Thermacell mosquito repellant products are great to have around while hunting or doing anything outdoors. But are they safe to use in a ground blind?
In this article, I’m going to share my experience. I hunt out of a ground bling every bow season in the sweltering heat of early fall in Florida.
And where I’m from, Thermacell’s are life savers!
Table of Contents
- Can you use Thermacell in hunting blind?
- Is Thermacell safe to breathe in a tent or ground blind?
- Which Thermacell is best for Hunting?
- Tips to use Thermacell products while hunting
- Is Thermacell safe around camp-food?
- Final Thoughts
Can you use Thermacell in hunting blind?
Thermacell states that their products are for outdoor use only. However, in a well-ventilated ground blind with windows or screens I have had no problems periodically using a Thermacell to deter mosquitos.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states Thermacell repellents and butane fuel cartridges should not be used indoors or in tents.
Thermacell’s own FAQ site says –
“Thermacell products are for outdoor use only and should not be used in enclosed spaces. You should always follow label use instructions.”
But, let’s be real. Sometimes the mosquitos can be overwhelming and that means making your hunt uncomfortable. Or worse yet, the bugs get so bad you moving and potentially spooking deer.
Would I recommend using Thermacell products enclosed in a full sealed and enclosed space? Absolutely not.
But I have had no problems using them periodically while I’m hunting from a ground blind or pop-up blind.
Especially where I live in Florida, where the mosquitos and heat are a constant battle!
I simply turn on the thermacell unit when I am getting set up. This is usually when I’m creating the most body heat and attracting mosquitoes.
I let the vapor build up a bit, and then begin to calm down and get ready for the sun to rise (or set). I turn the unit off and only turn it back on again if the bugs begin to become a problem.
Almost all ground blinds or pop-up blinds have windows, or mesh screens designed to see out of, and provide air flow and ventilation.
This is great for Thermacell users!
Is Thermacell safe to breathe in a tent or ground blind?
The U.S. EPA has approved Thermacell’s products and the main active ingredients – Metofluthrin or allethrin – are safe for use around adults, children, and most pets.
Metofluthrin is a chemical first created in 2005. It’s been approved by the EPA since 2006. allethrin, a synthetic recreation of a compound found in chrysanthemum flowers, has been used since 1949.
When used properly, Thermacell’s repellents are safe to breathe.
Which Thermacell is best for Hunting?
Thermacell’s mosquito repellent products include lanterns, torches, portable devices, rechargeable devices, and even backpacking units. Which ones make the most sense to have while hunting?
There are hunting & fishing designed accessories available as add-ons.
Both create a 15-foot repellent area. The standard fuel cartridges run for 12 hours, but upgraded cartridges with life up to 300 hours are available. Each repellent insert mat lasts 4 hours.
For the backcountry hunter, The Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller – Gen 2.0 is a larger backpack unit to be used with a gas canister – which isn’t included from Thermacell.
If you’ll have such canisters with you on your trip anyway, this choice might be the best. It’s built for sportsmen, campers, climbers, hunters, and hikers in mind. The backpack repeller runs for 90 hours per four ounces of gas.
If your idea of camping still includes electricity, a cell phone, a laptop, and charging up those devices, then one of Thermacell’s rechargeable units might be ideal.
These use a USB cable to charge the battery. They repel mosquitos for a 20-foot area. The Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent – Gen 2.0 has a longer run-time per charge, up to 6.5 hours.
It has an automatic shut-off feature and runs on a fuel cartridge of up to 40 hours. It won the Best of What’s New top award by Popular Science in 2018.
Tips to use Thermacell products while hunting
- You shouldn’t leave a Thermacell unit on and unattended. Never leave a thermacell running in the ground blind or your condo stand unless you are present.
- Thermacell products, specifically the allethrin used as the primary repellent chemical compound, are toxic to cats. If you have cats, it’s advised to keep them well away from the Thermacell repellent.
- While officially, bureaucratically approved only as a mosquito repellent, Thermacell devices also have a deterrent effect on most insects, gnats, flies and bugs.
- All the products, even the portable devices, work best when stable on a flat, dry surface when not windy or raining.
- The 15- or 20-foot repellent zone is the diameter of the area (with the device in the middle of a circle) not the radius (15 or 20 feet out from the device).
- The repellent mats turn from blue to white as the repellent material is used up and runs out.
- For devices with a post cap, it must be open for the repellent to go out. When not in use, close the cap cover to keep out water, pollen, dirt and other material.
- Once you’re inserted a new fuel cartridge, wait about 10 seconds, then press the start button 3-5 times quickly.
- When turning off a lantern or portable device, unscrew the cartridge at least one full turn. Make sure the lantern is entirely out. Let the device cool before storing or putting in a pack.
- Butane cartridges are extremely flammable. Keep cartridges and devices well away from fire and heated surfaces.
Is Thermacell safe around camp-food?
While Thermacell and its chemical ingredients are EPA approved, it is not safe to use close to uncovered food.
Don’t let it sit and run right next to your steak and potatoes!
The vapor and residue can collect on food and it isn’t safe to consume allethrin or metofluthrin. It should be kept away from food and not used close to food preparation areas. You shouldn’t have open food or drinks in close proximity to a Thermacell while it’s on.
Also, and maybe a more serious risk than Thermacell’s effect on food, Theramcell’s products do use gas, fuel, and heat. It is important to keep them safely away from grills, other fuel containers, and any other flammable item or material.
If you hunt during the warmer seasons or near humid climates, you know that mosquitos and other biting insects are a constant nuisance.
A small portable Thermacell unit can work wonders, and most of the time the smell doesn’t spook deer or other big game animals.
I find them to be safe to use in a ground blind, as long as you have proper ventilation and air flow.
Use common sense, hunt safe, and enjoy your time in the woods. Thanks for reading.