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The Thermacell Radius Zone Is a Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller That Actually Works

Keep bugs at bay without the spray!

thermacell radius zone

More often than not, some of our favorite buys are small, how-didn’t-I-know-about-this products that solve an everyday problem. That’s what we’re highlighting in our Little Lifesavers series: cheap, simple purchases that you’ll use on the daily. Hit “Add to Cart” and thank us later!

Problem: I spend lots of time outside and have been getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.

Solution: The Thermacell Radius Zone Gen 2.0 is a nifty gadget that keeps mosquitoes at bay while also lessening my number of bug bites.

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I live in Texas, which has been experiencing record amounts of rainfall over the last few months. Austin recently tallied more than a foot of rain this past May — more than double its monthly average. Combine that with Texas’ average relative humidity of 77%, and you have a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

While I still try to spend as much time as I can getting fresh air outdoors, dealing with the bugs has been more annoying than ever. Not to mention, I’m quite sensitive to smells, so I don’t like to wear bug repellent.

I recently heard of the Thermacell Radius Zone on a podcast. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have high expectations for it because it seemed too good to be true. But, I was desperate and decided to try it anyway — I was sick of getting bitten by mosquitos and having itchy limbs.

In case you’re unfamiliar, the Radius Zone is a rechargeable, grapefruit-sized device that basically creates a scent-free, cloud-like barrier around you against mosquitoes. The way it works is that you fill it with replaceable metofluthrin cartridges. Metofluthrin is a scientifically proven repellent against mosquitoes. When you press the single button on the device’s front side, an internal heating element activates, allowing the metofluthrin to volatilize from a wick.

thermacell radius zone on fire pit
Brandon Carte

I’ve used the Radius Zone a handful of times outside while grilling, hanging out on my back patio, lounging in the grass at the park, and while building a fence in my front yard — where there were a lot of puddles (and mosquitoes) after recent rainfall. I haven’t been let down by the Radius Zone yet. Even though you don’t see, hear, or smell the device running, it truly keeps the mosquitoes away.

Thermacell says the device will protect a 15-foot area from mosquitoes, and that the protection begins after just 15 minutes after you turn the Radius Zone on. The gadget lasts 6-7 hours on a charge, and it comes with a cartridge that lasts for 12 hours. You can also purchase refills (in 40-hour increments) on Amazon, as well.

Still not sold yet? My colleagues at Popular Mechanics named it as one of the 10 best tools to keep mosquitoes from biting. It’s also received favorable reviews from Active Gear Review, American Hunter, and Wirecutter.

thermacell radius zone on outdoor table
Brandon Carte

Two things worth mentioning: First, the Radius Zone is for outdoor use only. Second, some concerns have been raised about the safety of metofluthrin, since it is a neurotoxin and is listed as a potential carcinogen. However, both the CDC and EPA have determined that the product is efficacious and safe for human use, and they have publicly stated that metofluthrin provides “reasonably long-lasting protection from mosquito bites over a wide area.”

If you want some extra peace of mind since the words “neurotoxin” and “carcinogen” are quite scary, I did some extra digging for you.

The EPA, which officially registered the Radius Zone, has conducted human health and ecological risk assessments for metofluthrin, and found that that there was “no reasonable expectation for metofluthrin to cause direct or indirect adverse effects to human health, threatened species, or endangered species.”

Another plus, the portable device is TSA-compliant for air travel, and Thermacell backs the Radius Zone with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Wrap-Up: I'm very happy with the Thermacell Radius Zone. It's an easy-to-operate device that's rechargeable, easy to refill, and wonderfully effective at repelling mosquitoes. Better yet, I don't have to spray smelly bug spray on my body or have to worry about getting bitten. It's a win-win in my book!

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