Does Thermacell Work on Flies? What About Other Insects?

For those of us who love being outside, the warmer temperatures of the spring and summer are ideal for outdoor activity.

Unfortunately, with warm weather comes warm weather insects, including flies. This leads many to ask the question: does Thermacell work on flies?

Thermacell does work on flies. Thermacell advertises that it can keep away most flying insects, including flies, mosquitos, and gnats. By creating a 15 foot (4.57 m) zone of aerated repellent after about 16 minutes, the device repels almost all airborne insects.

Learning what insect repellents prevent and which ones work best can be very helpful for those who live and work outside.

Read on to learn more about Thermacell, what it is, how it works, and what kind of bugs it deters.

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Table of Contents

Will Thermacell Keep Flies Away?

Thermacell will keep many types of flies away. It works incredibly well at deterring both black flies and sand flies. So, it’ll work well in different climates, including fields, beaches, farms, and any areas that might attract flies. 

Does Thermacell Work on Flies

The molecules that Thermacell products put into the air are odorless to humans, but they act as strong repellents against insects. Therefore, sand flies or black flies will avoid the area of the Thermacell. This makes it a great tool for an enjoyable outdoor experience.

Will Thermacell Keep Gnats Away?

While mosquitos and black flies are common and incredibly irritating, they’re far from the only biting insects. Gnats, sometimes called “See Me Nots” are small, viciously biting insects that can turn any outdoor activity into a miserable experience. Will Thermacell keep gnats away?

Thermacell will keep gnats away. Gnats are most common in areas with lots of moisture and organic material, making them very common in swampy areas. Thermacell works well in these climates. 

Gnats, though their own species, are very similar to both mosquitos and flies in the fact that they often prey on human flesh. Additionally, gnats thrive in climates similar to the ones mosquitoes survive in. Since they’re so small, they’re often hard to detect.

Fortunately, Thermacell devices produce repellent that’s effective against gnats.

Will Thermacell Keep Horse Flies Away?

Perhaps the most painful of the flying insects, horse flies are a common nuisance for those who frequent the outdoors. They’re quick and hard to kill, so repelling horse flies is an important feature for insect repellents to have. Will Thermacell keep horse flies away?

Thermacell will keep horse flies away. They’re most common in land areas near bodies of water. Thermacell can be used both on land and over water to prevent horse flies.

While Thermacell won’t be effective in motion, if kept on a stationary boat, for example, it can keep horse flies away, even over the water.

Does Thermacell Keep Wasps Away?

Black flies, gnats, mosquitos, and horse flies are similar in many ways. Wasps often live in a different climate than these creatures and are less impacted by most insect repellents. Does Thermacell keep wasps away?

Thermacell does keep wasps away. Topical insect repellent isn’t effective against most stinging insects such as bees, yellow jackets, and wasps. In contrast, Thermacell applies insect repellent into the air around the device. So, it’s more effective at deterring stinging insects. 

Stinging insects only sting when feeling threatened, and a spray-on repellent does little to prevent that. Thermacell does repel stinging insects. Because Thermacell creates an insect-free area around the device, you’re less likely to be stung. 

Does Thermacell Keep Ticks Away?

Thermacell devices keep flying insects away but what about insects found on the ground? Does Thermacell keep ticks away?

Thermacell keeps ticks away using a specially designed device called Tick Control Tubes. However, their fuel-powered and battery-operated devices won’t prevent ticks.

Ticks mostly live, grow, and reproduce on field mice and their nests in your backyard. Tick Control Tubes contain small, biodegradable tubes with a material similar to cotton soaked in insecticide.

The mice then use this material to create their nests, causing the ticks that live on them to spread onto the material. When they make contact, the insecticide kills the ticks. This makes it so that you can treat an area to limit tick populations.

Tick Control Tubes must be reapplied twice per season and only work in areas where they’re distributed. That means the product won’t prevent ticks from coming on you outside of treated areas.

Is Thermacell Safe To Use Around Pets

Many products are effective at killing insects and pests, but this is often because the chemicals inside are incredibly deadly. When using these products, there are often concerns about their safety. Can they be used around pets?

Thermacell is safe to use around pets. The levels of Permethrin, the active ingredient in Thermacell products, are so low that they’re not considered dangerous for dogs or cats through straight ingestion. 

The EPA has found the product safe to use around dogs. Additionally, there are no known cases of cats being harmed by the product. There are some concerns about cats eating the infected mice but the device is safe. However, a toxicology study found that a cat would need to eat over 100 mice per day to experience complications. This is much more than a cat’s diet, meaning it’s safe around cats.

Where Should Thermacell Be Used?

Now that we know what Thermacell is, how it works, and what it can prevent against, the largest question remaining is where can it be used? 

Thermacell should only be used outdoors, not near food. Though the chemicals in Thermacell products are non-toxic to humans, using them indoors can create a higher concentration that might cause side effects in humans and pets. 

The EPA, along with other regulatory agencies, conducts regular tests to assess the product’s safety and has found multiple times that it’s not dangerous. 

