How to keep bugs away when camping? If you’re an experienced camper, you probably already know how exhausting it is to fight bugs and insects all over your camping site. But are there any efficient strategies and devices that will keep mosquitoes away?
Actually, it’s not only about the bites, and sounds, because mosquitoes can be dangerous too. So, we put together a list of tips that will repel or kill these noisy insects and give you peace of mind.
Diseases And Dangers Mosquitoes Can Cause
There are over 200 common species of mosquitoes in the United States. Twelve of those can carry diseases. So, these annoying creatures aren’t just boring; they are also dangerous. A mosquito-transmitted disease is the last thing people think of, but it can be much more serious. That’s why you should take proper preventative measures whenever you camp.
Some of the most common diseases that these flying insects can transmit are:
- Zika Virus
- La Crosse Encephalitis
- West Nile Virus
- Western Equine Encephalitis
- Jamestown Canyon Virus
- Dengue Fever
- Japanese Encephalitis
Where To Set Up a Camp to Stay Away from Mosquitoes?
1. Dry Campsite
Choose a dry, clean spot to set up your new camping site. Finding a dry camping site should be your priority because mosquitos love water. Stay away from bodies of water such as lakes, swamps, small rivers, and stagnant water. If there is a site that’s near flowing water, you can consider it as an option as long as the water is fast. Wet locations are favorite for female mosquitoes because they lay eggs there, so they’ll be filled with mosquito larvae.
Adult mosquitoes love resting in tall grass, bushes, trees, tree trunks, so that’s another setting to avoid. Yes, you’re going camping, and staying away from grass is, in most cases, impossible. But if you can find a spot without tall grass, and bushes everywhere, you’ll be much safer.
2. Clean Campsite
Keep the campsite clean, without garbage, with doors zipped up to the top, and without any food waste near you. Unfortunately, food and alcohol can attract bugs and multiple insect species, so you have to be very careful with hygiene.
3. Keep the Doors Closed
You should consider protecting the doors with mosquito netting. Keep them zipped up even when you’re inside the camp; otherwise, bugs will find a way to get in. Also, you don’t want a buzzing sound in your ear while you’re sleeping at night.
4. Light a Fire
Lighting a campfire can keep bugs away. If you add a few plants and herbs to the fire, you’ll make it even more powerful with your fight against boring mosquitoes. Some of the plants that you can take include sage, lemon, rosemary, basil, and more. Once you place them in the fire they release a smell that is very unpleasant to bugs and they won’t come near your camp.
What Attracts Mosquitoes to Your Campsite
You’ve been camping many times, and you’ve been struggling with mosquitoes and bugs for a very long time. But, do you know what exactly attracts them to your camping site? Here are the common scents that these bugs love:
Mosquitoes are fans of some people, not always of others. The simple reason behind this is genetics. Your sweat can be very attractive to these bugs because it contains lactic acid and that’s a favorite for them. Human urine can also be very attractive to mosquitos and bugs.
There’s no reason to bring your perfume when camping. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are attracted by fragrances, and you can end up with itchy bites all over your body. Also, avoid scented personal hygiene products such as lotions, deodorants, etc. You can find many unscented versions that are a much better option for a camping trip.
When mosquitoes are out and about, they’re attracted to carbon dioxide. We all breathe and while breathing we exhale carbon dioxide and attract them.
Alcohol, especially beer, can make your camping site swarm with insects. And those who drink more beer are more likely to get insect bites.
Tips to Help You Keep Mosquitoes Away While Camping
How to repel mosquitoes while camping? Being in nature for a few days seems impossible without the help of effective insect repellents or bug spray. If you’re getting ready for your next camping adventure, these tips can help you prevent itchy bites and save you from sleepless nights.
1. Mosquito Coils
Mosquito coils are an effective mosquito repellent because the smell they release is repelling to these flying insects. You can order many inexpensive mosquito coils online, but you might need more than one to place around the camping site. Then, all you have to do is light them and wait for this insect repellent to start working.
