There are only a few weeks left of winter, so it's time for many folks to start planning their outdoor setup so they can get the most out of the warmer months. Unfortunately, that means irritating bugs like mosquitos are on the way back. To ward off those pesky pests, Thermacell has released a smart mosquito repellent system called Liv.
Liv connects multiple repeller units to a smart hub. You can switch the system on and off using the hub, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The Liv+ mobile app also offers control over the repellers. You can turn them on or off from anywhere, set timers and set up push notifications. Using a feature that's in beta, you'll be able to monitor the cartridge levels of each device.
Thermacell, which also offers battery-powered bug repellent units, says the system isn't designed to run around the clock. Cartridges should last for a season — around eight hours per week for 12 weeks — before requiring refills. The repellent uses 5.5 percent metofluthrin as the active ingredient, and the units heat the cartridges to emit a small amount of fog. Thermacell says the fog is odorless and provides a 20-foot radius of protection from mosquitoes.
Liv requires a wired setup, though Thermacell can connect customers who aren't keen on DIY with professionals who can install it for them. The company says the repellents are weatherproof, so you shouldn't need to disassemble the system and put it back together every year.
Thermacell had been teasing the system for a while and it's available to order now. Liv starts at $699 for a pack of three repellers (which the company says will cover up to 945 square feet), plus the hub, cables, standard mounts and ground stakes. Thermacell claims the $799 four-pack will cover 1,260 square feet and the $899 five-pack will cover 1,575 square ft. The system can connect up to five repellers — adding an extra one will run you $150. Refills, meanwhile, cost $120 for a pack of six.
It's not an inexpensive system, especially for those who spend a lot of time in the yard or on the porch. Still, if it works as promised, Liv could keep the mosquitoes at bay without relying on other, smellier deterrents.