When you go camping, you’ll be interested in knowing how to keep bugs away. You can purchase mosquito repellent for camping, yet these can leave you sticky if you use them for too long.
Luckily, there are many ways you can take this into your own hands and either make your camping mosquito repellent that isn’t sticky, or you can use the tried and tested methods to keep mosquitoes away while camping.
Half the battle is repelling mosquitoes before they have a chance to make a nuisance when you’re camping. (Find the Best Camping Hammock)
What Smells Do Mosquito Hate?
Mosquitoes are attracted to a combination of things and include scent, light, heat, and humidity. You can find various types of mosquitoes, such as those that carry malaria and prefer bacteria and sweat. Other species are attracted to carbon dioxide and certain other odors.
No matter which species you fight against, you can encounter, you can protect yourself without resorting to DEET-based chemical repellents. While Deet is useful, it isn’t so good for some people or the environment.
You can find natural repellents and things where mosquitoes don’t like the smell and help keep them away.
Lemon eucalyptus oil
Lemon Eucalyptus oil is a well-known natural repellent. The CDC has approved eucalyptus oil as effective to be used as an ingredient in mosquito repellent.
Use 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil and ten parts sunflower oil or witch hazel. It can keep mosquitoes away for three hours, yet don’t use on kids under 3.
Crushing lavender flowers can produce an oil and effective aroma that repels mosquitoes. Lavender possesses analgesic, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities. Thus, avoiding bites helps soothe the skin.
Grow lavender at home and crush the flowers before you go camping. Apply the oil to areas mosquitoes like such as ankles or arms
Cinnamon has been shown to kill mosquito eggs. It also acts as a repellent for adult mosquitoes such as the Asian tiger mosquito.
Make a diluted 1% solution. Mix 1/4 teaspoon (or 24 drops) of oil to every 4 ounces of water. Then, spray on your skin or around clothing as a natural mosquito repellent. Don’t try and make it stronger as it can cause irritation
For repelling malarial mosquitoes, thyme oil offers the best protection up to over 90% effectiveness. Take dried thyme leaves, toss them on your campfire and be 85% mosquito-free for 60 to 90 minutes.
You can also mix 4 drops of thyme oil with a teaspoon of olive or jojoba oil. To make a spray, add five drops of thyme oil to 2 ounces of water.
Citronella offers highly effective essential oils. You can also use citronella candles when outdoors for more than 50% extra protection.
Depending on the citronella formulation, it can be as effective as DEET for up to 2 hours. If using candles, keep these close to you, yet don’t use them inside your tent.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is known for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. However, studies suggest tea tree oil may be useful as an insect repellent as well as soothing mosquito bites.
Testing shows repellents with tea tree oil can offer protection against mosquitoes, bush flies, ticks, and midges. (Find the Best Camping Chairs)
Risks of Essential Oils
Make sure never to put essential oils direct to the skin. Always dilute with a carrier oil such as almond oil or coconut. You will have 3 to 5 drops of essential oil for 1 ounce of carrier oil.
Do Dryer Sheets Repel Mosquitoes?
Some studies show using dryer sheets, especially Bounce, can be effective at repelling mosquitoes and other pests. Many individuals claim a dryer sheet in a pocket is enough to stop mosquitoes from biting.
The reason they may work is dryer sheets can contain linalool, which detracts pests. Also, they may include beta-citronellol, which is found in citronella candles.
When away while camping, toss a box in your backpack and try it. Just make sure not to rely on them in case it doesn’t work.
How Do You Keep Mosquitoes Away from Camping?
You can make some effective natural bug sprays to take on your next camping trip with the above oils.
However, there are other ways you can help yourself instead of relying on your bug spray to keep you out of harm’s way.
Here are other things you can do to help avoid an invasion of mosquitoes. You may even find some of these ideas are common sense.
You’ll find lots of reasons to stay hydrated while camping. Extreme heat leads to dehydration, yet one reason to keep your water bottle close is that it’s easier to overheat and sweat during a hike. Mosquitoes are attracted to hot, sweaty skin.
Eat Foods Mosquitoes Don’t Like
Mosquitoes and other insects hate the smells of some foods. Onions, garlic, and many citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons are handy to have when on a camping trip. You can rub garlic or citrus peel on your skin to help keep the mosquitoes away.
Garlic can be good for you, and if you begin taking these before your next trip, the pungent aroma you sweat of the garlic can make an excellent mosquito repellant. However, you may also smell to others with you.
Any member of the mint family is effective. You can’t take plants camping, yet you can use mint toothpaste, eat mints now and again or even spray mint mouthwash around your campsite as a bug spray repellent.
Mosquitoes are mostly active at dawn or dusk. Make sure you wear long sleeves and pants at these times. Note, they can bite through clothing on occasions. You can find insect repellent infused clothing.
Odor-Free Body Care
When you use any hygiene products or toiletries, make sure they are fragrance-free. If you wish to smell, you can use any of the oils to add a hint of bug-repelling perfume.
Keep A Clean Campsite
Clean campsites are safe campsites. In the great outdoors, there are lots of things that like free meals. Bugs and wild animals sniff out food.
Zips on Tents
Keep your zipper up on your tent all the time. It can make it harder for mosquitos to get in your tent if there are no gaps.
Choose the Right Campsite
One way around having an insect army invading your campsite is to pick the right location. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water.
It may appear natural to pitch close to water, yet if you stay away from any water, there is less chance of bug bites. (Find the Best Portable Camping Shower)
If you don’t attract mosquitoes and bugs in the first place, you are less reliant on mosquito repellent to keep them away.
Tents with Screen Rooms
You can find many tents with screen rooms. In many cases, these can be large enough to sit in, so if you remain inside, you can find yourself free of these insects. Placing mosquito netting can make a great DIY screen room where you can enjoy cool air in the evening.