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14 Best Camping Tricks To Keep Bugs Away

Whenever you go camping, one of the biggest annoyances is the camping bugs that lurk in the night and nip you whenever they get a chance. There is nothing worse than waking up covered in mozzie bites or that itchy feeling where a bug has bitten you out of sight.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways of preventing bugs from coming near your tent during the night and making your life unpleasant during your camping trips. With that in mind, here are some great camping tricks to keep the bugs away at all times.

1. Insect repellents

By far the most popular and easily accessible solution is using an insect repellent spray or cream to ward off any creepy crawlies.

You will find many bottles or creams readily available in the supermarket so they are not difficult to get hold of. It’s then just a simple case of spraying it on before you go outside and let the stuff do its job.

2. Mosquito nets

If you need protection at times when you are snoozing, mosquito nets are a great way to keep unwanted visitors from biting you during the night.

Most tent doors come with mesh mosquito netting on the doors to keep them out but you can look at getting other mosquito or fly nets to cover any other gaps in the tent such as the top roof netting or for any side panels that come done.

3.Citronella candles

Whilst most scented candles attract bugs, candles covered in citronella oils have the opposite effect. 

The oils put off scents that drive bugs away from the area allowing you to enjoy evening meals in peace around the campfire. It’s a great natural way to dispel bugs and create a peaceful looking aura to enjoy under the night sky.

4. Herbs on the fire

When getting the campfire going to make your dinner, throw some herbs such as sage on there to drive away any unwanted bugs. The smell of herbs such as sage and peppermint put off flies and mosquitoes moving away from the fire due to the smell produced when they are cooking.

The scent can also drift onto your clothes making it an effective way to get flies out of your tent when you settle down for the night.

5. Insect bracelets

Using insect or ant repellent around young kids can be risky so using an insect bracelet is a great strategy if you are taking the little ones out for the weekend.

Not only does it avoid using nasty chemicals around them, but they can also wear them without it being a distraction allowing them to play all night without worrying about getting bitten.

6. Pick your spot carefully

Picking your camping spot can also make a big difference in the number of bugs that may be lurking in your area.

Many insects and their larvae prefer wet ground so anywhere near lakes and rivers are not ideal camping spots. Look for areas that are dry and higher up to significantly reduce the number of bugs that could be lurking within your area.

7. Bring the onions and vinegar

The rumours surrounding garlic and onions are true: the smells do protect you from blood-sucking creatures. We are talking about mozzies and ants though – not vampires.

The harsh acidic undertones from garlic and onions make them an excellent natural deterrent forcing bugs to go elsewhere to avoid their strong scents. A great way of utilising these aside from an evening meal.

8. Coffee Grounds

If you find any wet spots that could be a potential breeding ground for bug larvae, scatter coffee grounds in the water to kill off any chances of bugs spawning there.

It instantly kills any larvae or eggs that have been laid there forcing them to go further away to reproduce lessening the potential number of bugs in your area. It also gives the grass and surrounding plant life a boosted source of nitrogen too so it will help the greenery sprout again in the long run.

9. Insect Lanterns

The trusty bug zapper is always a quickfire solution to protecting yourself once the sun goes down. Having a portable lantern with you will attract bugs to the heat source rather than your body before they get the zap of doom.

It can provide a welcome distraction whilst you sleep ensuring they pick the wrong heat source to mess with as you sleep.

10. Jar Traps

If you plan to stay in the same spot for several days, you can create a jar trap to trick unsuspecting flies, wasps, or other pests. Ideally, these traps will have an exceptionally sweet scent to lure the bugs into the jar before they get trapped in the solution.

It is an easy trick that can be created using a sugar solution or readily bought depending on how creative you want to be. It’s just as effective as sprays or zappers but without the added safety risk – a great device to use if young campers are around.

11. The Vinegar Spray

Vinegar is a great product to have handy and it isn’t just for cooking. The strong smell and acidic properties make it a death cry for any bugs lurking nearby and sends them running for anywhere other than where it is sprayed.

It’s a great natural deterrent but the smell can linger so use it sparingly if you don’t want it overpowering your campsite.

12. Dispose of rubbish quickly

One of the biggest attractions to any campsite is leftover food and rubbish. The decomposing smell is a haven for flies and mosquitoes to lay their eggs and linger for days.

Find a bin away from your campsite and dispose of any food quickly to prevent your camping spots from becoming a meeting place for your mortal enemies.

13. Avoid too much light

It can be nice having a light source handy when the sun goes down but it will bring you to the attention of your unwanted guests.

All insects and bugs are naturally attracted to light sources so try and keep the light levels to a minimum to avoid any unwanted attention. This makes it easier to enjoy the evening in peace without getting eaten alive by insects.

14. Sonic sensors

A more modern deterrent, sonic sensors are a popular way to keep bugs away without the need for any chemicals.

The sonic pulses disorientate the electronic receptors that many flying insects use to guide their travel so having them nearby will drive them away to stop the confusion. They are also silent meaning you can use them all night long without getting woken up by constant zaps or light sources being left on.

Final thoughts

In the end, utilising any of these camping tricks to keep bugs away can be an effective way to a peaceful night under the stars.

You can combine many of these strategies to stop mosquitoes, ants, and flies from biting you and there are plenty of natural tricks to use if you are not keen on using chemical products. Whatever strategies you use though, they will be extremely effective in stopping the bed bugs from biting during the midnight hours.

Related Reading

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