How To Keep Mosquitoes, Flies & Bugs Away While Camping

Getting rid of insects is not always easy especially while you are camping. Understanding how you can get rid of insects like mosquitoes, flies, bees and more and help them stay away well your camping can require some experimentation.

Keep insects away while camping

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In this article, I will cover some of the basics that you need to know to help insects stay away from you while you are camping and sleeping.

As there is nothing worse than waking up with a lot of bug bites, here are some of the best strategies that you can take on.

*This article may contain affiliate links. Please take that into account.

10 Tips to Keep Insects Away While Camping

1. Using Citronella Candles

Citronella candles around your campsite can be one of the easiest ways that you can handle the pest control.

As one of the most environmentally friendly ways that you can ward off some of the unwanted visitors.

These candles can easily burn and prevent the chance that bugs could make their way into your campsite or even worse, into your tent area.

👉 I found these ones on Amazon to be pretty cool and easy to handle when you go camping. 

A word of caution, however, it’s a very good idea to blow out these candles before you go to sleep, especially if you have a larger candle.

These could potentially be a fire hazard if you are going to sleep and you forget to blow them out.

If you are interested in more ideas on how to keep mosquitoes away go to this section on this article.

2. Stowaway Any Extra Food

If you have extra food outside it’s always a good idea to hide it or put it away in a proper container.

Leaving food outside is a huge attractant to some of the local wildlife and it can also work to cause a dangerous situation with plenty of insects in the area.

Even if you have food covered or in bags, you need to make sure that there are secured boxes that can help to prevent the food from attracting new bugs in the future.

👉 This insulated cooler bag will make your life easier. (Amazon link)

3. Make Sure to Wash Your Utensils Before and After Use

Leaving your utensils unwashed before cooking or after cooking can potentially lead to problems with bugs or insects in the future.

While you are camping it can often be easy for various contaminants from the outside to get on your utensils to affect the flavor of the food.

Preventing sickness and stomach bugs is important as well. If you have had bugs around it’s very important that you wash out your utensils before you cook a new meal and then thoroughly wash them after you have eaten as well.

👉 Having the right water container is a must.

4. Cover Yourself Up

Some bugs are going to make their way to your campsite. Making an effort to block them out with the right protection is an excellent way to prevent various bug bites in the future.

Keeping yourself covered with long sleeve clothing and making sure that you can be ready when the sun sets or rises can be very important.

5. Make Sure You Have Enough Ice to Preserve Your Food

When food gets warm and starts to spoil this can be one of the biggest attractants for pests.

If you have meat or any type of cooked food, make sure they can be sealed away in a cooler especially during the extreme heat that is in summer.

Keeping a cooler with plenty of stocked ice can help to make sure that your food can stay fresh and that bugs will not make their way into your campsite.

6. Pick Up Some Spray

There are many types of mosquito repellent and insect sprays that are available to help you get rid of the insects in your campsite so that you can have a better sleep.

Loading up on some of the more natural repellents or even some of the chemical DEET style repellants could be a great option for keeping your campsite free in the event that a number of bugs start to move their way in.

Less harmful options like a mosquito coil can also work on your campsite and deliver much of the same result without the use of any type of spray.

I’m using a mix of these things so check it out here to see what are the must-have camping tools that I carry with me.

7. Try To Use More Natural Colors

Brightly colored tents, clothing and more can actually work to attract a number of different insects. Choosing a duller and pale shade actually prevent this from happening regularly.

When you are buying camping supplies, remember to consider choosing colors that would be naturally present in the environment.

Grey like stone or even green and beige like the trees can be a much better choice than choosing a bright orange tent.

8. Limit Your Use of Perfume or Cologne

Unnatural scents can often bring in the chance of various insects and also increase the risk that you could attract insects as well.

Be sure to consider leaving your cologne or perfume at home as these scents can often get on your clothing or into your stuff attracting even more bugs.

9. Consider Where the Sources of Water Are

Stagnant water and swamps can often be nesting grounds for all kinds of insects and bugs.

