5 Key Factors Every Hunter Should Consider When Selecting Mosquito Repellent

5 Key Factors Every Hunter Should Consider When Selecting Mosquito Repellent

As a hunter, you know that mosquitoes can quickly turn an exciting hunting trip into a miserable, itchy experience. But more than just an annoyance, mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases like West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and Zika virus. [1] That's why selecting the right mosquito repellent is crucial for a successful, comfortable hunt. An effective mosquito repellent allows you to focus on the hunt, rather than swatting away pesky insects. It can make the difference between an enjoyable outing and one cut short by relentless buzzing and biting. But with so many mosquito repellent options on the market, how do you choose?

In this article, we'll walk through the five key factors every hunter should consider when selecting a mosquito repellent. From effectiveness to scent considerations, we'll help you find the best mosquito protection for your next hunting trip. Let's dive in.

Key Factors when selecting a mosquito repellent for your hunting trip

Key Factor 01 - Effectiveness

When it comes to mosquito repellent, effectiveness is paramount. You want a product that will reliably keep mosquitoes at bay, allowing you to focus on the hunt.

Key ingredients to look for include:

  • DEET: This is one of the most common and effective mosquito-repellent ingredients. It works by making it difficult for mosquitoes to smell and locate humans. [2]
  • Metofluthrin and Allethrin : These are spatial repellents, meaning they create a protective area around the user. They work by disrupting the mosquito's ability to locate and feed on humans. Metofluthrin and allethrin are pyrethroids, synthetic compounds that mimic natural insecticides found in chrysanthemum flowers. [3]

When evaluating a mosquito repellent's effectiveness, look for products that contain these proven active ingredients. Thermacell repellents, for example, use metofluthrin or allethrin to create up to a 20-foot zone of protection against mosquitoes.

Key Factor 02 – Scent Considerations

When selecting a mosquito repellent for hunting, it's essential to consider the scent of the product. Strong, unnatural scents can alert animals to your presence, potentially ruining your hunt.

  • Avoid repellents with strong fragrances: Mosquito repellents with strong perfumes or artificial scents can be detectable by game animals from a distance. Deer, for example, have a highly developed sense of smell and can detect unusual odors from up to a quarter-mile away.
  • Opt for unscented or naturally scented repellents: To minimize the risk of alerting game, choose mosquito repellents that are unscented or have natural, subtle scents. Thermacell's Earth Scent repellent mats, for instance, use a subtle scent that helps mask human odor, making them ideal for hunting.

By selecting a mosquito repellent with minimal or natural scents, you can effectively protect yourself from mosquitoes without compromising the hunt.

Key Factor 03 - Application Method

The way a mosquito repellant is applied can significantly impact your hunting experience. Traditional spray-on repellents can be problematic for hunters, as they often require direct application to the skin and clothing.

  • Avoid transferring scents to gear and hands: When using spray-on repellents, there's a risk of accidentally transferring the scent to your hunting gear, such as your bow, rifle, or binoculars. As we learned, additional scents can potentially alert game animals to your presence. Or even worse - DEET products can cause damage to plastics and vinyl… which are also common materials in that same gear.
  • Choose portable, hands-free repellents: To minimize the risk of scent transfer, opt for mosquito repellents that don't require direct application to the skin or clothing. Thermacell's portable mosquito repellers, for example, create a scent-free zone of protection around the user without the need for sprays or lotions. This hands-free approach reduces the likelihood of contaminating your gear or attracting unwanted attention from game animals.

By selecting a mosquito repellent with a hands-free application method, you can maintain a scent-free environment and focus on the hunt without the worry of scent transfer.

Key Factor 04 - Protection Duration

When you're out hunting, the last thing you want is a mosquito repellent that quits before you do. You need a reliable companion that will keep the mosquitoes at bay from dawn to dusk, allowing you to be immersed in the hunt.

