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Thermacell E55 Mosquito Repeller Review

There are so many reasons to get out and explore, take photos and enjoy the fresh air, but mosquitos are not one of them. Humans have gone to great expense trying to block and get away from mosquitos.

Permethrin, deet spray and bugs nets are options when you’re hiking but it’s easier to bring a bigger deterrent when you’re car camping.

The Thermacell E55 is a mosquito repeller with a rechargeable battery. It creates a 20 foot zone that repels mosquitos. You can’t smell it or see it and there’s nothing to wash off.

Thermacell E55 turned on

I recently had the E55 out camping for a week. The weather was about 25 to 30 celsius each day. During the day and late evening the bugs were almost non-existent but around dusk the bugs were awful. Mosquitos and other small black flies that aimed for your eyes came out in force.

Turning on the E55 is easy. A quick press of the one button turns it on with a little chime sound. This starts warming up the heater inside. Once heated, the bug juice from the repellent cartridge starts to evaporate out of the top vent creating a 20 foot zone of mosquito free goodness.

The E55 didn’t do much for the other black flies or gnats that were pestering us but there was a clear area by our picnic table that was mosquito free. Leaving that bubble to go to the tent or the car and we were fighting off mosquitos.

The electric battery lasts about 5 hours and is rechargeable with USB-micro. I had a battery pack camping and we recharged it a couple times during a week-long camping trip. 3 lights at the bottom of the button show the battery level. A red warning light comes on when there’s 20 minutes left in the battery. When it’s warming up the lights flash in a circle.

A 12 hour repeller (bug juice) cartridge comes with the E55 and then extra cartridges have more juice and last 40 hours. The repeller cartridge is clear so it’s easy to see how much you have left.

Spec List

  • 15 minute warm-up period
  • 3 light battery indicator
  • 5 hour rechargeable battery, USB-Micro cord included
  • 20 minute battery warning light
  • 12 hour refill included, 40 hour refills are $29 CAD ($20 USD)
  • $70 CAD ($40 USD)

Another helpful tip for charging is that you can charge and use it at the same time if the battery is dead. Thermacell recommends storing it with the battery full and charging every 3 months.

Highly Recommended

So far using the Thermacell E55 camping and in the backyard, it’s worked well. A couple members of my family are mosquito targets and always come in with many extremely itchy bites. Staying within the Thermacell mosquito-free zone, everyone was bite free.

39 thoughts on “Thermacell E55 Mosquito Repeller Review”

  1. I have an E55. Can the battery be charged before it gives the 20 minute warning that the battery needs charging?

    1. Hey Diana, it can certainly be charged before the 20 minute warning light goes on. If you have a battery pack you can charge it while you’re using it too.

    1. Hey Guy!
      The lid comes off easily and you can see the liquid level in the clear cartridge inside. When it’s low get a new one. I’m not sure exactly how fast it goes down, when it’s in full use but they have a rough estimate of hours on each cartridge.

    1. Hi Anne!

      Good question. I don’t think so but I’ve asked Thermacell and I’ll reply back here. Are you trying to repel wasps or leave honeybees alone?

  2. For first use before charging, do I put repellent in before first charge or after? How long does it take for first charge? and is it same time every charge afterwards? Tks

    1. Hey Carol, doesn’t matter if you put the repellent in before or after charging. I’ll check and see how long it takes to charge, I think an hour? Same time to charge every time.

  3. Do you always see “smoke” emitting? Ours did the first couple of times but now just has the 4 solid white lights but I’m not seeing anything being emitted out. The cartridge is not empty and it’s complexly charged. Is this normal?

    1. A bit of smoke comes out for the first bit but like a fire, it gets going and it’s not visible any more. That’s what mine does and seems to work great. As long as the lights are in it’ll be emitting the vapors.

  4. How do u turn it off? The lights go off when you press button but pauses for a minute or so and comes back on. When I woke in morning they were off

    1. Hey Sharon, to turn the E55 off hold the button for 2 seconds, a descending sound should chime and the lights should go off.

  5. I bought a 40 hour refill but it seems a touch too big, leaving a small 1/16 inch gap under the top, not closing as cleanly as the 12 hour refill. Am I missing something on the install? I just dropped it in.

    1. Hard to tell. There is usually wisps of smoke coming from the top when it starts but when it gets going that seems to stop. It can feel warm from the outside since it warms up the liquid inside but I just had mine running and it’s hard to feel if it’s warm.

      1. Hi Ross, Thanks for your response. There is a half wick remaining. I’ve actually been using it and it seems to be working ok but would appreciate confirmation on that for safety concerns. Thanks!

        1. Hi Barbara, I would think that would be fine but I’ve asked my contact at Thermacell. I’ll let you know when I hear something.

  6. Thank you so much for writing detailed instructions! Mine came with very basic instructions. it just said press to turn on. Nothing more. So I’m sitting here at the campsite wondering what all the different flashing lights mean. I went to their website and they only have instructions for the old model. I used their chat feature and the bot only provided instructions for the handheld version.

    So I was getting more and more frustrated thinking it wasn’t working because the flashing lights stopped after 15 mins and I could not find directions anywhere!

    I give the company 1 star for their lack of info. The leaflet inside said nothing about how long it lasts or how long to charge or what the red and flashing lights mean. They didn’t mention the 3 light battery indicator or the 20 min warning light or the 15 min warm up period.

    I give your review 5 stars for an awesome thorough easy to understand explanation! You even explain in the comments how the vapors disappear after awhile. I thought that meant it stopped working. This info was all very valuable to me!

  7. My two thermacells were working fine.. changed cartridge and would charge every nite si that all is ready for time outdoors. Now however they won’t charge.. red light stays on!

    Please advise

    1. Hi Karen, Have you tried a different USB cable and charging block? I tried one that didn’t work. Swapped it out and presto, charging.

  8. Is there any concern of charging the units indoors when the liquid is already in place? How can we be sure it isn’t accidentally fumigating our house (with babies and pets) when we plug it in to charge at night, especially since we have to charge it so very often?

    1. Hi Pea, I haven’t had any issues with it turning on or heating the repellent while it’s charging. It’s only while it’s turned on that it will heat the repellent enough to push it out of the cartridge.

  9. Hi, Thanks for the review. As you know, the E55 comes with a cable but not a charger, and I can find no information anywhere about what charger to use. Please share what you found that works.

    1. Hey Gary,

      Any USB charger will work fine with them. I’ve used iPhone chargers, plugged into my computer and other cheap USB chargers I have around. USB battery packs work too.

  10. I have recently purchased 2 thermacell E Series and the 12 hour cartridge that came with the unit only lasted about 3 hours each before running empty. Have others had this problem. Is there a secret to having the cartridge last 12 hours ? I initially charged the units without the cartridge and then inserted the cartridges for first time use.

  11. I have had the same problem with the 12 hr. Cartridge. Had it on for short period and used a lot of the liquid. At that rate it wouldn’t last 12hrs. as advertised.
    Also not enough info in the instruction booklet.

  12. I have no complaints regarding the functionality of the unit itself. However, the 40 hour cartridge refill barely makes it to 30 hours. Definitely does not last 40 hours as advertised.

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