My Dad called me just before my last trip to the cabin, to tell me I should pick up new cartridges for the ThemaCELL. Not only had I never heard of it, and had no idea what he was talking about; I wasn't even sure what he was saying and had to 'Google it.' Glad I did -- it changed my mosquito-fighting life.

ThermaCELL makes small devices of different sizes that are powered by a small butane cartridge, providing heat for a small replaceable pad saturated with repellent made from a chemical that occurs naturally in chrysanthemum flowers. It's pretty much odorless and invisible -- with a occasional wisp of a light smoke.

Bottom line: It made mosquitoes disappear. Sitting outside on the deck at our cabin in the evening has gone from something we just didn't do -- to a pleasant, mosquito-free activity.


According to the ThermaCELL website, "It repels mosquitoes, black flies, and no-see-ums, and will not harm humans or pets."

Better yet, it's all pretty inexpensive. The units sell for around $20 to $30, and single refills are about $5, but multi-packs make it even cheaper. You can find these at most sporting good stores and Walmart.

When it comes to fighting mosquitoes here in Minnesota only one thing matters to me; effectiveness (ok, and the safety of the product too). The is the best I have come across, and is now on my 'Favorite Things' list.

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