If you’re pitching your tent near water is very important that you work to consistently close your tent and never leave it open for long.

Pitching your tent on an island or near standing water can be a real issue if you want to avoid bugs regularly as well as the dangers of bug bites.

10. Stay Out of The Tall Grass

Taller grass and dense vegetation can also be breeding spots for bugs over time. Taller grass and dense vegetation can often contain many pests.

Giving away from many of these areas and avoiding the process of pitching your campsite near a thick bush can be very important.

Stick to some of the thinner patches of the forest when you are hiking or getting set up and you can have a much better time with avoiding bug bites and insects in your campsite.

In conclusion, getting rid of insects and bugs is something that is fairly simple to do with the help of some of these tips.

By making sure to follow along and prepare your campsite accordingly, you can work on getting the best in protection for your campsite.

How To Keep Mosquitoes Away While Camping

For campers, it may be extremely frustrating if the mosquitoes are out in full force. Not only are they annoying but their resulting bites also can be quite uncomfortable.

However, you should keep insects away when enjoying your time outdoors.

The following are important tips on how to repel mosquitoes outdoors for a good sleep.

1. Burn Sage Plant

This is an excellent camping hack. To repel mosquitoes, just add sage to the camping fire.

They do not like its smell, therefore this is an effective natural mosquito deterrent.

This will keep them away from ruining your campfire enjoyment, and the smell itself will still linger on your piece of clothing as extra protection after it is through with burning.

We love the smell of sage but mosquitoes do not!

2. Use The Power of Vinegar

Use this method If you can withstand strong scents. Dabbing yourself with a cotton ball that is soaked in vinegar is going to repel the blood-sucking insects.

When you do not want to put vinegar on your skin, then you should try rubbing it on your picnic table and/or any other surface around.

3. Clip-On Fans

If you hate putting anything on your skin, then you should try this. A clip-on fan is a personal mosquito repeller device that you can clip on your belt. It operates for up to 12 hours. It uses the chemical metofluthrin, which is considered by the EPA as a neurotoxin. 

👉 Check it’s today’s price on Amazon.

The good thing is that it also provides between 84 percent and 100 percent protection against insects.

Be very careful with this device as it contains toxic stuff. Read more about it here.

4. Use Orange Or Lemon Peels

Some kinds of produce can repel mosquitoes if you happen to rub them on your skin.

Orange and lemon peels work well when they are still fresh.

The citrus scents are quite strong for the majority of bugs and are going to keep them away from you.

Onion, when rubbed on the skin or even nearby surfaces, also has mosquito repellent effects.

5. Bring Out Those Essential Oils

Several people using in their daily lives essential oils know this already.

But there are some kinds of essential oils that can be utilized to keep away insects. Those having mosquito repellent properties include:

  • Lavender essential oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Lemon eucalyptus
  • Thyme herbal oil
  • Geranium essential oil
  • Catnip
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Basil oil

👍 Personally, I like the smell of lavender and citronella and I found this kit with many essential oils. (Amazon link)

You should mix together the essential oils to make some DIY mosquito repellant spray.

The best way of doing this is boiling a ¼ cup of water together with an equal measurement of a cup of vodka.

Then you let this mixture cool and later add five drops of catnip oil, eucalyptus oil, and cedarwood oil.

6. Light a Candle

Smoke will repel flies, mosquitoes plus other insects. Therefore, when out camping, you should bring tiki torches, placing them around your campsite.

Citronella candles will work also and they are well known in the camping world.

7. Begin Loving Garlic

mosquitoes, don’t like the smell of garlic.

Actually, garlic extracts possess mosquito larvicidal properties. This implies it may exterminate mosquito larvae before they happen to grow up.

When camping, regularly eat garlic since this is a natural means of getting rid of the mosquitoes and avoiding getting bitten by them.

If you do not want to eat garlic, but you do not mind smelling it, you can rub a clove or two on your skin.

You may boil in water crushed garlic and use the mixture as some DIY mosquito repellent spray.

8. Use Mint Or Eat Mint Candies

Insects do not like the smell of mint.