2. Bug Zapper
Bug zappers are among the affordable mosquito-control methods that will save you from annoying mosquito sounds and bug bites. If you’re searching for protection against mosquitoes but don’t want to use chemical bug sprays or make a natural repellent, this is the best choice. The zapper lasts a very long time, it’s hygienic and will efficiently get rid of annoying mosquitoes. These devices use ultraviolet light that attracts mosquitoes, and then the electricity kills them.
3. Ultrasonic Repeller
An ultrasonic repeller is another device that will keep these pesky mosquitos away from your camp. The ultrasonic insect repeller releases waves that are harmful to bugs, including flies, rodents, cockroaches, so they won’t even come near your site.
4. Essential Oils
Did you know that some essential oils are natural mosquito repellent? When you want to find an effective mosquito repellent for camping, but you want to avoid chemical products, you can try essential oils such as tea tree oils, lavender oils, citronella oil, lemon, or eucalyptus oil, thyme oil, rosemary oil, etc.
With these oils, you can prepare a natural bug spray. You’ll need a spray bottle, mix several essential oils (10 to 20 drops from each), a cup of water, and a tablespoon of rubbing alcohol. If you have natural witch hazel in your home, you can include half a cup in the mix. And you will have your own natural bug repellent that you can use during your entire trip.
5. Aloe Vera Creams
Aloe Vera cream is not just a bug repellent but also has a calming, cooling effect on the skin after mosquito bites.
Instead of opting for traditional bug sprays, you can try a natural product such as herbs. Some of the herbs we mention below keep mosquitoes at bay because their smell is repelling for these pesky insects. You should consider bringing with you the following herbs: lemongrass, lavender, rosemary, chives, garlic, catnip, mint, chrysanthemum flower, etc.
7. Mosquito Magnet Traps
These devices are extremely popular among campers because they don’t control mosquitoes by repelling them; instead, they kill them. The trap uses carbon dioxide and moisture to attract these pests, then kill the female mosquitoes to prevent them from laying eggs. Magnet traps are safe for kids, pets, and humans, so you can feel free to take them with you if you’re camping with your family.
8. Eat Garlic and Citrus Fruits
Eating garlic and citrus fruits can add extra protection to your camping site. The annoying bugs hate these scents, so why not use them to your advantage. You don’t have to have them every single day, but it’s useful to have in your backpack.
Once you’re done with your oranges, lemons, you can save the citrus peels and rub them on your skin. This will leave a citrus smell on your skin and keep the mosquitoes away.
9. Insect Foggers
Mosquito foggers are an effective repellent when you want to stay protected for a longer time. Most foggers last for around three days, which means one will last you an entire weekend trip. These devices release fog, and all the mosquitoes that get in touch with it will die.
10. Get Mosquito Nets
These nets are available for your tent, but you can also purchase one you can wear. When you get nets for the tent, place them at the door to prevent these pesky bugs from entering inside. The wearable nets are life-savers if you love walking and hiking in the evening.
If you can’t light a campfire every night, you’ll need something to light up your camp. Candles with citronella are the perfect solution. This is a repelling scent for insects, so you’ll have a great atmosphere without buzzing sounds. Citronella tea lights are available online, are affordable, and are so cute. Why not give them a try during your next trip? But make sure you’re careful with them.
How to keep bugs away from your camping spot? Dealing with bugs when in a natural setting is not easy. They’re everywhere, and you can’t expect to get rid of them all. However, there are specific tips you can try to reduce the number and get decent protection from mosquitoes. To start with, set up your camp at a dry, clean spot and keep it clean while you’re there. Next, get pest control devices such as bug zappers, mosquito coils, ultrasonic repellers, magnet traps, insect foggers, etc. You can buy nets to protect your tent and yourself and light up the area with candles.
If you’re interested in natural methods, we have a few that are effective and are chemical-free. You should try using essential oils, herbs, eat garlic and citric fruits. These natural remedies are very affordable and release scents that aren't pleasant to mosquitoes.