How to Keep Bugs Away While Camping (15 Effective Ways)

Keep Bugs Away

Camping and bugs usually go together, as bugs are your unexpected companions when you explore the great outdoors. Some biting insects are irritating and can spread diseases, but there are also pests that choose to mind their own businesses.

There are many ways for you to keep bugs away while camping. Some of the tricks that you can apply are to wear drug-repellent clothes, apply bug cream, create a fire, use a mosquito coil, and use a tent with a screen room. Using these tricks before you go on a hike can save you the trouble of getting bitten by insects.

In this article, we’ll discuss the 15 most effective ways to repel bugs while traveling. We’ll also be talking about the six spoiler insects that you may encounter while camping.


Depending on your desire to connect with nature, camping exists in multiple forms, namely backcountry and frontcountry camping. So what’s the difference between backcountry and frontcountry camping, and why pick one over the other? What gear should we consider for each type? Read our article to find out more.


15 ways to keep bugs away while camping

The outdoors is a precarious place to explore, distinctly when it comes to tiny creatures: the bugs. Don’t let creepy critters invade your campsite. Rid your tent away from crawling bugs by protecting yourself with bug cream, repellent clothes, and more.

Basically, don’t let these tiny brutes spoil the peace of your camp, and never allow them to terrify you from your momentous trip.

Below are 15 ways that will lead you to a successful trip, and a bug-free camping time.

1. Apply bug sprays and creams

One of the simplest and effective ways to avoid bugs while camping is to apply bug spray and cream. You have to bring other natural bug repellents to your list, but if you forget, it’s also nice to include some bug spray. Make sure to reapply some frequently.

2. Use essential oils

Essential oils are another thing that you can bring to repel bugs. If you want to stay away from the strong chemicals that are present in conventional bug sprays, essential oils are a perfect natural alternative.

You may spray these essential oils onto your clothes, or you can directly apply them to your skin.

To make your own natural bug repellent using essential oils, you must mix 10 to 20 drops of oil with half a cup of water inside your spray bottle. You should add one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol with a half cup of witch hazel. Prior to using the solution, make sure that you shake it well, since oil and water naturally separate.

3. Wear insect-repellent clothes

You’re encouraged to wear light, long-sleeves shirts and pants to protect yourself from bugs. Nevertheless, mosquitoes and other flies can bite you through your clothes.

Therefore, you have two options. You can either wear clothes that have insect repellent in the fabric, or spray your clothes with essential oils or bug spray.

4. Use mosquito coils and lanterns

Applying mosquito coils and lanterns is one more way to repel bugs while you’re outdoor. Mosquitoes are one of the most irritating and threatening bugs that will come across while you’re camping. Mosquito coils are eminent for keeping those critters away.

It’s recommended to apply coils nearby your campsite. The coils are pyrethrum-infused, they put back the repelling scent and smoke when you light them up.

Mosquito-repellent lanterns are satisfactory and effective as well. They function with a detachable cartridge that releases a smell that insects don’t like. So, you won’t see any beastly mosquitoes anywhere beneath the lantern.

One thing to remember is that cartridges should be replaced every other day.

5. Create a fire

One unchallenging, yet effective way to repel bugs from your campsite is to create a campfire. Mosquitoes, flies, and other insects dislike smoke that the fire brings out. The same goes for torches.

6. Find a dry and high campsite

You can see a bunch of bugs on any campsite. Yet, not all of them will trouble you. As previously mentioned, the most irritating pest is the awful mosquito. Thus, if you shun them thoroughly, you’ll be fine.

Finding a dry and high campsite is one means to elude mosquitoes. Pooled water is one of their breeding grounds, it’s where the eggs mature into larvae. Their number increases, especially when it keeps raining.

If you want to get away from mosquitoes, you should not settle your campsite in wet places, such as swamps and bogs.

7. Wear bug repellent bracelets

Wearing a bug-repellent bracelet is another method to keep insects away from your skin while camping. The bracelets function by spreading repelling chemicals into your surroundings.

Bracelets are the easiest technique to apply. All you need to do is place them on your wrist. One of their advantages is that you don’t need to spatter extra bug spray on your skin.

If you want to take off the bracelet, you can just dangle it near the campsite. The bracelets could still shield you from bugs.

8. Get a screen room/mosquito net

When you already tried bug spray, insect-repellent clothing, essential oils, bracelets, and everything included on your list, yet bugs are still attacking you, it’s the right time for you to get a screen room or mosquito net.

Screen rooms must resemble large tents, with screens that serve as walls. They could let you relish your surroundings without dwelling on biting pests. With such equipment, you‘ll still be able to see and sense the soft breeze on your skin while being safe inside the screen rooms.

Most importantly, screen rooms are helpful in keeping the insects away.

9. Use spray vinegar

If you hate applying chemicals on your skin, then there are simple and natural bug repellents that you can try. One of those is vinegar. One of the most effective techniques you can do to avoid pests away is to sprinkle some vinegar around your tent.

