succeed. I'll try to start it again tomorrow.

It was interesting to observe how these female flying parasites, (not really parasites; 'grazers' they're called), responded to the repellent dispenser, (miniature fogger?). They seem to arrive in flocks of about twenty at one-hour intervals. It's as if they work in shifts?! Anyway, they'd do the buzz thing around my eyes and ears and work their way down and around my pant legs. (And, they seem to all have read the same flight plan). But the thing is, they were not as persistent as they usually are. They didn't stay around long either. A few landed on my arm but I didn't get a single mosquito bite for five hours. And, that ain't normal!

Now. That said, it might be helpful to mention a couple things. First of all, from my very first outdoor memory until now (I'm in my 60's), I take full responsibility for having fed generations of mosquitoes. And, I'm convinced that the progeny of some of them still somehow know how find me. Secondly, if there was only ONE blood-sucking insect in all of the Midwestern United States, it would find. . . .ME.

So, when I say the ThermaCell MR-BJE is more effective against mosquitoes than any repellent I've ever put on my skin, it's not a passing comment on the product. It does work. And, it works very well.

Some have taken issue with the fact that the ThermaCell appliance is a miniature insecticide 'fogger' without the fog. They don't like the fact that you'll breath in a bit of the repellent and thereby maybe poison yourself. And, it does say in the directions not to use this product in an enclosed space. There's certainly more than a couple obvious reasons for that. But, my response to those who find this product objectionable is this: if you're going to use bug repellent technology of any kind, you'll expose yourself to some form of contaminant. Aerosol sprays have gotta' be the worst and can slathering DEET on your skin be any better?

The fuel cell 'can' last twelve hours; more likely ten. The scent mats are typically effective for four to five hours. You'll know when the scent mat is spent because the mosquitoes will also know. Actually, they'll know before you do.

I'm hoping Mr. BJ will be as effective against biting flies as well (deer-, horse- and black flies). In my experience, very few (if any), repellents are effective against deer flies: I'm pretty sure they drink deepwoodsoff for breakfast.

If you live in a swamp or near a wetland of any kind; if you do a lot of camping; if you've got a deck or an open work space I'd encourage you to give the ThermaCell a try. You'll easily spend $50 on aerosols and other bug repellents in the course of a summer anyway. This is far more effective when you spend time outdoors in one place for prolonged periods of time.
______________________

update/addition: 062714 - 'Might be a bit of a no-brainer but maybe bears mention anyway: ThermaCELL doesn't work well in windy conditions. Its place is in calm environments made miserable by flying parasites/'grazers'.
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on June 17, 2004
We've had ThermaCELL 'skeeter beeter' for about 2 years. Our yard is bordered on one side by a channel off of a lake, so we've pretty much got heavy duty mosquitos. You could almost hear them warming up their wings every evening. Before we got this little unit, we were never outside after dark. Once the unit is operating (it needs a little time to warm up)the pests are driven away; sometimes we've seen a mass exodus from shrubbery. With this years(2004)heavy rains in Wisconsin, the populuation doesn't even wait for dark anymore, just shade brings them out. We're using the ThermaCELL unit a lot more-even doing our own 'testing'. It works better than using 3 well placed citronella candles. I highly recommend this product!
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on June 27, 2013
This item is advertised as a "mosquito repellent device". Imagine my surprise when I read the fine print on the box---it is actually a heat-release vaporizer dispensing the insecticide Allethrin. That is a synthetic pyrethrin-type insecticide which scrambles nerve signals in insects--causing them to fall down twitching and not bite you. This is NOT a "repellent", this is an insect killer, although its package uses the word "repellent" over and over. I would not have knowingly bought an insecticide fogger. The package has numerous warnings that do not appear on the Amazon sales page, such as "do not contaminate water, food or feed" by use or disposal of the ThermaCell; "harmful if inhaled", and "do not breathe vapors" (good luck avoiding THAT around a vaporizer appliance!) The package also states that the insecticide is toxic to fish and other aquatic life (probably not suitable for use near a garden pond.) Finally, a Wikipedia search revealed that the pyrethrin-type insecticides are highly toxic to cats. Since I bought this thing to ward off mosquitoes on a patio we enjoy with our three cats, it's absolutely NOT acceptable. Sadly, as a butane-burning appliance, it is also NOT RETURNABLE to Amazon, so please, BUYER BEWARE.
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on January 4, 2014
I'm a walking bug light. That's right. You want skeeters to leave you alone? Come stand by me....

While not actually allergic to bites, every mosquito bite turns into a huge welt on me and lasts for ages. It's truly been one of the biggest problems of summer for me throughout my life. Sure, I can spray on half a can of deep woods repellent, but then no critter wants to be near me, including the Homo Sapiens that I'm rather partial to.

Thermacell DOES work, but it ain't cheap, and the conditions have to be right for it. If it's windy, make sure you're downwind of it and I've never tried it while hiking.

However, placed under my camp chair or off to the side on a calm night, it really works a charm! No stinky repellent. My personal problem is that I always seem to forget to turn it off when I walk in the house or cabin or wherever, which is a problem. The pads and the canisters don't last all that long, and ANY indiscreet use is just a waste.

I can't see taking this on a vacation with me, unless it's a camping trip, simply due to the fact that it's not really practical to take to an outdoor restaurant or bar. It's large, bulky, and rather dorky. However, used on a patio, camping trip, or on a balcony on vacation would be great.

It DOES work, and it works well, with it's limitations. Just understand that those hundreds of dollars you'll spend stocking up on butane and pads will not last nearly as long as you think they will.
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on July 10, 2011
I placed this device within a few feet of our table out on our patio on a still night in NJ and 4 of the 6 of us got multiple mosquito bites in a matter of 20 minutes. The flame was definitely on, the device was hot, the pad was brand new (i.e., dark blue), and there was smoke coming off the heated pad, so it was definitely working exactly as described, but clearly it was NOT repelling mosquitos.
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on August 30, 2011
When I ordered 2 of Mr. G ThermaCell mosquito repellent from Amazon, I wanted it for protection from mosquitoes when picking blackberries. The description did not say anything about keeping it away from food - not until I received the product - then it says to keep all foods covered - hence I can not use for purpose intended. Also, in the description given on line you can buy a holster to wear it on your body. The description on the box says "cover or remove all exposed food"; " Do not attach to your body or clothing"; "place appliance on a flat stable surface with the grill facing upward".

If this description had been in the Amazon ad I certainly would have bought something different - these will not be used for wearing to the berry patch! or anywhere!!!! There are other ones available unless the description for those is void in these areas too.
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