Destination I Do
Friday, June 11, 2010

Have a Bug-Free Wedding Day or Honeymoon

Words by Courtney Kellar
Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of ThermaCELL and Martha

Unfortunately, along with the beautiful summer weather comes those pesky, ever-elusive bugs. The last thing you want on your destination wedding day or honeymoon is to be itchy and covered in bumps. ThermaCELL has introduced a new light-weight, heavy-duty outdoor lantern which repels 98% of flies, mosquitoes and other bothersome bugs.

I’m actually allergic to mosquitoes and spent most of my childhood in Indiana covered in smelly, sticky sprays. Nothing seemed to work and I would come home from any fishing trip covered in obnoxious, swelling bites. Summertime was always bittersweet for me since I spent the bulk of my time running around outside surrounded by the enemy. I’m not trying to set some horrific scene, just to explain why I was so excited to try out this product.

My first impression was that it was smaller than I was expecting. The lantern is only about 8 inches tall. However, ThermaCELL says the lantern provides 15’ by 15’ of protection. The design overall is really pretty clever. There are little mats which you insert into the top of the lantern. These are what actually repel pests. The mat starts out blue and then turns white when it’s all used up. This way you know exactly when the mat needs to be switched out. Each mat lasts about four hours.

The lantern comes out of the box assembled, but you have to twist in the butane cartridge which heats the mat. Each cartridge lasts about 12 hours. One important thing to note is that the batteries aren’t included. It takes four AA batteries. I had my lantern assembled and then had to go out and buy batteries. Another thing is that the lantern does give off some vapor, but I had to look close to notice it. It does smell a bit, but I (and everyone I asked) actually thought it smelt kind of good. The vapor smelt like herbs and wasn’t noticeable until I got really close to the lantern.

The lantern gives off a good amount of light and could definitely be used to illuminate a small area. I was surprised that the light was a pretty white and not an ugly yellow. It isn’t an eyesore, either. If it was wrapped with a bit of ribbon or cloth it could be really pretty. I would recommend it for an outdoor activity on your honeymoon or possibly as part of a centerpiece at an outdoor wedding.

Another thing to note is that the grate on the top of the lantern which the mat slides under does get very hot. It could pose a potential fire hazard, so any added decoration should be away from this area. It takes between 10 and 30 minutes for the repellant to start working, so I would recommend setting the lantern out in advance before you plan on using it. The lantern comes with 3 repellant mats and 1 butane cartridge. Because each mat only lasts 4 hours, it’s likely you will need to buy refills.

The refills can be bought at Wal-Mart or Home Depot. Home Depot sells a refill value pack for 20 dollars which includes 4 butane cartridges and 12 repellant mats. The lanterns themselves sell between 21 and 29 dollars. The price depends on which lantern you would like, the outdoor lantern or the more decorative patio lantern. The ThermaCELL lantern has been approved by the Environment Protection Agency and proved 98 percent effective in U.S. Department of Defense tests.

While I was impressed with the overall product, the lanterns could get pricey if you wanted to buy more than a few. However, I would recommend buying one, especially if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. My only question is: where was this when I was growing up? As a little girl I would have greatly preferred my own personal lantern than to be covered in those awful sprays!

Notice: ThermaCELL provided us with a cute lantern of our own free of charge so we could try it out.

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