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Do you think you may try your handwarmers next summer to repel mosquito's?

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Repel Mosquitoes with handwarmer and deodorizer

on Thu Nov 29, 2018 12:34 am
Matt Sullivan sent me a note and said he likened using the deodorizer to aromatherapy, and wondered if the deodorizer was made from essential oils.

The deodorizer is made from pure terpenes, which are a component of many EO's. The reason for using the terpenes and not an EO is due to the effects some of the other components of the EO would have on the catalytic reaction process. Over time the residues from the EO's that did not oxidize would cause soot and deposits in the head of the handwarmer and suffocate it. The terpenes do not have the undesirable components just using the EO would  produce.

The reason we have 20l barrels of terpenes in the first place was for the production of our non-deet repellent, which is sold in the USA as "Summer Survivor". The fumes given off by peppermint, geranium, and basil EO's are known to repel mosquitoes, and the active ingredient is the terpenes. So we use these terpenes in our repellent.

A few years ago I noticed that outdoor stores were selling electronic mosquitoe (Thermacell) devices that heated a pad that was saturated in a synthetic chemical similar to the terpenes.

The problem with these devices are they use expensive consumables: you need to replace a fresh pad every 4 hours, and you have to use proprietary butane cartridges. Another cheaper alternative to the Thermacell, is to buy a USB powered version from China (image below right) for about $1.50, these use pads that are impregnated with permethrin. I have gravitated toward the latter because I usually carry a USB power pack to recharge my phone and inReach GPS anyway, and I re-infuse the pads with our handwarmer deodorizer and they work just as well.

The problem with these types of devices are that while they work well for a radius of about 15 feet, that is only true when there is no breeze. So then you probably need at least 4 or more of them to surround you. That means carrying a lot of USB power packs, or Thermacells. Or, you could carry your trusty handwarmers!

Handwarmers in the summer, who would have thought! However, in my experience, a handwamer that is oxidizing terpenes is just as effective as the above devices, and a lot more practical and economical, especially if you place four of them around you while you are sitting in the back yard enjoying a few beers in the evening

Left side: Handwarmers and terpenes in straw. Right side: USB repeller with insecticide pads and 18650 power pack.
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