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The makers of Thermacell Mosquito Repellant continually claim that their product will repel airborne disease-carrying bugs and insects. To test this theory, the creators of Thermacell arranged for a small group of high school students to feed mosquitoes with a balloon. "In just one day of summer camp we'll already have bites on arms and legs." reported one participant.
The school proved to be the perfect environment for the testing of thermitella. Although there were no bugs present in the air, the students' clothes absorbed huge doses of heat. In addition, they also suffered from mosquito stings in other areas of their bodies. The only benefit the scout was able to procure from the experiment was the development of better cleaning techniques. Unfortunately, the results of this trial are not conclusive proof that thermacellic spray will indeed repel gnats. It has been proven, however, that the repellent does attract the bugs, but they simply stay away from your child and dog as long as you spray them.
A second trial, using a much larger group of volunteers proved more conclusive evidence that thermacellic does indeed repel mosquitoes. Using a thermacell ball, which resembles a volleyball with a cover, the volunteers huddled together and sprayed the perimeter of the ball. The thermacell sphere absorbed the heat from the surrounding environment and emitted radiant energy, attracting mosquitoes within a very short distance. Although this may seem like a useless application, it is a good illustration of how well this mosquito repellent works. It works in the same way with a regular insect repellent, except that the concentrated version is a little more powerful.
Thermacell uses a combination of butane and fragrance oils. As these components burn, they produce a scent that is unpleasant to humans but is irresistible to mosquitoes. In tests, however, children were found to be more resistant to the repellent than adults. The reason for this is that mosquitoes are not picky about the species of insects they eat. Children and adults are both drawn to the pungent scent that results from burning butane.
Unfortunately, the efficacy of thermacell bug spray was tested only on live mosquitoes. A more appropriate model should, ideally, be able to deter mosquitoes while it prevents them from biting you or your kids. Because it cannot, thermacell does not work effectively on Aedes albicans, which is responsible for more than 90 percent of indoor and outdoor mosquito bites. It also has not been proven to be effective against other types of insects such as ticks and birds. Thermacell will not kill black flies, which have nothing to do with the bites of mosquitoes.
For my part, I believe the best way to rid myself and my family of insects is to simply exterminate them. Thermacell is not an appropriate solution for this because its effects are only temporary. A better approach would be to use repellents that destroy mosquitoes' eggs and larvae. That approach might sound harsh, but boy scouts said that the only way to succeed in eliminating insects is to do so effectively. This is especially true when we consider that the vast majority of mosquitoes in the United States and throughout the world are carriers of certain diseases.