Camping is a delightful way to relax, unwind, and bond with family or friends. It is also an excellent way to explore and experience whatever nature offers. But sometimes, nature provides more than just a comfortable breeze and beautiful panoramas. Bugs, pests, and creepy crawlies can come and dampen your stay. They can leave bite marks, itches, and unpleasant memories.
Don’t let them deter you from going on your trip. Follow these ten tips to avoid unwanted guests and enjoy a pest-free camping adventure.
Just as house ticks, fleas, and carpet beetles bite more during the summer, campsite pests and insects are more likely to bug you during summertime. The season’s warmer temperatures increase the metabolism rates of these bugs, which means they eat more and reproduce more. It also means they’re more mobile, so you’ll see plenty of them hanging around when camping during summer.
To avoid these insects, consider camping during cooler months, such as fall. Alternatively, try a hand at winter camping when most insects hibernate. Make sure to have the right gear when camping in cold temperatures.
Looking for the appropriate camping spot is important to avoid the discomfort of pesky insects. Stay away from areas that can serve as pest breeding grounds. For example, mosquitoes love to lay their eggs in stagnant water, so avoid spots where water does not drain well. Watch out for areas with dense vegetation, too, since these can house plenty of insect varieties.
Defending against insect bites can be as simple as ensuring they don’t have a space to latch on, so wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants during the trip. Blood-sucking insects such as mosquitoes are also attracted by sweat. Wearing appropriate clothes can help block sweat odors from wafting into the air.
Aside from the length of clothing, consider the right colors. Light-colored clothing can reflect the sun’s rays during the daytime, which helps the body feel cooler than darker clothes. Darker colors tend to stand out to mosquitoes, so wearing light colors helps delay them from locating you.
Insect-repellent lotions are effective in protecting against common campsite bugs and insects. Slather them on exposed skin or top of clothing for extra protection. Follow the product label instructions on the frequency of application to maximize the lotion’s effectiveness.
You can also use any of the insect-repellent sprays for faster application. If both lotions and sprays seem too time-consuming, consider buying insect-repellent patches. These patches contain essential oils and other substances that repel mosquitoes. Just stick a patch to clothing, and you’re ready!
Campfires are great for roasting marshmallows and singing campfire songs. Did you know that they can also help ward off bugs and insects? The smoke generated by a campfire irritates and drives pests away.
In the campfire, you can also burn herbs such as eucalyptus, basil, and thyme. These herbs are natural insect repellents, so burning them will keep bugs at bay. Plus, these herbs can help your camp smell good. If possible, burn fresh leaves instead of dry ones, as their higher water content can produce more smoke, proving more effective in driving away insects.
Why are bugs attracted to lights at night? Some nocturnal insects navigate using the moon as a guide. Lights, especially bright white or blue ones such as fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, interfere with their body’s navigation system and cause them to fly toward the light sources. Thus, minimizing light sources at night helps prevent insects from swarming around the camp.
If using lights is unavoidable, opt for those with yellowish hues since these are not as attractive to insects as the white ones. Also, you can use candles, lanterns, and other lights that emit smoke. These can exhibit the same insect-repellent properties as a campfire.
To protect against insects and pests while sleeping, you can install physical barriers inside your sleeping areas. One example of a physical barrier is the mosquito net, a meshed net made of cotton or nylon. Mosquito nets are easy to set up. Just install them over your bed to prevent mosquitoes from getting near you. You can also buy tents made of mosquito nets to set up both tent and net in one go.
Although people call them mosquito nets, they can keep other pests out. The mesh size determines what insects the net can block. Usually, a 1.2mm mesh size can stop mosquitoes. While smaller insects, such as biting midges, would need a 0.6mm mesh size or smaller.
Like sleeping under mosquito nets, keeping the tent closed can be an excellent way to keep pests away. A small opening can let one insect slip through. So, zip up and close the tent every time you enter or exit the tent. Remember, it can be more challenging to chase out one insect flying around inside the tent than to keep them out in the first place.
Insects and pests take a trip to your campsite mainly for food and shelter. That would be your skin for blood-sucking insects like mosquitoes and ticks. Other insects, such as ants, cockroaches, and flies, would go for the food residue left out in the open. To keep these insects away, make it a habit to clean the campsite after cooking and eating meals.
You’re finally home after a fun camping vacation. Since you’re out of the campsite, you must be clear against campsite pests, right? Not yet. Certain pests, such as chiggers, can attach to your clothes for as long as they wish. Since they’re so small, they may go unnoticed until you feel the itch from their bites. Immediately after returning from camping, you can wash and heat-sanitize clothes to prevent these pests from making their way indoors.
Pests can mar what was supposed to be a fun and memorable camping experience. But fret not! Follow these simple and practical tips to keep insects and bugs at bay and enjoy your camping adventure.