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Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System review

This smart mosquito system claims to repel the pesky bugs—but does it work? We tried it

A repeller station for mosquitos installed in a yard Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

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  1. Product image of Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System

    Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System

    Pros

    • Reduces mosquitoes

    • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

    • Easy to use

    Cons

    • Hard to mow around

    • Waiting period before use

    • Limited coverage area

Living in Florida, mosquitoes are the bane of my existence during the summer months. I’m one of those people that mosquitoes can’t get enough of, making it hard for me to enjoy my backyard without slathering myself in mosquito repellent.

I don't love the idea of using bug spray all of the time—especially when we are only going to be out back for a short amount of time. But without proper protection, we aren't able to spend much time out back enjoying our newly installed shade sails. I found out about the Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System (available at Thermacell), which uses heat-activated hubs to keep mosquitoes at bay, I knew we needed to see whether or not it actually works.

Here's my honest Thermacell mosquito repellant review.

What is the Thermacell mosquito repellant system?

A mosquito repellent cartridge installed in an outdoor mosquito system
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The cartridges are easy to insert into each repeller station.

The Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System comes with a hub, several repellers, connection cables, ground steaks, and several mosquito repellent cartridges. The hub plugs into an outdoor GFCI outlet and controls up to five repeller stations, all of which connect via several 24-foot cables cables and connect back to the hub.

When on, the system dispenses odorless protection using the repellent cartridges. The large-scale mosquito control system comes in various sizes and covers up to 1,575 square feet.

The mosquito repellent cartridges contain a 5.5% metofluthrin formula, which Thermacell says has been evaluated by the EPA and is safe to use around kids and pets.

The system is water- and weatherproof, so you can leave it set up all year long. The system is managed via the LIV+ app, available for iOS and Android.

How to set up the Thermacell mosquito repellant smart system

Liv mosquito repeller installed in a yard
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The repeller attaches to a large stake that you drive into the ground to keep everything in place.

Professional installation is available but you can easily do it yourself. To get started, you need an iOS or Android device and a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi connection.

Plug in the hub, download the LIV+ app, and create (or log into) your Thermacell account. This is where you can add the hub and repellers after installation. Plug the hub outdoors in a central location. Use the included cable to dig a 3-inch deep trench from the hub to your first repeller.

Use the included ground stakes or base plate to attach the repeller and secure it into the ground. Unscrew the top half of the two-piece repeller and pop in the cartridge. Replace the cover. Repeat the process until all of your repellers are connected.

The repeller stations should be installed at least 12 inches away from any fences, walls, and plants in order for the repellent to effectively disperse.

What we like

It seems to be effective at reducing mosquitoes

Side by side images of the Liv hub showing the top and back
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

The hub can be mounted to an exterior wall, but I opted to leave it on a small table in a covered area of my outdoor patio.

Impressively, the Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System does a fairly effective job of keeping my 18-by-22-foot outdoor paver patio mostly free of the annoying bugs. I’m usually a mosquito magnet, and during the times I spent outdoors using the system, I did not get as many bites as I felt like I normally would. My son, who is allergic to mosquito bites, also appeared to mostly evade mosquito bites when the system is in use.

The odorless mosquito repellent system is also a nice alternative to wearing bug spray, especially those time when you you aren’t planning to be outside for an extended period of time and just need quick protection.

It works with Alexa and Google Assistant

The Amazon Echo Show 10 turns a smart plug off
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

I used my Echo Show 10 to turn the system on and off with Alexa voice control.

If you live in a home full of smart speakers and smart displays that work with Alexa and Google Assistant, then you'll find it useful to call out to your assistant of choice to turn the system on or off. I found the voice control feature especially handy during the dinnertime hour when I was too busy with cooking and kids to open up the app on my phone to turn the system on.

The app is easy to use

The LIV+ app is convenient when it comes to managing the system remotely. In the app, you can do everything from set schedules to check the refill status of individual cartridges, as well as set timers (the system automatically shuts off after six hours). The interface is clean, simple, and straightforward. You can also set up in-app alerts to tell you things like when the system has been on for a certain amount of time or when the Thermacell mosquito repellant levels are low.

This is just small potatoes but the one downside to the app is that it automatically logged me out after several days of no use.

The system doubles as outdoor lights

The LlV mosquito repeller sitting in the ground displaying blue lighs
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

Each repeller has built-in lights that can be controlled in the Liv app.

The mosquito repeller stations have built-in lights that you can control from the LIV+ app. They look similar to pathlights that you might line your driveway or backyard with.

The lights can be customized to three preset different colors: Daytime white, soft white, and Thermacell's signature blue. Or, you can choose from millions of colors using the color wheel in the app, similar to how you control the color of smart bulbs and smart light strips. The brightness levels are also adjustable.

You can’t use them as pathlights only—the repellent element will always be on when the lights are on. However, the lighting features are a nice design addition to integrate into your outdoor landscape.

What we don’t like

There’s a waiting period before using the Thermacell mosquito repellant system

The system needs about 15 minutes to warm up before it will begin to be effective. Therefore, you will need to remember to plan ahead to turn on the mosquito repellent system before you go outdoors.

The most convenient thing would be to walk outside any time you want and have the mosquito system continuously running to protect you. But given that each cartridge only lasts for an estimated 100 hours, you really don’t want to leave it running when it’s not in use.

Limited coverage area

The system is designed to work in certain sized outdoor spaces, with start kits available in in three sizes: Three repeller kit (945 square feet), four repeller kit (1,260 square feet), and the five repeller kit (1,575 square feet). A single repeller can cover up to 20 feet and should be placed within 10 feet of where you're sitting. Once you go outside of these zones, you are no longer protected by the system.

It’s not the cheapest way to fend off mosquitoes

I don't like to harp on price as a con, but with a system this expensive, it needs to be addressed as it's not something every homeowner may be able to afford. The smallest system starts at $699 MSRP, with the 5-repeller kit going for $899 MSRP. It's definitely an upfront investment—and be mindful of the ongoing operating costs for Thermacell mosquito repellant refills and electricity usage.

Hard to mow around

The Liv mosquito repeller next to grass on a patio
Credit: Reviewed / Rachel Murphy

If you don't want to place the repeller in your lawn, you can use the included base stand.

I set up the system around the perimeter of my patio, which is surrounded by grass. I found it difficult to mow and edge around the repeller. I was also worried about damaging it (but the repellers are incredibly sturdy and made from heavy duty materials). Ultimately, I just ended up popping them out of the ground on yard work days.

I’d recommend adding some additional landscaping, like mulch or rocks, to help remedy this problem if you have a similar outdoor setup as me.

Warranty

The Thermacell mosquito repellant system comes with a limited five-year warranty. There's a 60-day trial period, so you can decide for yourself how efficient the system is at ridding your yard of mosquitoes. If you're not satisfied, you can return it for a full refund.

Should you buy the Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System?

Yes, it’s effective at keeping mosquitoes at bay.

The Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System is a convenient and effective way to ward off mosquitoes in your backyard. It’s not the most affordable alternative out there, but it’s worth the splurge if you live in an area with heavy mosquito traffic like I do.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

  1. Product image of Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System

    Thermacell LIV Smart Mosquito Repellent System

    Pros

    • Reduces mosquitoes

    • Works with Alexa and Google Assistant

    • Easy to use

    Cons

    • Hard to mow around

    • Waiting period before use

    • Limited coverage area