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How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From The Campsite

Here are some great tips that help keep mosquitoes away from your campsite...

How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From The Campsite

As you plan for your next camping trip, you’ve probably thought about the basics, like which campground you’re going to, how long you’re staying, and who you’re bringing. But what about the smaller details that help keep you comfortable while you camp—like how to avoid and keep mosquitoes away? After all, no one wants to come home from camping covered in red, itchy bumps!

It has been said that "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito."

Of course, one way to avoid some of nature’s pests is to rent an RV from RVnGO for your camping trip. That way, you have some walls between yourself and pesky insects when you need to take refuge inside. Even so, what happens when you want to go outside and enjoy the beauty of nature during your camping trip?

Whether you’re hiking or roasting marshmallows by the campfire, you might need help to avoid and even keep mosquitoes away when you’re enjoying the great outdoors. These tips should get you started so you can have some great outdoor adventures without feeling itchy the whole time.

6 ways to keep mosquitoes away from the campsite:

  1. Use screens with 16-18 size mesh that don't have gaps around the edges where used.
  2. Apply a DEET-based insect repellent.
  3. Use yellow lights, which are less attractive to insects.
  4. Treat clothing, sunshades, and screens with a permethrin-based product, such as Permanone, which repels both mosquitoes and ticks and will last through several washes on your clothing. 
  5. EPA-approved insecticides registered as effective against adult and larval mosquitoes.
  6. Citronella candles are a time-tested and safe solution.

Do Bug Zappers Work?

Unfortunately, bug zappers are too good to be true. While they do kill 100's of pests, they tend to only attract the most beneficial pests for nature. Mosquitoes are not generally attracted to bug zappers.

In fact, Research Proves Bug Zappers Are Ineffective for Killing the female (the ones that bite) Mosquitoes. The study found that just 4.1% of the insects killed in the bug zappers were female mosquitoes.

Choose a Good Campsite

How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From The Campsite

Avoiding mosquitoes requires some preparation ahead of time. Namely, before you pick a spot to park your RV, you should consider how mosquito-friendly it is. First, try to find a spot with a good breeze since consistent wind should make it hard for insects to settle in before they blow away.

You should also find a campsite that gets good sun for at least part of the day. This way, if it rains, the area will dry faster than a space that’s mostly shaded. This is especially important to think about if rain is in the forecast, or if it recently rained in the area, as you’ll see lots of mosquitoes hanging out around puddles.

In fact, mosquitoes love water in general. So if you’re determined to park the RV next to a lake, stream, or river, you’re going to see more of these insects than you normally would. In that case, you can use other tried-and-true methods of keeping mosquitoes at bay.

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Buy the Right Bug Repellent

While avoiding water is a great way to reduce your exposure to mosquitoes, there’s always a chance you’ll still encounter some as you camp. That’s why it’s always a good idea to bring bug repellent that will keep the mosquitoes away from your skin during camping trips.

The best products tend to include one of the following ingredients: deet, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The latter two are good for people with sensitive skin, but overall, products with deet tend to be the most popular.

If you opt for a mosquito repellent that includes deet, pay attention to the percentage of this chemical in the spray. Generally, products with 15% to 30% deet offer good protection against bugs without causing rashes or other side effects, so there’s no need to get one with 50% or more deet.

Also, keep in mind you can buy mosquito repellent in many forms, including spray, lotion, or wipes. Choose the kind that works best for you, making sure to always read the directions—and reapply as needed!

Additionally, choose a waterproof mosquito repellent if you plan to play in the water while you camp. And note that you can apply this product to your clothing instead of exposed skin, which may be a relief if you have sensitive skin you don’t want to irritate while camping.

Cover Your Skin

Another way to reduce the odds of getting bitten by bugs while you camp is to simply cover-up. After all, if mosquitoes don’t have easy access to your skin, they won’t usually bite you!

So wear pants and long-sleeved shirts if you’re worried about getting bitten on camping trips. Don’t forget to wear socks long enough to cover your ankles while you’re sitting.

And keep in mind that mosquitoes are more attracted to dark colors, so wear light-colored clothes when possible any time you camp.

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Wear Bug-Repelling Accessories like certain crystals

If you don’t want to spray any bug-repelling liquids around your campsite, that’s okay. You can still repel mosquitoes by wearing bracelets just for this purpose. That’s right; there’s jewelry that repels bugs when you’re camping!

These bracelets emit chemicals or scents that mosquitoes don’t like, so you can simply put one on for the day and stop worrying about getting bitten by bugs. These are especially great for kids or anyone who doesn’t want to apply spray to their body or clothing to avoid bites.

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Can You Make Your Own Mosquito Repellent?

Of course, you can, and the best part is that it is an all-natural recipe. If you’re worried about using chemicals when camping, you can always make your own bug repellent. Just make sure it contains all-natural ingredients that mosquitoes dislike!

You can find several recipes for DIY mosquito repellent online. Most require a base—such as witch hazel or apple cider vinegar—along with some essential oils that mosquitoes don’t like. Some examples of such essential oils include:

•  Thyme

•  Catnip

•  Geranium

•  Citronella

•  Lemon

•  Lemongrass

•  Peppermint

•  Lavender

•  Cedarwood

•  Eucalyptus

•  Sage

•  Rosemary

•  Basil

Most recipes you’ll find online call for about one-third cup of witch hazel, coconut oil, or apple cider vinegar, as well as 40 drops of any of the above oils. Mix your chosen ingredients in a spray bottle, and you’ve got a natural mosquito repellent you can apply to your skin or clothing during all your next camping trips!

If you don’t have these essential oils, you can still keep things natural while also keeping them simple with just one or two scents. For example, you can add some sage to your campfire since mosquitoes don’t like this smell—but most humans do. The same goes for mint, so consider burning mint leaves in your fire.

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What Foods Repel Mosquitoes?

How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From The Campsite

Now you know which essential oils and herbs that bother these bugs. But did you know the smell of certain foods also repels mosquitoes? This means your meal planning can double as thinking ahead to avoid bugs!

Some foods that mosquitoes hate the smell of include garlic, onions, chili peppers, lemons, and oranges. So it may be a good idea to cook with some of these foods and keep the rest on hand for snacking around the campsite. This is a great way to let mosquitoes know they don’t want to come around where your RV rental is parked without having to buy or make any bug sprays.

Now you know how to avoid one of nature’s peskiest insects. So if the fear of bug bites was stopping you from trying out an RV rental and going on an epic adventure with family or friends, you should have one less issue to worry about!

PS - If you’re ready to start planning your next RV camping trip without mosquitoes, let us help. First, take a look at our wide selection of vehicles to rent, as RVnGO has everything from RVs and pop-up campers to 5th wheels and travel trailers. If you are looking for a Class A Luxury RV or a Class C, you can find the one that best suits your needs. Then, once you find the recreational vehicle you want to rent, feel free to browse our RV Road Trip Packing List to be sure you’re fully prepared for your camping trip. And don’t forget to bring one or more of the bug repellent options discussed here!

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