Mosquitos eat me alive in the summer. I don’t know exactly why, but I have a suspicion it has something to do with my mixture of skin bacteria and the type O blood that flows through my veins, which the little pests find more delicious than A or B. Whatever the reason, my life as an insect feast has prompted me to dive deep into the world of mosquito repellents. The latest weapon to combat the blood-sucking scourge is the Thermacell Radius Zone, which uses vaporized oils to create a mosquito-free dome around your yard or campsite. It’s a clever device, but can it keep my blood inside my body?
What is it?
Thermacell’s mosquito-repelling devices ward off biters by vaporizing an oil containing Allethrin. It’s a synthetic version of a compound found in chrysanthemum flowers that acts as a natural mosquito repellent. In fact, chrysanthemum extract is a common ingredient in many popular skeeter stoppers; similarly, many gardeners plant mums around gardens and outdoor living areas to keep insects out.
Previous Thermacell gadgets have used disposable mats infused with the oil or one-shot fuel canisters that create two types of trash. The company’s new Radius system, however, uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to heat and diffuse the oil. The repellent still comes in disposable cartridges, but it at least cuts down on waste in one area. The resulting protected zone covers roughly 110 square feet.
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