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Old 05-17-2017, 05:42 PM   #1
Justin
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Portable Thermacell

Anyone use one while camping during the bug season?
Do they help with black flies & deer flies also?
Thoughts?
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:39 PM   #2
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I purchased a couple last year and used them a few times. They seem to work, I wasn't bothered by any flying insects. The folks on the BWCA forum swear by them. Thanks for reminding me to pack them for this weekend.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:01 PM   #3
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A staff instructor buddy of mine swears by them used during guide training. But the slightest breeze makes it ineffective (unless you put it upwind of you). Seems to work for all offensive flying bugs.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:09 PM   #4
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We use the portable units on the back porch and also up at the cabin. Some evenings they work great, some not so much. I'll second what Wldrns says about the breeze.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:34 PM   #5
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Thanks gang!
Reading some of the reviews they also mention the ineffectiveness in a breeze, but then again...don't we also like a nice breeze to help keep the bugs away?
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:24 PM   #6
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Saw a few folks at the Moose Pond Lean-to using one last spring. Black flies were biting but they seemed to be undisturbed by them within the confines of the lean-to; seemed to work for them.

It works by evaporating a liquid insect repellent. Kind of like a fogger without the fog. In other words, the stuff is airborne and ... gets on exposed food (and into your lungs). Couldn't find any safety information on their site about this aspect of its operation ... but it's something to bear in mind.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:25 PM   #7
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... In other words, the stuff is airborne and ... gets on exposed food (and into your lungs). Couldn't find any safety information on their site about this aspect of its operation ... but it's something to bear in mind.
Thanks Boss. So like Deet, perhaps it's best used with some caution...?
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:06 PM   #8
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I've been using them for years and just packed one with refills for an out-of-town turkey hunt this weekend.

Two thermacells on a picnic table with a citro in the middle should do the the job for a camp group on skeeters, black flies and nats. The OFF lanterns work on the same principal of heating up a wafer. We have an old one that we can't find refills for so I make them from thermacell wafers.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:23 AM   #9
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I've been using them for years and just packed one with refills for an out-of-town turkey hunt this weekend.

Two thermacells on a picnic table with a citro in the middle should do the the job for a camp group on skeeters, black flies and nats. The OFF lanterns work on the same principal of heating up a wafer. We have an old one that we can't find refills for so I make them from thermacell wafers.
Are you flying? They wouldn't let me have the butane canisters on the plane.

They seem to work for me too -- They have different scents and some smell better than others. I got a camo unit and the wafers that came with mine smelled pretty good, like earth/leather. The ones I got as refills smelled like boiling cat piss. It does a good job on the picnic table. Easy to forget you have it on though, and run out the butane. Mine also has belt loops on the back, so conceivably you could strap it to yourself. I've never done that, however.
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Old 05-18-2017, 08:25 AM   #10
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Saw a few folks at the Moose Pond Lean-to using one last spring. Black flies were biting but they seemed to be undisturbed by them within the confines of the lean-to; seemed to work for them.

It works by evaporating a liquid insect repellent. Kind of like a fogger without the fog. In other words, the stuff is airborne and ... gets on exposed food (and into your lungs). Couldn't find any safety information on their site about this aspect of its operation ... but it's something to bear in mind.
That's funny -- all the restaurants around here have them on their outside tables in the summer.
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Old 05-18-2017, 09:46 AM   #11
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That's funny -- all the restaurants around here have them on their outside tables in the summer.
What you can't see (or don't know) can't hurt you, right?

I imagine a restaurant's patrons would object to the staff using a fogger to lay down a dense cloud of repellent or insecticide. However, given that they can't see the airborne chemical from a Thermocell ... it's "all good". Besides, having patrons pestered by insects is bad for business! :-/

I'm not suggesting it's "tinfoil hat" time but it's useful to know how this thing works and consider what threats, if any, it may pose to human health. FWIW, Thermocell's description of the active ingredient is brief and unconvincing; it's far from a Material Safety Data Sheet!

Decades ago, I met an assistance ranger who chose not to use DEET. His reasoning was that whereas I, a recreational hiker, would use it on weekends, he'd need to use it every day. He was concerned about the long-term health effects of continuous exposure. Toxicity to humans is a combination of dosage and exposure time.

Back then you could buy 100% DEET. Many years later, they reduced the maximum concentration to under 30%.

