How To Keep Bugs Out Of Your Campsite in 5 Steps

As you gear up for your summer camping trip, you need to make sure you’re fully prepared for anything to happen. This includes preparing to keep bugs out of your campsite. Every camper knows that mosquitos will relentlessly try to butt in on the vacation fun. However, there are even more pests and bugs that can cause even bigger problems than just mosquitos. Other bugs campers often come across in the great outdoors can include:

Aside from being annoying and causing itchy bug bites, these bugs can carry harmful bacteria that can spoil food, or even pass on harmful diseases. Keeping bugs out of your campsite and out your tent doesn’t take a million different products. Campers just need to pick the right products and be well-prepared for any pesky bugs buzzing into their campsite. 

To keep bugs away from your campsite, there are some things you should do both before, during, and after your trip. Here, you’ll find a checklist of all the things you need to do to keep your campsite bug free, such as:

  • Buying the right repellents 
  • Checking your gear 
  • Finding the right campsite
  • Bringing the right products
  • Disposing waste properly 

 Buying The Right Products

There’s lots of different products you can use to get rid of bugs in your campsite. There are both natural and chemical ways to keep bugs out of your campsite. However, it’s important to choose the right products that will actually get rid of campsite bugs.

Natural Campsite Bug Repellents 

It’s scientifically proven that essential oils can deter pests. There are natural solutions to keep bugs out of your campsite that have been used for thousands of years. One of the most popular methods campers like to use is citronella candles. Although these candles smell quite nice, they may not protect your entire campsite against all bugs. 

Another popular and effective method to keep bugs out of our campsites is to burn herbs such as sage, eucalyptus, and rosemary directly in your campfire. This will definitely spread quickly, and should have an apparent change in smell right away. Smoke in combination with the strong smell should be able to keep a number of bugs away. 

Chemical Campsite Bug Repellents

There are thousands of sprays, coils, and diffusers that claim to keep bugs out of campsites. Most you see will claim to have at least a 12 hour effect with a guaranteed protection. However, sometimes it can feel like the product is doing absolutely nothing and you have just wasted money.  

The key to finding the right bug repellents is to look at the list of ingredients. Understanding what each product is made of and how potent it is will help you choose the right products to keep bugs away from your campsite. Be sure to look for products with higher concentrations of pyrethrum or metofluthrin.

When looking for tick and flea preventative products, look for products with higher concentrations of fipronil, permethrin, and bifenthrin. These ingredients can be harsh on animals, so be sure to check for any adverse reactions on your pet if you do use something with high concentrations of these ingredients.  

Check Your Gear Before You Leave

If it’s been a while since the last time you camped, you should probably check all your gear. This means all your safety gear, cookware, and especially your tent. The best way to avoid letting mosquitos or any other bugs into your tent is to make sure there’s no way for them to get in!

Set up your tent before you leave, and inspect it for different points of entry. If you find that there are a few holes, you can patch them with some duct tape. First, check all the corners and mesh for any hole or tears. Next, make sure the zippers also work properly so they don’t get snagged and rip the tent during your trip. 

Find The Right Campsite 

As much as most campers would love to set up their tent right beside the lake, it’s best to avoid any kind of water around your campsite. Mosquitos lay eggs and mate in bodies of water. This is why you’ll often find a lot more mosquito activity as you get closer to bodies of water. 

When looking at campground spots, make sure to find a spot at least 20 feet away from any bodies of water. Other bugs like gnats, aphids, flies, and spiders also need water to survive, so they also make nests around these areas. 

Be sure to keep other water sources such as cleaning and cooking water properly sealed and stored. Any water that does need to be dumped should be taken away from your campsite. If water does have to be drained closer to your campsite, you should ensure it is drained properly and does not pool around your campsite.  

Your campsite should also avoid any grassy areas. Ticks love to hide in tall grass, and can attach themselves to both humans and animals. It’s especially important to avoid ticks as they can spread diseases such as Lyme Disease, even to your own pet!

Rethink The Soap You’re Using

Mosquitos and other bugs are attracted to certain kinds of soaps and fragrances. Any soap or product with a strong scent should stay at home. As much as you might love your signature perfume, it could be what’s attracting bugs into your campsite. 

You don’t have to avoid using soap the entire time you go camping. Campers should, however, opt for unscented products if they want to avoid bugs in their campsite. Bugs can smell fragrances from even the most basic products. Be sure to avoid strong scents in the following products to keep bugs out of your campsite:

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Aftershave
  • Deodorant
  • Hair products
  • Body sprays of any kind

Disposing Waste Properly 

The most important and effective way to keep bugs out of your campsite is to dispose of waste properly. Not only will this keep bugs out of your campsite, this will also ensure other dangerous wildlife isn’t attracted to your campsite either. 

Bugs can sniff out waste in order to get closer to humans. It gives them a prime opportunity to find humans quickly! Dispose of all your campsite waste properly by: 

  • Storing and sealing new and old food in plastic containers
  • Seal trash properly and dispose of it frequently 
  • Wipe down all tables right after eating
  • Wash all cookware and dishware right after use 
  • Refrain from eating and drinking in tents
  • Ensure there are no traces of food in your campsite at the end of the night