Bugs dislike the scent of vinegar, so ahead of your camping trip, fill a couple of spray bottles with vinegar, and you’re ready to go.

The only problem with applying vinegar is that the nasty and strong scent is strong enough for human smell as well.

10. Rub off yourself with onions

Talking about natural and traditional bug repellents, another option you have is to rub onions onto your skin. Onions may be unpleasant if you hate strong scents, yet they’re useful.

Another way to use onions to repel insects is to eat them. But in order for that to work well, you have to eat a lot of onions. So, the best choice is to just rub the onion juice right on your skin.

11. Avoid using scented hygiene products

The hassle of applying scented hygiene products onto your body is that insects are enticed to that smell. Bugs are attracted to perfumes, shampoos, cologne, hair care products, and deodorants.

Don’t use them when you’re out camping. But if you’re fond of using those, it’s preferable to use unscented or natural products.

12. Use bug-repellent candles

Candles can create a wonderful ambiance while camping. Yet, they’re not just to impress. Candles are most beneficial in reducing the amount of bugs.

The most familiar bug-repellent candle is the citronella candle. Citronella oil is also very effective.

13. Keep your campsite clean

Keeping your campsite clean is one of the best ways to control the amount of bugs. Don’t leave your dirty dishes and food, otherwise, both insects and wild animals will get near you. Leaving food around is like inviting insects to come and eat.

Here are some tips to keep your camp clean and safer for you:

  • When you’re done eating, throw your trash right away, or keep it in a large plastic container with a seal.
  • Once you arrive at the campsite, wipe the entire table, and then wipe it again after you eat.
  • Wash your dishes thoroughly right after you finish eating.
  • Make sure that there’s no food left anywhere, especially around you.

14. Bring electronic bug repellers

Using electronic bug repellers is also helpful to get you rid of bugs. These ultrasonic weapons transmit high-frequency sounds that annoy insects. So, pests will stay away from the surrounding area guarded by the device.

Ultrasonic devices are beloved by some people because they are simple to use and effective. Plus, these devices never bother other people since they are silent to human ears.

15. Lessen the light

Most insects are attracted to lights, so if you want to avoid them from your campsite, you must lessen or lower the light or sources of light that you utilize.

There are also bugs that turn away from light. Their difference is influenced by the phototaxis. Phototaxis is a scientific term for how organisms respond to light.

If an insect moves towards the light, it has positive phototaxis, like mosquitoes and most kinds of flies do. While pests that are repelled by the light have negative phototaxis, there are nocturnal insects, such as earthworms and cockroaches.

Therefore, you must be careful when using a lantern or a flashlight, except it’s a bug-repelling lantern.


Camping is a good way to disconnect from the rest of the world, even for just a moment. If you are looking to get away for a few days or weeks, you should consider off-grid camping. We know of 7 amazing off-grid campsites that you should definitely consider for your next trip.


Different insects you’ll find while camping

All pesky insects can make your camping trip miserable. Fortunately, we’re able to sort out the list of insects that you frequently encounter while camping. From your common mosquitoes to bees, knowing these insects can be a game changer when you’re camping.

Here are six insects that you commonly find on camping trips.

  1. Ticks
    Ticks are the most unusual creature on planet Earth. They grow in the woods. Particular species of ticks can cause serious infections, like Lyme disease.Be aware of the symptoms of tick-borne and mosquito diseases.
  1. Mosquitoes
    Most of all are known for their tiny nuisances. They also go camping, and leave you with itching bites that make you scratch yourself day and night. Especially when you’re about to sleep, their high-pitch buzzing can drive you crazy.
  1. Ants
    Fire ants could be your greatest trouble when you’re conveying with nature. Although you’re not in an area where fire ants live, other types of ants can also make your trip troublesome.
  1. Bees, wasps, and alike insects
    They usually leave you if you don’t taunt them. But even so, some of their species are intrusive, and there’s a chance that you’ll mistakenly disturb their nest while trekking into the woods.
  1. No-see-ums
    Biting midges, sand flies, biting Gnats, or no-see-ums, regardless of what you call them, can ruin your enjoyment while camping. These minute flies can make you weep once they bite you. They also get out during gloom or when the wind dawdles.
  1. Chiggers
    Chiggers are tiny and hefty to see with your naked eyes. They are also known as harvest lice, red bugs, or harvest mites. They like to bite your waist, ankles, and in any of your skin folds. Presume awful swelling and itching.



There are a lot of threats that you need to be wary of when you are camping outdoors. One of the most common nuisance that you have to deal with are bugs and other creepy crawlies. Aside from being a bother, most of these insects are harmless, but there is a chance that you will encounter something worse which is why preparations against these critters is necessary. 

You have to learn something new in every outdoor experience. Even so, mastering smart strategies and having effective tools ahead of your camping trip could help you enjoy your trip even more than going on an unprepared trip. So, why not know the precautions that can minimize the impact of pests, rather than being worried and suffering the diseases brought by some insects?

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