Last updated: June 2020

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
Available from:
Butane cartridge (1 included)
Allethrin pads (3 included)
Tabletop 15' coverage.

Named Best Backyard Gear of 2020 by Outdoor Magazine!

Odor-free, cordless and portable - the Patio Shield is a stylish addition to your summer deck, patio or campsite. Using the proven Thermacell technology, it provides areas up to 15 feet with 12 hours of mosquito protection per fuel cartridge.

Available in 6 colors, the Patio Shield has been EPA evaluated for safety and effectiveness and has a 1 year warranty from the manufacturer.

An Amazon Bestseller - Also available in 3 metallic colors


$19 - $35
Battery or A/C Adapter
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.
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.

Info on ThermaCELL products and how they work.

$25-$55 (optional holster sold separately)
Butane, Rechargeable
Tabletop device - Li-Ion rechargeable battery charges fully in 5 hours and lasts 6.5 hours per charge.
TSA compliant, locks for travel.
Optional automatic shutoff
Each refill lasts up to 40 hours.
Tabletop - Deck, patio or campsite coverage

Using the odor-free and highly-effective Thermacell technology, the Radius Zone 2.0 is a small insect repellent device that packs a powerful punch with no mess and no DEET! Perfect for camping or travel, the device is TSA compliant and locks for travel.

Winner of the Popular Science 2018 BOWN Award.

See our ThermaCELL Review

Tabletop / Lantern - 15 ft. coverage.

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

also sold in multi-packs
A/C - 10' cord.
100% Natural plant oil repellent, containing geraniol and cedar oil.
Covers up to 2000 sq feet.

The Mosquito Sentry GS-388D is the 'full sized' version of the Mosquito Sentry Portable, measuring 17" high by 16" diameter and weighing in at 8 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.


You might also like: