Along with camping comes the occasional bug, whether it be mosquitoes, ticks, bees, gnats, etc. It’s the less fun part of the great outdoors.
However, you can control how much the bugs love you, or even if they’re around the area you’ve chosen to set up your tent or RV. Here are some tips:
- Flying insects such as mosquitoes and gnats, even other bugs, like to hang around areas where there is standing water. Puddles, lakes, creeks … avoid these areas and avoid the bugs.
- Along those same lines, avoid areas where the grass is tall. Insects tend to lurk in these areas.
- Don’t leave any food, especially sweet items, laying around your campsite. Bugs and insects are of course drawn to crumbs and sweet bits of food. Be especially careful with soft drink cans and bees. Bees are drawn to sweet soft drink cans. I’ve known many people with bee stings on their lip because they took a drink without checking for bees. Ouch!
- Insects are drawn to bright colors so wear subdued clothing. Also, cover up as much of your skin as you can.
- Bugs are also drawn to fragrances so be careful with perfumes, colognes and deodorants. Choose fragrance free options when you can.
- You can also try spraying bug repellent around the perimeter of your campsite. Apply repellent to exposed areas of skin; avoiding the eyes, hands and any open sores.
- Our little bug friends are drawn to light so avoid hanging lanterns and lights near where you’ll be sitting or sleeping.
- If your four-legged friends are along, make sure they’ve been flea and tick treated with a product such as Frontline.
- Build a campfire. Insects aren’t fond of smoke.
- Many bugs don’t like citrus or coconut. Use lotions or soaps that have coconut oil or citrus to keep bugs at bay.
- If you do get bitten or stung, you can reduce swelling with ice.
- If you’re itchy, you can use some calamine lotion or hydro-cortisone cream. These supplies should always be in your first-aid kit.
- Ticks are dangerous and can carry diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme disease. It’s a good idea to check your body periodically for ticks. Should you find a tick, remove it immediately and watch the area closely.
- Fevers, rashes or infections should be reported to your doctor right away.
- A great sting remedy that’s always worked well for me is to mix a little white vinegar with baking soda and make a thick paste. Apply the paste to the sting to ease the itchiness, swelling, and discomfort.