Summer means one thing - time to head out camping with the family, enjoying hiking, biking, barbequing and making memories around the campfire. However, nothing can take the fun out of your camping trip quicker than the buzz and bite of mosquitoes in your campsite.
While no preventive measures can guarantee a bite free experience, there are things you can do to keep your encounters with these pesky blood suckers to a minimum.
- Mosquitoes love to rest in tall grass and on the undersides of leaves. Therefore, that shady campsite that looks so inviting is probably a sanctuary for the blood thirsty critters. Try to find a campsite that minimizes places for them to hide.
- According to entomologists, mosquitoes aren’t active when wind gusts exceed 10 miles per hour, so set up your camp in an open area that gets a good breeze.
Mosquitoes Like Still Water - This May Not Be The Best Choice Of Campsite During Mosquito Season
The clothing you wear is your first line of defense against mosquitoes. The insects are drawn to body heat and the carbon dioxide (CO2) you exhale. Covering your skin with long pants and long sleeve shirts, along with a hat or hood, in light colors that reflect heat makes it harder for them to find you. Clothes produced from polyester or woven nylon are thicker and therefore are better than cotton or other thinner fabrics.
Time of day: The hours around dawn and dusk seem to be the time mosquitoes are most active in campgrounds. Plan activities that keep you in your RV or away from your campsite during these parts of the day. A sunset walk is always a great alternative to sitting in camp at dusk. It is also worth noting that mosquitoes are not active below 50° F.
Plan Activities Inside Your RV During Peak Times Of Mosquioto Activity
- – Try the age old recipe of two household baking ingredients to keep mosquitoes away. To ward off mosquitoes, mix two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract and one cup of water in a trigger-spray bottle and mist yourself with the fragrant solution.
- – In the United States, citronella oil is classified as a biopesticide with a non-toxic action which repels mosquitoes. Several lit citronella candles around camp typically are sufficient to deter them.
- – We have all covered ourselves and children with “bug spray” and it is still one of the most effective methods for fending off all types of biting insects. DEET is one of the most effective chemicals known and is found in many RVers cupboards. Depending on the level of DEET in the bug repellant you purchase, it’s typically effective for a couple of hours or more. The higher the concentration the more effective it is, so if you are in a high density mosquito area buy repellant with a higher concentration of DEET. Deep Woods Off, Repel 100 and MAXI DEET are just a few examples. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's directions and heed their warnings.
- – Permethrin is another remedy. It’s an insecticide that can only be used on clothing and camping gear and is long lasting. You can buy it as a spray which you can apply to your own clothing and gear to repel and kill mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and other pests. Permethrin infused clothing is also an option with some manufacturers promising effectiveness for the life of the garment.
Portable and wearable technology is becoming more popular in the fight against mosquitoes. One example is ThermaCall repellers which use a tiny butane flame to heat a repellent wafer, which creates an invisible, odorless area of protection. Some models even incorporate a battery-powered lantern providing light to your campsite.
For clearing large areas of mosquitoes, consider a Mosquito Magnet® trap. This unique product works by mimicking our exhaled breath which attracts mosquitoes. Through its exclusive technology the trap converts propane into CO2, mixes it with the precise level of heat, moisture and attractant to lure mosquitoes to the trap and then vacuums mosquitoes into the net where they dehydrate and die.
By utilizing the tips above you can get out there and camp without worrying about being bugged by pesky mosquitoes. Enjoy your summer camping in the Northwest.