In addition to the E55 Rechargeable Mosquito Repeller, Thermacell makes several other effective spatial repellents (mosquito-control methods that cover an entire area instead of just one person), but none can match the E55’s ease of use. Its simple interface and rechargeable lithium-ion battery make it much more convenient than butane-cartridge options. It comes with a 12-hour repellent cartridge, but 40-hour cartridges are also available. Compared with other methods of mosquito control, the E55 is more effective and more user friendly overall. This pick replaces the Thermacell Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent Gen 2.0, our previous pick. The two models are similar, but the E55 has a larger coverage area plus a more intuitive interface, and it’s typically less expensive.
If you prefer a more durable and portable option, we like the Thermacell MR450 Armored Portable Mosquito Repeller. Like the E55, the MR450 has proven mosquito-repelling capabilities, but it lacks some of the E55’s finer touches, particularly the rechargeable battery and the long-lasting repellent cartridge. Instead, like most of Thermacell’s models, the MR450 runs on a butane cartridge and uses four-hour repellent pads, both of which are less convenient than the E55s’s features. The butane is easier to burn through and harder to replace, versus simply recharging a battery. The pads last for far less time than repellent cartridges, and it’s harder to tell when they’re used up. In a large catalog of similar Thermacell products, the MR450 stands out with a more rugged design and a few minor convenience features, but if you’re okay with the compromises of using butane and pads, Thermacell offers similar models worth considering.
These inexpensive mosquito coils work as well as our picks, but they’re not as portable, versatile, or durable. And unlike our picks, their burning ends release a smoke that has an odor.
For a less expensive option, we recommend Pic’s Mosquito Repelling Coils. Like the Thermacell options, the coils effectively clear an area of mosquitoes, and for their five-to-seven-hour burn time, their price is a fraction of that of our other picks. But they’re not as portable or durable as our picks, their burning ends are not as safe to leave unattended, and they emit a smoke with an odor that some people find unpleasant.
The catch with any of these spatial repellents is that they lose efficacy in breezy conditions. But they’re still your best bet since many other popular mosquito-control methods—including bug zappers and citronella candles—don’t actually work. A few additional methods of mosquito control are worth considering, including simply running a fan, and of course, using the most predictably effective option, a spray repellent in conjunction with permethrin-treated clothing.