How to Keep the Mosquitoes Away – Staying off the Menu While Camping
Ahh the Summer. Longer days under sun, warm weather to enjoy the outdoors, an of course those pesky mosquitoes. While most of us go on vacation during the summer months, mosquitoes are hard at work trying to ruin our fun. Knowing How to Keep the Mosquitoes Away can greatly increase your outdoor experience.
We all know that mosquitoes carry disease such as the West Niel Virus, Zika, Encephalitis, Dengue fever, Yellow fever and Malaria, but did you know that mosquitoes kill almost 600,000 people a year, making them the deadliest animal to humans, and in my opinion the most annoying.
There’s nothing like a swarm of mosquitoes to chase you inside and ruin your summer fun, except maybe a swarm of bees.
Are You Asking For It?
You might be attracting the mosquitoes and not even know it. Mosquitoes are attracted to our skin odor, the carbon dioxide we exhale, the color clothing we wear, standing water, our body heat and sweat.
If you are type O blood you might feel the mosquitoes always seem to bite you more than everyone else; sorry to tell you, but they do. Your O is like a target for them, and they just love your odor.
From the personal products you use, to how much you sweat, and the clothes you wear, you might just be asking for it.
Selecting Your Campsite
Everyone loves to get a campsite as close to the water as possible. Who wouldn’t? It’s peaceful, beautiful, and you can either swim or fish right outside your tent. If mosquitoes are a problem for you, you might want to reconsider. Try camping just a little further down the waters edge.
When selecting a campsite, look for spots that don’t have a lot of standing water, the dryer the better. Stay away from tall grass and lots of ground debris. Try clearing your site as much as possible before setting up camp.
Big coffee drinker? Start collecting some coffee grounds before your big trip. Throw some on damp areas around your site. The coffee grounds may not repel mosquitoes, but it will sufficient any larvae just waiting to be hatched and take a bite out of you. It’s kill or be killed.
What’s That Smell?
Mosquitoes hate many smells. citronella, clover, cedar wood, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, sage, mint, apple cider vinegar, and there’s so many different ways you can use them to repel mosquitoes.
I love DEET! You can also try making a homemade bug spray using essential oils. Careful as to some essential oils may irritate the skin and need to be diluted with water. You can use any combination from the list above. My rule of thumb is about 30 drops of oil per 1 cup of water.
Natural homemade sprays tend to wear off much faster than those industrial chemicals in commercial bug sprays, so just remember to reapply every couple of hours. You also want to shake the bottle before every use as oils tend to separate from water rather quickly.
Not into essential oils, just spry yourself down with half water half apple cider vinegar. Works very well, and you eventually get use to the smell. definitely beats being on the menu. Apple cider vinegar is very economical. You can spray your entire campground for multiple days with just one bottle.
Don’t want to smell like a salad, try popping in a mint, or brush your teeth with peppermint or mint flavored toothpaste. Keep a fresh orange or lemon peel in your pocket. Bring your lavender dryer sheets with you and put one in your shoe or pants pocket.
Up in Smoke
Many of us are under the misconception that smoke from a fire keeps mosquitoes away. The fact is that most breeds of mosquitoes in the US are more active during dusk hours and less at night. We tend to start our campfires just before it gets dark, sun goes down, fire goes up, and mosquitoes fade away; myth busted.
This doesn’t mean we can’t use smoke to our advantage. Try starting your fire earlier in the day using pinion wood. Pinion wood is sold in many stores as fire wood, and is great at keeping those blood thirsty creatures away. Pinion wood can get a little pricey at a bout $10 a bundle, but works very well. You don’t have to burn it all at once, just put a log in at a time with your other fire wood.
Careful as to many state and national parks prohibit burning of outside firewood. This is to prevent the movement of pests from outside regions that may be harmful, even deadly to the trees in your surrounding area.
Not to worry, bring dried sage and throw in small pieces at a time, or just use it as an incense around your camp site. No outdoor experience is complete without a BBQ. Next time try cooking your foods with rosemary or sage, who knows, you just might be the next top chef.
Best part when using scented smoke to fight off mosquitoes is that the smells sticks on you for a long time. There’s also tons of mosquito repellent candle out there on the market, just keep them close to you for the don’t have a far range of effectiveness.
Making a Fashion Statement
It is well proven fact that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, especially black, navy blue and red. It’s not that they actually see these colors, it’s that they are attracted to the heat retained by them. So if you want to stay cool while on your outing and keep all your blood, I recommend wearing loose fitted light colored clothing that cover as much as your skin as possible.
As mentioned earlier mosquitoes are attracted to heat and our sweet. It may seem impossible not to sweet and stay cool while enjoying the outdoors, but there’s nothing like a cold shower after a long hike. You might want to take many showers in the day just to stay safe.
Make sure you stay away from fruity sweet smelling products. Use something with no scent, or products with lavender or citrus sent. better yet you can make your own products with essential oils that repel mosquitoes.
Who knows, you might like your products more than store bought ones and end up saving hundreds of dollars a year.
When staying cool outdoors there is nothing better than a high powered fan. If you don’t have an electric site, you can always purchase some pretty decent battery operated fans for a reasonable price. I love using my rechargeable batteries to reduce my carbon foot print.
Not only are fans a great way to stay cool, but they do an amazing job at keeping the mosquitoes away as well. Apparently mosquitoes are not so tough after all, they a weak fliers so the more heavy-duty the fan the better and the more the merrier.
Fans also work well because they blow our odors and carbon dioxide away from us.
It’s a Trap
There’s lots of mosquitoes and insect traps out there that you can buy or make, but sometimes simple is best. Now I know I said to stay away from standing water, but I use this to lure these little buggers away from my campsite.
Mosquitoes love yeast which means that they are attracted to beer, and I know most of you don’t go on a camping expedition without at least a 6 pack. It’s not wasting your beer if it’s going to a good cause.
I find anything that can be used as a container. The bottom of a can or plastic bottle, a cup, even a bottle cap, anything that can hold an ounce or two of beer, you don’t need much. Then add a couple of drops of dish soap. Set the traps at least 8 feet away from where everyone plans to hang out.
The yeast attracts these little flying vampires, and the dish soap sticks to them and prevents them from being able to fly away resulting in them drowning.
Revenge is mine!