Last updated: January, 2016

Personal Insect Repellers

Mosquito traps are great, but you can't take them with you to go camping, hiking, biking or on a picnic - the best defense for those situations is a good repellent. Not a fan of messy lotions and sprays? In the past few years several nifty personal repellent devices, targeting mosquitos and other insects, have come on the market. Some are wearable devices which you clip-on or attach to a belt holster, others are tabletop "lanterns".

These devices don't kill mosquitoes - they do nothing to permanently reduce your mosquito population, but they do create a small, temporary "no bug zone" (up to about 15' ) in the area around the device. For some repellers, weather conditions, such as a strong wind, will reduce the coverage area.

Most of these personal insect repellers use Allethrin - a synthetic form of the chemical Pyrethrin - a proven mosquito repellent with a good overall safety profile for humans and pets. The OFF insect repeller (by S. C. Johnson) uses a similar chemical called Metofluthrin. Allethrin and metofluthrin ARE however both toxic to fish - devices using those chemicals should not be used near fish ponds or aquatic life!

Make/Model Power Source
Active Ingredient(s)
Type and Coverage Features Price Range
(approx)
Available from:
Battery or A/C Adapter
Geraniol
Tabletop
Popular - The Bite Shield uses the subtle scent of Geraniol (which smells like geraniums) to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects. This portable device covers a 15' area and weighs just 9.6 ounces . Can be used indoors or out. A/C adaptor sold separately.
$19-$25
Butane
Allethrin
Personal - Holster, 15' coverage.

Top rated product! Butane powered - heat activates and distributes repellent from replaceable pads. Several models available - basically just different colors and sizes, all using the same repellent method.

Click here for a rundown on the ThermaCELL products and how they work.

$20-$30 (optional holster sold separately)
Butane, AA Batteries
Allethrin
Tabletop / Hanging Lantern - 15 ft.x15ft coverage.

This rugged lantern, powered by 4 AA batteries and 8 LED's gives off pleasant ambient light. Heat from butane cartridges disperses the active ingredient from a replaceable repellent mat. There are 2 brightness settings and the lantern can also be used with the repeller off.

A similar model, the MR-9S, has the same features with a dark bronze color and a more attractive design.

See our ThermaCELL Lantern Review

$20-$35
Batteries
Metofluthrin (a Pyrethroid ester)

Personal - Clip-on.

The OFF Clip-on Insect Repeller disperses Metofluthrin, an odorless repellent, into the air around the wearer with a battery-powered fan. It provides up to 12 hrs of protection. Replaceable repellent pads.

New redesigned version is 25% smaller and features a rotating clip. This item is also available in an attractive American flag design.

$7-$15
Candle
Allethrin
Tabletop / Lantern - 15 ft. coverage.

Uses a candle to activate and disperse repellent from a replaceable pad.

$10-$15
also sold in multi-packs
18V Battery
100% Natural plant oil repellent, containing geraniol and cedar oil.
Tabletop - up to 300 sq ft. coverage

The Mosquito Sentry system uses a patent-pending vapor system to distribute a "green" repellent derived from natural plant oils. This repellent is safe to use around people, pets and food, more effective at repelling mosquitoes than citronella or even DEET. This environmentally safe substance won't harm butterflies or other beneficial insects. Made by Monster Mosquito Systems, LLC.

$90-$99
A/C - 10' cord.
100% Natural plant oil repellent, containing geraniol and cedar oil.
Covers up to 2000 sq feet.

The Mosquito Sentry is the 'full sized' version of the Mosquito Sentry Portable, measuring 19" high by 11" diameter and weighing in at 11 lbs. It features 3 speeds, a remote, a built-in timer, refill warning light, tipover protection and automatic shutoff. One refill of the natural "green" repellent provides 20 hours of protection from mosquitoes and other biting insects. Covered by a 1 year manufacturer's warranty.

$208-$339
3 AA Batteries
Geraniol
Tabletop - up to 300 sq ft. coverage

The Buzzender tabletop diffuser is a mosquito repeller which provides coverage for up to 300 sq ft (approx 17' x 17'). Coverage area is smaller under windy conditions.

The active substance is geraniol - a plant-based insect repellent - with a cartridge delivery method. Each cartridge lasts up to 120 hrs. Unlike allethrin, geraniol is NOT toxic to fish!

$10-$40

Solar
rechargeable batteries

Linalool - a patented substance which prevents mosquitoes from recognizing human scent
Tabletop -
100 sq ft. coverage

Like its predecessor, the battery-powered Malibu Mosquito Inhibitor, the Malibu Mosquito Blocker uses cartridges with Linalool, which works by blocking human scent. Tests have shown linalool to be more effective at disguising scent than citronella or even DEET.

The coverage area is fairly small - up to 100 sq. feet or a 10' x10' area.

$35
(This item is being discontinued)

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