Mosquitoes can be a nuisance from late spring through fall in many outdoor environments. If you plan on camping, your camper will be a great way to stay off the ground but does not protect you from insects.
After reviewing the latest in camping advice, we have compiled a brief explanation of the most successful tips to ward off mosquitoes. Read on to learn about what attracts mosquitoes and how to keep them out of your camper. We offer natural and chemical solutions.
What Attracts Mosquitoes To Your Camper?
Mosquitoes will be attracted to your camper because you are by your camper, if you park it in a location where mosquitoes breed, or you are active during the dawn or dusk.
Mosquitoes are attracted to body heat and the carbon dioxide we give off as we breathe. Body odor and water vapor can attract mosquitoes as well. They are also attracted to the smells of certain foods including dairy products, sweets, salty foods, and alcohol.
You might be more likely to have mosquitoes enter your camper if you park it near a breeding ground or dense undergrowth. Parking where mosquitoes live means they will be able to sense your heat, odor, and carbon dioxide more easily, which will draw them in.
Mosquitoes are also drawn to heat and can sense heat in the range of body temperatures to seek out targets. The presence of heat and water vapor convince mosquitoes to bite.
Female mosquitoes bite because they need the blood to make eggs. Males get their food from flower nectar and juices from plants.
Some people are more prone to mosquito bites, but the research does not have a definitive answer as to why that is the case. It can be related to body odor, carbon dioxide, your body temperature, your blood type, or any combination of reasons.
Avoid mosquito bites not only because they cause itchiness and irritation but also because mosquitoes can carry diseases. If you get a mosquito bite, you can use an antihistamine cream or lotion to help reduce the itching. Bites should go away after a few days.
Some people experience allergic reactions or anaphylaxis when they get mosquito bites. This can look like hives, difficulty breathing, or your throat swelling. See a doctor if this happens to you or someone you love.
How Can You Keep Mosquitoes Out Of Your Camper?
When camping, you want to keep your camper free of mosquitoes. To eliminate the annoyance and prevent the contraction of mosquito-carried diseases, repel them with some of the following tricks.
One of the most common sense approaches to keeping mosquitoes out of your camper is to use mosquito netting. This netting has small holes so mosquitoes cannot fly through it. You will want to apply this to all of your doors and windows that you plan on opening during the trip.
Many camper vans come with mosquito screens that attach to cover the windows and doorways. If your camper does not have screens, buy some. These give you the freedom to open your windows for fresh air at night without worrying about bug bites in the morning.
Some screens are large enough to cover camper van doors. These provide extra freedom. Remember to seal the screens securely when entering or exiting your camper to keep mosquitoes out.
Seal Cracks in Your Camper
Even if you have netting to keep mosquitoes out, you may find that some get in through cracks around your windows and doors. You can use foam to seal the cracks or a washcloth. Solutions vary based on the size of your gap.
Citronella candles and torches are a good way to effectively heat and spread the scent of citronella oil, which mosquitoes do not like. Place a few citronella candles near the entrance of your camper to lessen the likelihood that mosquitoes will get closer or go inside.
ThermaCell makes mosquito repellent that can clip on to your pack or sit outside your camper. Their patio shield is made to protect a space large enough to sit in, such as your awning area. These are powered by butane and do not involve chemicals coming in contact with your skin.
They use the odor of male mosquitoes to scare female mosquitoes away, which are the ones that bite.
You can spray your campsite with a fog that lasts up to 72 hours with the help of mosquito foggers. The fog is made up of a combination of essential oils and extracts that are repellent to mosquitoes. This is a long-lasting option to keep mosquitoes away from your camper.
Most fogs contain peppermint oil or oil of lemon eucalyptus along with clover extract. This mixture combines scents that mosquitoes dislike. Mosquito fog machines can be more expensive than other choices on this list, but offer long term protection.
You can attach a mosquito awning to your camper to create an outdoor space protected from mosquitoes and other pests. These spaces typically give enough room for two chairs or so, allowing you to sit outside and preventing mosquitoes from reaching the inside of your camper.
Attach these to your existing awnings for an even more efficient solution.
