10 Tips to Keep Pests Away While Camping
It is a popular opinion that camping can be a lot of fun, and that sometimes a break from the hustle and bustle of the city seems absolutely necessary. When a camping plan is hatched, at least for the first few times, chances are that a list of camping essentials will be made, just to keep things in check. Even higher are the chances that a pest control spray will be somewhere at the top of that list. Because even though the idea of camping is fun, there is nothing like the thought of creepy bugs crawling around to put you off camping forever. Nevertheless, there are a few do-it-yourself tips that you can use in case you have decided that the peace and quiet of nature are worth the risk of being near a few (or more) bugs. But first, you have to be aware of what to look out for:
Mosquitos and flies: Perhaps the most annoying pest you might come across while camping is a mosquito. They don’t need any introduction; you might be familiar with their nuisance right inside your own house. However, while camping, there will be a lot more mosquitoes and higher chances to get bitten. Similarly, flies tend to be around when you try to eat your camp food in peace. Just like mosquitos, there will be a lot more of flies while camping than at home.
Ticks: Ticks can be a nuisance, but some of them might pose greater threats such as Lyme disease. It is always better to protect yourself from them rather than attempting to treat the irritation they can cause later.
Spiders: Spiders might be the scariest creatures out of the lot. But not all of them are poisonous. However, it is better to be safe than sorry and thus, keeping a pest repeller with you especially to use against them might not be a bad idea.
While these pests are indeed something to be wary of, there are several ways in which you can enjoy all the best parts of camping, while having as minimal contact with them as possible. Here are the top ten ways to naturally keep pests away while camping. :
1. Pack a lot of pest control sprays:
An insect repellent is an absolutely essential thing to pack while camping, and all the other precautions you can take while camping tend to be more effective when combined with the use of such sprays. These sprays can be used not only on your surroundings but on your own body too. Several campers spray their tents, as well as their clothes with insect repellents while camping. But the downside that comes out of this is that they will be at the risk of exposing their skin to chemicals in the pesticides. The best thing to do for your own safety is to buy organic pest sprays which will not be harmful to your body.
2. Wear comfortable but protective clothing:
While camping, you might be reluctant to apply insect repellents directly to your skin. Therefore, the next best option is to cover up all exposed areas of your body, as long as it is comfortable. The ideal kind of clothes will be long, unrevealing and light-colored. If you want to take it a step further to repel pests, you can sleep in your tent with gloves and socks on so that you will be almost completely protected from insect bites.
3. Stay dry:
Pests like mosquitoes breed in open water. Thus, they will be more attracted to wet places like ponds, streams and so on. The first thing you can do to avoid these pests is to find a camping area that is dry and far away from water bodies. Staying dry is not just about keeping away from water though. It is best to not leave food open for longer periods and instead, just chuck food waste away as soon as possible. In order to be eco-friendly, it is best to take a waste disposal bag with you and cleanly dispose of all your waste in it and keep it aside to throw away later, somewhere that does not pollute your surroundings. It is also a good idea to clean your cookware and dishes as soon as you are done eating. This is not only good for you but an environmentally friendly and responsible way to camp.
4. Pick the right time:
The number of insects that you have a chance to encounter during your camping trip largely depends on the time of the year you decide to do it. The months of June and July, when rainfall is abundant can be called the worst time to camp, since mosquitoes and other bugs will be around everywhere, happy to suck your blood or take a bite out of you. It is better to postpone your camping trip to a time much later than the post-rainfall period too, since it happens to be when mosquito larvae eggs hatch.
5. Use your favorite fragrances against them:
There are certain kinds of fragrant plants that, though appealing to many human beings, are unbearable to several kinds of pests. Lavender, for instance, is a natural pest repellent that mosquitoes absolutely detest. Another effective natural bug repellent is rosemary, which can be added to your food for extra flavor while camping. Or else, you can apply its spray on yourself.
Citronella is another option if you want to use scent to keep your creepy-crawly visitors away. Lemongrass, which contains citronella, is also highly effective when it comes to acting as a natural repellent against pests. Mint can be used as a great pest control option too. Peppermint and spearmint work wonder in keeping the buggers away. The best option is to bring natural pest sprays with you that have been made out of such fragrant ingredients. Cedarwood is also a great repellent against bugs in general but works exceptionally well on mosquitoes.
6. Check your lighting:
The thing that bugs are incredibly attracted to, apart from your blood, is bright lights. It is better to switch off any bright light source you might have at night so that you won’t needlessly call over all the annoying bugs in the vicinity near you. In case lighting is necessary, take care to keep it as far away from you as possible. Several experienced campers even bring inverter generators while camping, so as to keep the light on at a distance for a long period of time.
7. Create a protective anti-pest barrier:
The best protective barrier to repel pests is invisible, but highly effective. After setting up your tent and marking your territory, keep the bugs out of it by spraying anti-pest spray in a circle around the camp area. It is recommended to use an organic pest spray if your objective is to keep away the bugs but not cause harm to your surroundings or other creatures while doing so.
8. Choose the right kind of sleeping tent and sleeping bag:
Since the number of camping enthusiasts are increasing day by day, there are more options to choose from while picking your tent as well as your sleeping bag. Several tents in the market are equipped with mesh panels and even water repellents that can be quite useful when it comes to acting as natural pest repellents. Another option is to choose a thermal sleeping bag, which last for a long time while also providing you protection from bugs.
9. Pack the right kind of food:
The temptation to simply gorge on marshmallows while camping might be high. But putting in a little extra effort while packing food for your camping trip will go a long way in keeping uninvited guests away for dinner. It has been discovered that food like onions, garlic and citrus fruits act as natural bug repellents since they detest the smell of it. An unorthodox method to show how anti-pest you are will be to rub these on your body and relax. However, if that doesn’t sound like something you want to do, you can simply add these ingredients while cooking your camp meal.
10. Bring a first-aid kit:
They say that prevention is better than cure, But it is always ideal to hope for the best and prepare for the worst too. Sometimes, no matter how many precautions you take, a single bug or two might slip in and bite you. Thus, packing a first aid kit is highly recommended while camping. The kit should mandatorily contain ointments or creams that can treat insect bites. It is also a good idea to treat the wounds as soon as they happen, since keeping them untreated for long will lead them to fester and create bigger problems, like infections and other diseases.
These tips can go a long way to keep you safe from insects in general during your camping trip. So don’t worry when you sitting and peacefully roasting marshmallows and reminiscing about the past with your fellow campers; as long as you are careful, your camping trip will not be disturbed by anything creepy, crawly or pesky. But while having fun, you should also make sure that no harm is caused to the environment. Because what matters the most in the end is that you did your best to reduce your carbon footprint while camping. What also matters is that after you left the camping site, the place remained the same as, if not better than it was before you went there. It will never be not important to be responsible about taking care of the environment and wildlife, wherever you go.
If chemical pesticides or insect repellents are used while camping, there is a high risk of pollution in the surrounding areas, especially in the water bodies. They can also be harmful for your health, if exposed to them for too long. This is why it is necessary to take organic and natural insect repellents with you on your camping trip.