How to Keep Away Bugs when Camping

It’s true when you are camping you are going to be hanging out with the bugs. And if you are like me you might be allergic to them. Even if you are not highly allergic to them. They still pose a threat to your well being and relaxation. I have found the best bug repellant there is. And today you will know also the best pest control out there and how to keep away bugs when camping.

So if your wondering how to keep away bugs when camping. Use a repellant spray around the surrounding area. Torches that release odor to keep bugs away. A bug zapper. Lotions to apply on your body. Sprays to spray on yourself. Home made spray cocktail. And a tent made with durable netting.

If you want to see how to keep the bugs away while camping take a look at these best practices.

The Most Common Repellant

Everybody has heard about bug sprays. And there is also lotions that you can rub on the area’s that are bare. And are an easy target for the bugs. The best repellant that works in spray and lotions has Deet in them.

Deet is a chemical that works against pests such as mosquitos and ticks. According to the EPA each year more than 1/3 of the population uses deet to protect them again mosquitos. source

Some people are concerned that bug sprays that contain deet are harmful. The test that have been run by the EPA conclude there is no health risk by using deet in bug repellants. And deet has been around since 1946.

Bugs at the Campsite

Bugs you will encounter are mosquitos, spiders, bees, fly’s, ants and more. One of the most threating are the bees. What can you do to keep the bees away.

You don’t want to start swatting bees with a fly swatter, to try to kill them. Bees naturally want to protect the queen bee. When you kill a bee there is a scent that is an alarm that signals to the bees in the nest.

This will trigger bees to come to the dying bees defense. So you may advertently make the situation worse by killing them. A better idea is to keep them from coming around.

There are several ways to keep the bees away. One is with a traditional bee repellant. Which is usually found in a spray. Other ways are natural repellants.

Natural Repellants to Repel Bees

  • Garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Vinegar (Distilled)
  • Cinnamon

Bees are repelled by certain smells. These natural repellents can be sprinkled in the area’s where bees are seen going in and around there nest. Which will naturally repel the bees.

Related Article: How to make a good campfire.

Bug Zapper Pros & Cons

Another form of bug repellant. Which actually is not so much of a repellant as it kills the bugs. The bug zapper. A bug zapper works by attracting the bugs with an ultraviolet light. Once the bugs are inside. There are two metal bars that electrocute the bug.

There are different kinds of bug zappers. Ones that are hand held, and then others that hang away from where you are going to be sitting.

Bug Zappers kill thousands of bugs. But they don’t kill the biting bugs. Which are the mosquitos. The bug zapper is killing thousands of bugs each season.

And creating a problem with the ecosystem of the bugs. According to the experts they are unanimous in that they condemn the use of bug zappers. source

Another Con is that the zapper electrocutes the bug. And this can trigger a spew disease bug parts that are released in a mist. Unlike repellants they don’t kill anything. They just make the mosquito not want to bite you. There are better methods that work. Like a screen house.

Screen House

There is a better way to stay bite free and protect the bees pollination. And that is with a screen house. Not just any screen house. One that takes less than 3 minutes to erect.

Pro fact – A Screen house can protect you & family against bugs, Rain, wind & Sun, and offers privacy. It can be assembled in less than 1 minute. If you want to enjoy your camping experience bug free, And stay out of the elements. Check out the Best camping screen shelter on Amazon Now.

Quick Set Clam

What’s great about the camping screen house is you have the ability to be bug free and it is versatile. You can also keep the rain off of you. There is a floor that can be detached. Or if you want to keep it on. Then when it rains if there is a flow of water it will not flow onto your feet.

It’s rain resistant and there are stakes so that if it gets windy your still under cover with the security of the ropes. I like the Clam Quick Set for several reasons. The time that it takes to assemble is less than a minute. Everything is already attached. There is no assembly. It is so easy to put up and take down. And it keeps the bug as away without having to use spray.