Therefore, whether you happen to grow mint in a pot, brush your teeth with mint toothpaste, or you happen to eat mint candies, they are less likely to bother you the same way when you do not.

Therefore, you should try to spray around your campsite some mint mouthwash or even yourself to chase away these pests.

You just pour it into some spray bottle for simple application.

9. Use Available Waste

Do mosquitoes sleep during the day? Yes, mosquitoes do sleep during the day but some remain active.

Most of them are active mostly at dusk and dawn. Most significantly those are the moments you most likely will have your fire going.

So apart from burning sage, also you may burn cow pies to improve the campfire’s capability to repel the pesky insects.

You look for the ones which are quite dry. Be cautious when picking them because you may find a critter living under it.

Place it in the campfire to keep away the mosquitoes.

10. Limit Your Hygiene Products That Have An Intense Smell

Besides all these things you may do to keep mosquitoes away, there’s some big thing which you should avoid to keep their interest away.

Keep off those hygiene products that have an intense smell. This includes perfume, lotion, shampoo, and soap.

Instead, utilize unscented products before you venture on a camping trip. You are going to discover that you’re less attractive to the mosquitoes even without using repellent.

Let’s talk next about the citronella candles.

Do Citronella Candles Really Keep Mosquitoes Away


We need insect repellents to keep away the bugs, especially during the summer. But most such repellents are made up of harmful chemicals.

Citronella oil is a type of essential oil, which is also used as an effective insect repellent. This oil is taken from the stems and the leaves of a plant species called Cymbopogon commonly known as lemongrass.

The extracted oil is utilized as scented chemicals. The chemicals include geraniol, citronellal, and citronellol. These types of substances are combined with soaps, cosmetics, and candles.

What Are The Citronella Candles?

Citronella candles are made up of wax mixed with Citronella oil. The oil actually is a very effective mosquito repellent. It is preferred, worldwide as it is naturally extracted from plants.

Citronella torches are scented with sweet perfumes and at the same time repel insects like ants, mosquitoes, etc.

How Do The Citronella Candles Work?

They work by producing scents that will mask the human smell that insects are attracted to.

One of the most important benefits of citronella is that is a very effective mosquito repellent. But at the same time, it is not toxic.

These products are registered, officially in the States of America as a repellent of insects and bugs. It is proven scientifically as an eco-friendly product. It does not cause any harm to humans or animals or insects.

Though sometimes, allergic reactions can occur, these oils are totally harmless.

Are Citronella Candles Effective Against Mosquitoes

Citronella candles are very effective on different types of bugs. They are non-toxic. Thus they can be lit at any relevant place.

The sweet scents enlighten the mood of the room and at the same time repel insects. The citronella oil, present in the candles has been verified as a mosquito repellent.

I’m using them but I have also some other means to repel mosquitoes, in my backpack. I go fishing very often, so having mosquito protection is a must.

These candles effectively can drive away mosquitoes that can cause dengue fever. It can also repel lice, stable flies, terrestrial as well as aquatic leeches.

A study published by the National Institute of Health states that these products can reduce the mosquitoes landings by 42%.

They also have very strong and effective antifungal properties. The soothing scent, released from them can calm down the barking dogs.

The candles pose no health risks to humans, especially on children and babies.

Where To Place The Candles

These candles are most effective in limited small indoor spaces where air movement is restricted. It is not so effective and beneficial in open places such as outdoor fields and camps, but they will do their job.

The candle emits scents that repel insects and they are most effective in areas where the density of the perfume will last more.

How To Get The Best Results

Citronella candles do not repel all insects. But certainly, they are more effective when certain steps can be taken.

Multiple candles: Using more than one candle can more effectively keep the bugs away. It also increases the zone of protection.

The length of the wick: A candle’s wick decides its burning power and longevity.

Citronella candles are one of the cheapest bug and mosquito repellents, available that are harmless.

You should follow the above tips on how to keep mosquitoes away while camping and they will not be a big issue on your next outdoor trip. Just enjoy your next adventure!