When editors attend events such as holiday gift previews, they’re introduced to a wide variety of products, some mundane, some marvelous. At the Holiday Gift Guide Media Event at the New York Hilton, I saw a lot of really interesting gift ideas. While not everything I see at these events, entices me, one in particular caught my eye.
Since it’s still summer(ish) and the bugs are still biting, the ThermaCELL table captured my attention. ThermaCELL® makes a variety of portable, lightweight devices to cool you, warm you, and chase away mosquitoes and biting insects.
One of the products (of many you can use in the great outdoors), was a “mission-inspired” Patio Lantern (srp. $29.99) that not only looks pretty and lights up your table at night, but also provides 225 square feet of bug repellency. The lantern and the bug repeller can be used together, or separately. The light is battery operated light, and a single butane cartridge-powered top receptacle into which you place a strip of bug repellent, silently repels mosquitoes and black flies, and (after testing it in the woods), a lot of other biting, irritating insects as well. There is no open flame, no odor, no sound (if you’ve ever sat near a “bug zapper” you know the sound of insects being electrocuted is very unsettling). If you are situated near the lantern when the bug repellent is on, you won’t have to deal with sprays, oils or lotions, either. It’s also U.S. EPA approved and used by the US Military (probably not in this pretty, latice-work version, however).
A few caveats: the product is toxic to fish, shrimp and aquatic invertebrates so don’t dunk the lantern in the water and don’t dump any water you’ve cleansed this with, near a stream, pond, etc. The butane is flammable, so keep it away from fire, sparks, heated surfaces (and don’t let the little ones play with it). There are warnings about inhaling (I’m assuming the bug repellent) and while I don’t think that’s an issue for most intelligent people, I’m just saying…..
I tested this in a “bug rich” area (my back patio) where it is nearly impossible to sit without being bitten or annoyed by insects. The traditional but repellers such as citronella and sprays, do a laughable job, but this lantern really did keep bugs away. The way it work is that the butane warms the insect repellent mat that releases “allethrin” (a synthetic copy of a natural repellent found in pyrethrum flowers, a member of the chrysanthemum family). I didn’t actually think it would work, or work well, but it really did! I am one of those people mosquitoes love to bite, but I tried this lantern several times, and walked inside, unscathed!
As to the lantern itself, it is lightweight and attractive, easily operated with an on off switch, and the 4 LED lights have “low” and “high” illumination settings. The lights operate on 4 AA batteries (not included). Each box includes 1 reusable Mosquito Repellent Patio Lantern, 1 butane cartridge (lasts up to 12 hours), 3 insect repellent mats (lasts up to 4 hours each) — refills are sold separately (with butane cartridge prices range from $6.99-$49.99 depending upon how many you want).
This patio lantern (MR-9W) is a new and decorative product, made in Italy and manufactured in Thailand. There are other versions as well, but this is the prettiest. It would make an ideal holiday gift for anyone who likes to picnic, camp, or enjoy the out-doors in “buggy” places. In fact, there are a lot of things that ThermaCELL makes to entice people who love the outdoors. But since we are still enjoying the waning days of Summer and hoping to be outside in the Fall, if that includes you, get one now, for yourself. You can get it online at a number of places including the ThermaCELL Web Site: http://www.thermacell.com or call the (fancifully named) phone number: 1-800-NO-SKEETERS