  • Look for long-lasting, all-day protection: Choose a mosquito repellent that offers extended protection, ideally lasting for several hours or even the entire day. This will minimize the need for reapplication and allow you to focus on your hunt without interruption. Thermacell's portable repellers, for instance, provide up to 12 hours of protection with a single butane cartridge and a few repellent mats.
  • Consider refills and charging options: If you're planning a multi-day hunting trip, it's essential to consider the availability and ease of use of refills or charging options for your mosquito repellent. Thermacell's portable repellers use easy-to-replace refill mats and fuel cartridges, ensuring you have continuous protection throughout your hunt. Some models, like the MR450, also feature a built-in belt clip for convenient carrying and access to refills.[9]

By selecting a mosquito repellent with long-lasting protection and easy refill or charging options, you can ensure uninterrupted protection throughout your hunting trip.

Key Factor 05 - Packaging & Durability

When selecting a mosquito repellent for hunting, it's essential to consider the durability of both the product and its packaging. Hunting gear is often subjected to rough handling, extreme weather conditions, and outdoor storage, so your mosquito repellent needs to be up to the challenge.

  • Opt for sturdy, leak-proof packaging: Flimsy packaging can easily be punctured or crushed, leading to leaks and spills that can contaminate your gear and clothing with strong scents. This can be particularly problematic for hunters, as game animals are highly sensitive to unusual odors.
  • Choose durable, weather-resistant products: Your mosquito repellent should be built to last, with high-quality materials and construction that can withstand the elements. Look for products with robust, impact-resistant casings and weather-resistant features, such as rubberized grips or waterproof seals. Thermacell's MR450 Armored Portable Mosquito Repeller, for instance, features a tough, rubberized armor that protects against drops and impacts, ensuring reliable performance in any hunting environment.
  • While it may be obvious, unnatural noises will also alert animals nearby. Consider the sounds of applying the repellent (sprays) and the sounds of the packaging. You’ll want products that are sturdy and maintain their sturdiness even after they’ve been used. There's nothing like a little plastic crinkle to send out an unwanted alert at the wrong time.

By selecting a mosquito repellent with durable packaging and rugged construction, you can ensure your product will perform reliably throughout your hunting trip, without the risk of scent contamination or product failure.


When selecting a mosquito repellent for your next hunting trip, consider these five key factors to ensure you have the most effective and reliable protection:

  1. Effectiveness: Look for proven active ingredients like DEET, metofluthrin, prallethrin, and allethrin, which have been independently tested and EPA-approved for their efficacy against mosquitoes.
  2. Scent considerations: Opt for unscented or naturally scented repellents to avoid alerting game animals to your presence.
  3. Application method: Choose hands-free, portable repellents to minimize the risk of scent transfer from your hands or damage to your gear.
  4. Duration of protection: Select a repellent that offers long-lasting, all-day protection and easy refill or charging options for uninterrupted performance.

Packaging and product durability: Invest in a repellent with sturdy, leak-proof packaging and rugged construction to withstand the rigors of hunting and outdoor use.

What’s the Best Thermacell for Hunting

For the ultimate hunting experience, we recommend Thermacell's MR300 Portable Mosquito Repeller Hunt Pack. This compact, portable device creates a 15-foot zone of protection against mosquitoes using a synthetic allethrin (mosquito protection) or prallethrin (multi-insect protection) formula inspired by nature. The MR300 is lightweight, easy to use, and provides up to 12 hours of continuous protection on a single butane refill and a few mats. The hunt pack includes a camouflage holster, a belt clip, 12-hour fuel cartridge, and three 4-hour repellent mats.

Pair your MR300 with Thermacell's Earth Scent Mosquito Repellent Refills for added scent control. These refills use a subtle, natural scent that helps mask human odor, making them ideal for hunting.

To get even more protection, consider wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and a mosquito head net that you can find at your local hardware store. By combining these strategies with your Thermacell MR300, you'll be able to focus on the hunt and fully enjoy your time in the great outdoors without the distraction of pesky mosquitoes.


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020, March 12). Mosquito-Borne Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/outdoor/mosquito-borne/default.html

[2] Syed, Z., & Leal, W. S. (2008). Mosquitoes smell and avoid the insect repellent DEET. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(36), 13598-13603. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0...

[3] Melnicoe, R. (2017, August 3). In Fending Off Mosquitoes, Spatial Repellents with Pyrethroids Show Potential. Entomology Today. https://entomologytoday.org/20...