Related Articles: How to Setup a RV Campsite

Home Made Bug Spray

A lot of people don’t want to use deet. So there are different home made concoctions that are made to keep the bugs away. I have a friend that swears by using Vinegar and mint Listerine. She uses a spray bottle and adds Mint Listerine to the halfway mark. And fill the rest of the bottle with Vinegar.

Here is a list of herbs and spices that with just a few drops can become a great bug repellant. And you probably have them in your kitchen.

  1. Sage
  2. Thyme
  3. Rosemary
  4. Mint
  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Clove
  • Citronella

Mix any of the oils with:

  • A tablespoon of rubbing alcohol.
  • Half a cup of witch hazel.
  • Half a cup of water.

Make sure you shake the spray bottle well before each application. It is recommended to spray on clothing and not on your skin. source But be sure to always test on your clothing. To be sure it doesn’t stain the material.

Another way to keep the bugs out. Related Article: Must Have Camping Gear: Large Family Tent.

Bug Repellant Bracelet

A convenient way to repel the bugs. Specifically mosquitos, is with a bug repelling bracelet. If you don’t want to spray chemicals on your body. This is the perfect solution. This will omit a chemical to keep the bugs away. You can wear it on your wrist, ankle or fasten the bracelet to a belt. Or another piece of clothing.

Spray the Surrounding Area with Bug defogger

There are more sprays that you can buy to spray the yard. This helps keep the bugs off. But the defogger has a time limit on how long it will work. Between 4 to 6 hours. Depending on what brand you buy.

Citronella Candles

Citronella comes in a candle or you can get a bottle of citronella to pour into a torch. Citronella is an oil that comes from lemongrass. Citronella oil has a perfume that is omitted when lit. The EPA considers the oil a biopesticide. source You can buy Citronella in liquid form.

And then added it to Tiki torches. Light the torch to ward off the bugs. That’s how I like to use citronella. For the most effective use of the torch. Make sure the torches are located around the parameter, of where you are going to be sitting.


The smoke from a campfire should help keep the bugs away. So if you don’t have any kind of repellant. You can start the campfire. The bugs really don’t like the smoke. You can add green leaves to create a lot of smoke.

Related Article: What to do camping to make lasting memories.


Most of the bugs that you will encounter when camping are biting bugs. Most of which are mosquitos. They want to get easy access to around your ankles, behind your knees. And anywhere that your skin is left bare. If you cover up they are unable to bite through clothing.

When you wear appropriate clothing these little pests can not bite you. So wear long sleeve shirts and pants. Cover your ankles with socks. This will help protect your skin from the mosquitos and other biting insects.


Another way to protect against the mosquito is to plug in a fan. A mosquito can not fly when there is excessive air movement. A fan will keep the bugs off you and out of the area where you are sitting.

If you don’t have access to an electric fan you can try a portable battery operated fan. If electricity is not available where you are camping, try the best solar power station Now.

The bad thing about a fan at night is that it is cool. You may have to choose between being warm or warding off the mosquitos.

Standing Water

Bugs especially mosquitos thrive when there is standing water. Make sure where you setup camp that there is no water that is pooling. Any buckets or anything where water can sit and stagnate. In a boat that needs the water sump pumped out. What ever the case may be. Be sure and rid the area of places where mosquitos can breed.

Related Article: How to care for an RV black tank ultimate guide.

Fly Strips

Flies can be really aggravating when you are eating outdoors. You can use fly strips to attract the flies. And keep them away from your lunch. What you want to do is hang the fly strips hang them off a tree. And that’s it. The fly’s are attracted to the strip. Then when they land they are stuck to it. The fly strip is a little nasty. But it keeps the fly’s away.

And don’t forget the trusty ole fly Swatter. This will definitely kill off the fly’s. But will keep your mind occupied, on working to keep the fly’s off the campsite. Instead of relaxing and having fun.


When you go camping you are outside and that’s where the bugs live. There are many ways to keep the various insects off your campsite. Most are with chemicals. The best way that does not include harsh chemicals is with a net or enclosure such as the Clam. Check out the Best camping screen shelter on Amazon Now.

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