I don't have a citronella torch (or candle) handy but I do believe the last one I saw had (in very fine print) a warning not to burn it near food.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:13 AM   #12
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Are you flying? They wouldn't let me have the butane canisters on the plane.
I'm just driving down to Cooperstown today to spend the weekend hunting with some friends. Baseball, hot dogs and wild turkeys!

The farm fields will be different than the woods near Lake George where I've been hunting. Bugs haven't been an issue so far, but it's only a matter of time.

Interesting about the plane restriction.

Meanwhile, here's some data on allethrin:
http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles...thrin-ext.html
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:15 AM   #13
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What you can't see (or don't know) can't hurt you, right?

I imagine a restaurant's patrons would object to the staff using a fogger to lay down a dense cloud of repellent or insecticide. However, given that they can't see the airborne chemical from a Thermocell ... it's "all good". Besides, having patrons pestered by insects is bad for business! :-/

I'm not suggesting it's "tinfoil hat" time but it's useful to know how this thing works and consider what threats, if any, it may pose to human health. FWIW, Thermocell's description of the active ingredient is brief and unconvincing; it's far from a Material Safety Data Sheet!

Decades ago, I met an assistance ranger who chose not to use DEET. His reasoning was that whereas I, a recreational hiker, would use it on weekends, he'd need to use it every day. He was concerned about the long-term health effects of continuous exposure. Toxicity to humans is a combination of dosage and exposure time.

Back then you could buy 100% DEET. Many years later, they reduced the maximum concentration to under 30%.

I don't have a citronella torch (or candle) handy but I do believe the last one I saw had (in very fine print) a warning not to burn it near food.
Yeah, I just thought it was funny - i'll bet they never even thought about it. I was under the impression that the way most of the "repellents" worked was by confusing the insect's ability to sense your heat and C02 exhalations that they use to find you. I was curious what I was breathing as well, but I never looked it up.

Also, you can still buy 100% deet. I do it every year. The first two hits on Amazon are both 100%. Not sure it works any better than 30%, but it sure melts compasses pretty good. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...-keywords=deet

I'm actually more concerned about my permethrin impregnated clothing....
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:21 AM   #14
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Y

I'm actually more concerned about my permethrin impregnated clothing....
I'm more concerned about getting Lyme disease again. We can't win in this world!
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:25 AM   #15
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I'm more concerned about getting Lyme disease again. We can't win in this world!
Not to mention all the other things those little bastards can infect you with. That's the reason I *have* permethrin all over me. Sometimes I think the planet just doesn't want humans on its surface....
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:51 AM   #16
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It's definitely problematic; a choice between the lesser of two evils. Is the "prevention" worse than the "illness"? Is there a greater risk posed by the repellent or the insect bite? If we're talking about malaria, Dengue fever, etc then I'd rather use repellent than be afflicted with something incurable.

West Nile, Zika, Lyme, etc. It would seem that temporary exposure to a repellent would pose less risk to one's health than contracting any of those diseases. It's a matter of understanding the risks and deciding which poses a greater threat.


100% DEET. I recall it lasted a long time but it made me think about what it was doing to my skin (and more). After all, how many other products do you slather on that dissolve plastic? :-/
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:17 AM   #17
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100% DEET. I recall it lasted a long time but it made me think about what it was doing to my skin (and more). After all, how many other products do you slather on that dissolve plastic? :-/
Solid point.
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Old 05-18-2017, 01:48 PM   #18
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NYS has flip flopped 2or3 times on banning 100% DEET, causing a run on the stuff before the law went into effect. Still can buy it AFAIK
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Old 05-18-2017, 03:51 PM   #19
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I'm just driving down to Cooperstown today to spend the weekend hunting with some friends. Baseball, hot dogs and wild turkeys!

The farm fields will be different than the woods near Lake George where I've been hunting. Bugs haven't been an issue so far, but it's only a matter of time.

Interesting about the plane restriction.

Meanwhile, here's some data on allethrin:
http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles...thrin-ext.html
Keep a eye out for morels, they are popping around C-town.
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:55 PM   #20
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Here you go. MSDS specific for ThermaCell's allethrin:

http://www.epestsupply.com/images/Pr...anternMsds.pdf

Extremely toxic to fish. Don't eat while it's operating. For outdoor use only. It says not to inhale the vapors but I assume that's if you mistakenly use it in a confined space.
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