For those who enjoy camping, it can be frustrating when the mosquitoes are out in force.
Not only are mosquitoes annoying, the resulting bites can be uncomfortable.
– Updated 10/17/2019
How To Keep Mosquitoes Away When Camping (5 Easy Tips)
Table of Contents
Tip #1: Bug Spray for You and Your Gear
Bug tents are great but what about when you want to remain active and not be limited to a small space? When thinking about keeping the mosquitoes away and maintaining freedom to roam, insect repellent comes to mind.
There are a variety of mosquito repellents that have proven to be effective. Which type is best will depend on where you are camping, what you are looking to repel and your personal preferences.
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Deet and Picardin are popular, though many are hesitant to use these products due to the chemicals they contain and the unpleasant scent they emit. You can also use Permethrin, which you spray on your clothes and gear for additional protection.
If you are looking to avoid the chemicals that are present in insect repellents, all-natural options are available. When considering a natural product to keep the mosquitoes away while camping, one option is Bugs Away Spray.
Ingredients in Bugs Away Spray include certified organic witch hazel, citronella, eucalyptus, cedar wood, catnip, lemongrass, lavender, tea tree, litsea and patchouli. This natural product can be used as often as you like to protect you from mosquitoes.
Tip #2: Use your Oils
Are you looking to repel mosquitoes without bug spray? One option is oil of citronella, an all-natural repellent made of distilled oils of different grasses that will repel, rather than kill, mosquitoes.
Citronella will cover scents that mosquitoes are attracted to like carbon dioxide and lactic acid, reducing the number of mosquitoes that land nearby. Citronella candles and bands that will increase your protection from mosquitoes are available.
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Cedar oil is also effective when looking at how to keep bugs away. While the natural scent of cedar oil is pleasant to people, mosquitoes will feel otherwise. To mosquitoes, their eggs and their larvae contact with cedar oil can be deadly. Here’s a video from TiffyQuake where she discusses using essential oils to make your own bug repellent, along with some of the pros and cons of doing so.
Tip #3: Herbs are not just for Cooking
When looking at how to keep bugs away, there are herbs that will help do the job. Rosemary is a great option for repelling mosquitoes. You can make a simple repellent with rosemary and water. The natural repellent can be used on your skin and even sprayed on your pets.
Basil, catnip, lavender and lemon balm are all herbs that will keep the mosquitoes away from you during your time outdoors. Eucalyptus is often used in natural repellents, which has led to the belief that since eucalyptus is in Listerine, the product can be an effective repellent.
However, the concentration of eucalyptus in Listerine is only 1% (vs up to 75% in eucalyptus-based repellents) which is deemed to be too low to make a difference.
Smoke from your campfire will naturally keep mosquitoes away. Burning sage is an easy trick to increase the effect: include a stick of sage in your campfire and keep mosquitoes (and perhaps gnats as well) away from your campsite.
Tip #4: Repurpose Available Waste
Have you ever asked the question, “do bugs sleep?” Mosquitoes do sleep, however they are most active at dusk and dawn. The good news is that those are the times that you most likely have a campfire going.
Aside from burning sage, you can also burn cow pies to enhance your campfire’s ability to repel mosquitoes. Look for one that is very dry and be careful picking it up (a critter may be found living underneath). Place the cow pie in your campfire and keep the mosquitoes away.
Tip #5: Limit your Appeal
In addition to all of the things that you can use to keep the bugs away, there is a big thing that you can avoid that will keep you from being of interest to mosquitoes. Stay away from hygiene products with intense smells.
This includes soap, shampoo, lotion and perfume. Use unscented products before venturing on a camping trip and you will find that you are less attractive to mosquitoes even without repellent.
Follow these tips and the mosquitoes won’t be a problem during your next camping trip. Enjoy your next adventure!