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Hughes Exterminators Blog


Wednesday, July 10, 2024

How to Go Camping Without the Creepy Crawlies

Spending time in the great outdoors is a summer staple, and there’s a pretty good chance a camping trip has snuck its way onto your schedule.

While activities like hiking and roasting marshmallows are sure to top the list, there’s one every camper wants to avoid — battling bugs under the sun. With these tips, you can keep bugs away while camping so your outdoor vacation doesn’t turn into a weekend of roughing it in the wilderness. 

Choose Your Campsite Wisely

As the saying goes, “Location, location, location.” If you’re camping off the beaten path, where you choose to pitch your tent could be the difference between a blissful, bug-free campsite and sleeping in a swarm.

Scout out a dry, elevated area away from standing water and dense vegetation, as mosquitoes stick near stagnant water to breed and ticks lurk in the thick brush. Avoiding all the critters outdoors is impossible, but a well-drained, open spot gives you the best chance of a peaceful night’s sleep under the stars. 

Invest in a Quality Tent

When you’re out in the bugs’ backyard, your tent may be your only place of reprieve. Bring a tent with sturdy screens and netting to keep those tiny invaders out. It’s also a good idea to keep your tent zipped closed when you’re not keeping an eye on it so bugs don’t come right through the front door.

If you have a tent that’s seen a few camping trips, check to make sure it doesn’t have any tears or holes in the material before you pack it. And if you plan on staying by a river or lake, consider draping an extra bug net over your tent to keep mosquitoes away while camping.

Lay Down a Ground Cover

A ground cover or tarp under your tent isn’t just for extra comfort — it’s a bug barrier. Whether you have a tent or you’re sleeping in the wide open, adding this protective layer can help keep bugs from making their way into your sleeping area. Make sure the tarp extends beyond the edges of your tent to keep water from pooling underneath if it rains.

Keep Food and Trash Sealed

Bugs have a knack for sniffing out food and trash. Keep flies, bees, and other insects away by storing your food and garbage in sealed containers outside of your tent. Clean up any spilled food after cooking or eating meals, otherwise, you might attract a few larger critters to your campsite. And as always, don’t leave any trash behind when you head back to civilization!

Wear Protective Clothing

It can get hot on the hiking trails, but long layers of clothing are your best friend.

Wear pants, tall socks, and long-sleeved shirts to cover up as much skin as possible. This will help reduce the amount of bug bites you get, and even more importantly, make it harder for ticks to latch onto you. Light-colored clothes are also less appealing to mosquitoes and ticks, acting as a type of bug camouflage to give you a bit more protection.

Use Insect Repellents

Once the layers come off, insect repellent will become your new best friend.

Spray insect repellent on any exposed skin to keep mosquitoes away while camping. Don’t forget to reapply after a few hours, especially if you’re spending all day outdoors. If you prefer a more aromatic approach, citronella candles or essential oils like eucalyptus or lavender can create a bug-repellent shield around your campsite.

Light Up Smartly

Bugs are like moths to a flame — literally. Opt for lanterns and flashlights that have yellow or red lights, which are less likely to attract insects. Keep the bright lights inside your tent to a minimum so you don’t invite every bug in the area to your campsite once it’s dark. It’s possible that the light from your campfire will attract a few bugs, but thankfully, the smoke should also help deter them, so call it a wash.

Final Check

Before you settle in for the night, do a quick bug check. Shake out sleeping bags, make sure trash and food are sealed, and inspect yourself and your fellow campers for ticks. A few minutes of precaution can save you from an itchy night.

Keep the Critters Outside

Did a few bugs miss the memo that the camping trip is over? Contact us for a quick and efficient removal and get back to enjoying bug-free nights.