Playing Zone Defense on Mosquitoes

December 7, 2018

Thermacell Repellents Inc., in Bedford, whose ne Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent uses battery-powered heat to disperse repellent. Senior marketing manager Kyle Adelman of Somerville holds the product. The blue plastic is the top of the replaceable cartridge, which holds the liquid repellant. (SUN/Julia Malakie) Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

BEDFORD -- For many, mosquitoes are nuisances. They’re uninvited guests to your camping trip and other outdoor activities.

And if they’re carriers of West Nile Virus or other illnesses, they can also be a potentially serious health risk.

A new mosquito repellent product from Thermacell Repellent Inc. that is rechargeable and long lasting is designed to make your outdoor plans a little more fun.

The Bedford-based company was honored with the Popular Science Grand Award in the recreation category. The Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent was featured in the magazine’s “Best of What’s New 2018” list.

“We’re really impressed by the design team, so everything from our engineers our industrial designers and scientific research team that we were able to develop this formula for repellent,” said Kyle Adelman, senior marketing manager. “I would say that we were surprised but we were optimistic about our chances.”

Other major companies to make the list this year include Google, Facebook, Amazon and more.

The Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent is compact, portable and can be carried on airplanes. It is also USB rechargeable.

“Our product works very well and they are intended for stationary use,” Adelman said, adding that the product can be used for activities like camping, hanging out in your backyard, hunting and more.

The active ingredient in the repellent is metofluthrin. The Radius Mosquito Zone Repellent also features a rechargeable lithium battery, which powers an electrical heater in the device. The liquid repellent spray comes in cartridges. Refills come in 12- and 40-hour durations. The Radius Mosquito Zone Repellent covers a 110-square-foot zone.

“Since there’s no flame, there’s no concern of impact on elevation with the varying oxygen and pressure levels,” Adelman said.

The product is EPA-approved. It features a lock mechanism so that it doesn’t activate while traveling.

“We are thrilled to win this prestigious award, and we want to thank Popular Science for their efforts to recognize disruptive innovation,” Thermacell Chief Marketing Officer Michael Younger said in a press release. “The love of the outdoors permeates our culture at Thermacell, and this passion fuels our search for better solutions to mosquitoes and other biting insects that put a damper on outdoor fun.”

Adelman said Thermacell is looking forward to launching a second generation of the product next year based on customer feedback. Some improvements include enhanced air flow, an easier user interface with one button instead of two and extended battery life.

The initial Radius Zone Mosquito Repellent was launched through a Kickstarter campaign, which ran from December 2017 to January 2018.

“Radius is very unique and there really isn’t anything like it,” Adelman said. “We were really just, across the board, excited and proud for the recognition for this award.”

Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.

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