Build A Campfire
Mosquitoes do not like the smoke from campfires. Be careful to have your campfire a safe distance from your camper. The smoke will ward off the mosquitoes, and will permeate your clothes to continue keeping them away. Toast some marshmallows to make the smoke worth it.
The scent from dryer sheets is said to keep mosquitoes away. You can place a few along the openings in your camper or in any cracks in your mosquito netting to ward off mosquitoes. You can also keep one in your pocket for minimal portable protection.
Mosquito Repellent With DEET
One of the most reliable ways to protect yourself from mosquito bites is to apply mosquito repellent with DEET. Spray this on exposed skin and you should be protected from pests.
Repellants with DEET are effective but can be oily and have a distinct smell that may not be attractive to humans. You can expect it to stick to your clothes.
Permethrin is an alternative to DEET that also helps to ward off black flies and ticks. You can find it in a spray form to apply on yourself.
Picaridin is another common mosquito repellent used in bug sprays without DEET. This is sometimes combined with oil of lemon eucalyptus to further keep mosquitoes from biting.
How Do You Keep Mosquitoes Away Naturally?
To ward off mosquitoes naturally, you can wear the proper clothing, make sure all of your entryways are sealed, and use natural essential oils to deter the pests.
Dress In Layers
Mosquitoes will be able to bite you if they can access exposed skin. Even in summertime, you should wear long sleeves and pants to avoid getting bitten. Thicker materials like polyester and nylon will offer more protection than cotton.
Use Essential Oils
Several essential oils are repellent to mosquitoes. You can add a few drops of peppermint oil, eucalyptus, lemongrass, or clove extract to a spray bottle with water and use it around your campsite and on your clothing for natural protection.
Use A Fan To Increase Airflow
Mosquitoes are not active when winds are above 10 mph. You can try to imitate that by using a fan. It will also help to dissipate the carbon dioxide you produce, which may help keep the mosquitoes away. The noise may distract you from the buzzing of mosquitoes.
What Should You Avoid Doing?
Here are some of the things you shouldn’t do when it comes to camping and mosquitoes.
Avoid Camping Near Water or Forest Undergrowth
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Avoid camping near water. Mosquitoes also rest in dense undergrowth, so avoid camping near forests.
Avoid Outdoor Activities During Dawn or Dusk
Mosquitoes tend to be more active when it is not in the heat of the day. Being outside during their prime hours of dawn or dusk can increase your chances of getting bitten.
Avoid Wearing Dark Clothing
Mosquitoes are attracted to black and darker colors of clothing. We recommend you wear lighter colors of clothing, in layers for the best protection.
Avoid Ingestion of Chemicals
If you use a mosquito repellant with chemicals like DEET, permethrin, or picaridin, avoid getting it in your mouth. That means close your mouth when applying the spray and wash your hands before eating or touching your face.
Avoid Flames Near Children
If you have small children, teach them to stay away from flames. Avoid using citronella candles or torches to prevent potential fire hazards when small children are around.
These are some commonly asked questions we get about avoiding mosquitoes. You can buy products to repel mosquitoes at your local drug store.
What Smells Make Mosquitoes Go Away?
There are several scents that make mosquitoes go away. You can buy mosquito-repellent products in liquid or powder form. To help ward off mosquitoes, you can try using essential oils or products that include the following scents:
What Can You Spray Outside To Keep Mosquitoes Away?
Mosquito foggers use a combination of water and essential oils to create a fog of repellant that is safe for people to breathe in. The fog usually lasts up to three days for a long-term solution to outdoor comfort.
For a DIY option, you can try combining two teaspoons of water with one cup of water. Put this in a spray bottle and mist it to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Does Vicks Vapor Rub Repel Mosquitoes?
The menthol in Vicks Vapor Rub repels mosquitoes. You can dab some of the rub on your wrists, ankles, neck, inner elbows, and behind the knees. Body warmth in these areas will keep the scent alive and repelling.
You can also use Vicks Vapor Rub to soothe mosquito bites. Use your finger or a q-tip to apply a small dab of the ointment on the bite. The menthol in the rub helps to relieve itchiness and discomfort.
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, wear long layers of clothing and use repellant on exposed skin. To keep mosquitoes out of your trailer, you can use mosquito netting and deploy scents they dislike, such as citronella or peppermint. Avoid camping near breeding areas.