Thermacell Radius mosquito repeller review: shockingly effective! (without the shocks)

Thermacell Radius

MSRP $40.00

“The Thermacell Radius is an efficient approach to fight back mosquitoes in a small package that will not plague you with the smell of fried insects.”


  • It really works!
  • Operates silently
  • No smell, no noise
  • Sufficiently small to be portable
  • Rechargeable
  • Creates an efficient circle of protection
  • Worked for humans and dogs


  • Recharging time may be very long
  • Battery could last more

Thermacell Radius and liquid repellant cartridge siting on a wood deck.

Depending on where you reside, you’ve either had a wonderful reprieve from mosquito bites, otherwise you’re being eaten alive. But one thing is true about these bloodsucking bugs: they at all times show up in force ultimately.

I’ve been doing research into mosquito-repelling devices, and the $40 Thermacell Radius Mosquito Repeller has come up a number of times as probably the most popular picks. I recently picked up a Thermacell Radius and, on this review, I’ll take a take a look at what it does, how it really works, and — most significantly — whether it really works.

What’s the Thermacell Radius?

The Thermacell Radius is a small, portable, egg-shaped device that guarantees to create a zone of protection from mosquitoes. The device itself is a chargeable pod that weighs lower than 7 ounces, and it uses a small liquid repellent refill that ought to provide hours of coverage.

How does it work?

The name says rather a lot on this case: “Therma” refers back to the heat generated to vaporize a liquid solution in that swappable cartridge, “cell” pertains to the way it gets its power from a chargeable lithium-ion battery cell, and “Radius” is a nod to Thermacell’s claims of providing as much as a 15-foot circle of mosquito-free protection.

The core function of the Thermacell Radius is to fireside up a low power heating element to spread the chemical within the repellant.


A Thermacell Radius emitting barely noticeable repellant into the air.

Organising the Thermacell Radius was easy as could possibly be: just remove the protective cap on the refill cartridge, open the magnetic cover of the Radius, drop the refill cartridge in, and shut the lid.

Hit the facility button to start out. Thermacell says it should take about quarter-hour for the repellent to waft into the air and begin repelling those pests. (Pressing the button twice will trigger auto shutoff after two hours.)

Keep the device in a single spot at the middle of the motion let it work its magic. The corporate says it’s effective to about 20 feet from the device.

Using Thermacell Radius

I took the Thermacell Radius camping — be sure you take a look at our helpful camping hacks — and likewise tested it out at home, and it was about quarter-hour after powering it on that I began to notice we were all waving our arms around less and not slapping at ourselves.

Wary of a possible placebo effect, I asked others in our group in the event that they noticed any difference, and ultimately, all of us agreed that it provided a noticeable reduction in mosquitoes.

Out in my backyard, the Radius also performed well. On one particularly buggy day, we were in a position to sit outside for hours and revel in the nice and cozy evening without being ravaged by mosquitoes. I even noticed fewer bugs landing on our dogs, who generally present a little bit of a buffet resulting from their thinner coats.

Does it smell or make noise?

Certainly one of the selling features (or possibly two?) is that the Radius doesn’t give off any form of smell. The liquid contained in the refill cartridge uses metofluthrin because the energetic ingredient, which is a DEET-free, odorless chemical specifically created to battle mosquitos. Its protected for humans and pets, but highly effective in repelling the bloodsuckers.

There are not any fans contained in the device and I didn’t hear any noise throughout my testing.

It was a pleasant experience having no wafting smoke, no stink, no buzzing fan noise, and no buzzing ZAP! of an electrical element frying mosquitos.

Recharging the Thermacell radius in a kitchen.

Battery life and charging

Thermacell says the battery should last about six-and-a-half hours on a full charge and I discovered that was accurate.  Charging a totally drained Radius took an astonishing five hours, but you’ll be able to leave it on while charging if you happen to don’t mind a slower charging speed. That’s probably the device’s biggest downside — that it takes almost as long to charge it because it does to wear it out.

Our take

I’m joyful to report that the Thermacell Radius is an efficient mosquito repellent that performs way above any of those so-called ultrasonic mosquito repellents. Yes, you must have a gradual supply of refill cartridges to get through the summer, but you won’t waste anything so long as you employ it outdoors and place it in a spot away from direct sunlight.

Is there a greater alternative?

To be honest, there are many chemicals, zappers, bombs, oils, and repellents on the market that each one claim to have a lock on mosquitoes. User experience actually varies. In the intervening time, I’m not aware of an identical or higher alternative, but when anyone on the market has a suggestion for something else I should attempt to compare, I’d love to listen to it.

Thermacell does offer mosquito repellers just like the E55, which boasts a greater coverage area, and there’s also a more rugged moisture-proof cousin dubbed EX55, however the Radius offers a fantastic balance of price, portability, eco-friendliness, battery life, and range.

Should I purchase it?

I can absolutely confirm this device works as advertised. When you are experiencing a surge in mosquitoes this season, I can definitely recommend the Thermacell Radius.

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