Alternatives to Thermacell

While Thermacell may be effective at deterring flying insects, it’s not the perfect solution to the problem of outdoor insects. In fact, Thermacell has recalled some of its products in the past and has been the target of lawsuits over safety concerns. 

Does Thermacell Work On Flies? Tiki Torch creates smoke to deter insects.

One issue with Thermacell products is that they take so long to actually become effective. Both types of devices need to work for about 15 minutes to actually have an impact.

This is problematic when compared to bug spray, which works almost instantly. If you’re in an exceptionally buggy climate, Thermacell will take a little while to work.

What’s more, Thermacell needs to stay in a relatively controlled climate. If it’s too windy outside, it can’t create a bug-free environment because the repellent will be distributed unequally.

This also means that you can’t move around with it. If you’re working within one 15 foot (4.57 m) space, Thermacell is great, but if you’re moving around frequently, it won’t work as effectively.

But if you’re just trying to deter the bugs around the house, like on the patio, or back porch than the Thermacell Patio Shield is what you need.

Does Thermacell Really Work?

While we know that Thermacell is generally safe to use and understand its positives and negatives, it’s important to ask the biggest question. Does Thermacell actually work?

Thermacell does work very well at protecting you from insects. While some of their earlier products were not considered the best on the market, in recent years, many people have noted that Thermacell works well at their homes and in other outdoor places they have visited.

While many have noted that it seems to work relatively well around their homes, even more have noted just how well it works in nature. Many people have noted that, while controlling insects is not the easiest thing to do, Thermacell works very well to decrease insect bites and stings outside. 

And apart from anecdotal reports, there is a lot of data that suggests Thermacell is effective. Some reports have found it to be upward of 90% effective.

Can I Use Thermacell With Other Insect Repellants?

Sometimes, bugs in nature seem just too intense to control. When going into their natural environment, people often find that one repellant is not enough for them. Could Thermacell be used with other insect repellants?

Thermacell can be used with other insect repellants. Some people even recommend that it should be used with others. As long as the conditions are not too extreme, Thermacell is normally enough to prevent insects from harming you, but using Thermacell in conjunction with other repellants can work.

Using Thermacell in conjunction with items such as Citronella candles, Tiki Torches, and bug spray can prevent nearly any insect bite.

Assuming you use these three products, the smoke from the candle or torch, combined with the Thermacell, will repel any insects from your general vicinity. By adding bug spray, you are adding one more layer of protection. 

Is Thermacell Harmful To The Environment?

When purchasing products to use in nature, many people find it important to consider the sustainability of the product. Major brands such as North Face and Patagonia have made efforts in recent years to increase sustainability. On this subject, is Thermacell sustainable?

Thermacell is not overly harmful to the environment, but it could be better. Thermacell’s active ingredient breaks down quickly, meaning that after the device has been powered off, it no longer has a major impact on the environment. However, its replaceable mats and cartridges do produce waste.

Compared to other insect repellants, Thermacell does a great job at preventing significant environmental harm: it does not use aerosol containers, and it is replaceable.

However, it does produce waste and is not sustainable in its production. If you are looking for an incredibly sustainable or natural insect repellent, Thermacell may not be best for you.

Thermacell: What It Is and How It Works

Thermacell creates an insect repellent that sprays the repellent into the air rather than on your body. Similar to that of a citronella candle, the repellent device emits a smell that these types of insects dislike.

By emitting the smell in a consistent fashion, the repellent device creates a 15 foot (4.57 m) bubble around it, preventing the insects from coming close to you. 

The company produces two major devices that help to repel insects.

  • Fuel-powered. The fuel-powered device uses a fuel cartridge to slowly heat a mat covered in insect repellent. Once turned on, the device generates and disperses a smoke that creates an insect-free area with the help of natural airflow. 
  • Battery-powered.The battery-powered device works in a similar fashion, but it powers the heater using a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. As the repellent heats, it turns into a gas that’s distributed into the surrounding area. Like the fuel-powered device, a 15-foot (4.57-m) area will be insect-free after 15 minutes with the help of natural airflow.

Benefits of Thermacell

After reading about what Thermacell is, you may be asking yourself: Why should I use Thermacell? What benefits does it have over regular insect repellent? Why switch to something different when I know what I have works? These are all important questions to ask, and ones that Thermacell answers.

Thermacell is different from other bug sprays in many ways. The biggest difference is that you don’t apply the repellent directly to your skin. This is a huge benefit.

Bug spray can be sticky, slimy, and full of chemicals. It can irritate your skin and make it itchy and generally uncomfortable. With Thermacell, because the repellent is applied to the surrounding air, you don’t need to worry about how it might feel.

Secondly, Thermacell repellent does create a radius around the device that prevents insects from interfering but produces a scent not detectable to humans. This prevents the headaches that come from the smell of citronella candles or bug spray while having the same impact on insects.

Finally, you won’t have to deal with messy insect smudges or blood spots. Even with bug spray, mosquitos might land on you, making you smack them to kill them.

Though effective at preventing bites, this leaves behind a mess. With Thermacell, the insects don’t get close to you, preventing the need to clean up.

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