Nothing ruins a camping trip faster than an invasion of flies, mosquitoes, ants and other annoying bugs. Not only are bugs irritating, but they can get into your food, give you bites and literally get under your skin. Since there are an estimated 200 million insects for every person, completely escaping bugs when outdoors is nearly impossible. However, there are a number of things you can to do avoid bothersome bugs while camping.
Pick the right campsite
One of the first steps when you're going camping is to pick a campsite. You can significantly reduce the amount of bugs you have to deal with if the campsite is away from bug breeding spots. Gnats, flies and mosquitoes tend to cluster around stagnant water, such as old puddles and standing ponds. Even though you may be tempted to set up camp on the shore of a lake, the water attracts plenty of mosquitoes. If possible, try to select a location in a clearing.
Stay away from areas where there might be bugs
Certain areas have a higher number of insects, so if you're exploring the woods, be cautious of these locations. Areas with tall grass or thick shrubbery often harbor a number of bugs. Ticks are known to hide in tall grass and on highly traveled deer trails where they can easily jump on and off hosts. Also, beware of anthills, beehives and spiderwebs. When you've finished hiking through woody areas, make sure to check yourself for any bites or parasites like ticks.
Wear appropriate clothing
Sometimes, simply wearing the right clothes will help deter bugs and prevent bites. While it may be tempting to wear shorts and tee shirts while camping, wearing proper camping clothes, such as long-sleeve shirts and pants, is ideal. Covering up your skin helps prevent bugs, like ticks and mosquitoes, from getting onto your body. Some bugs are attracted to bold colors and patterns that resemble flowers, so try to stay away from red, yellow and orange clothing. Also, strongly scented hygiene products are beacons to bugs, so avoid spraying perfume.
Use bug repellent
A few squirts of bug repellent is usually enough to keep a number of insects like mosquitoes and flies away. There are many different types of repellents to choose from, including sprays, creams and lotions. You can naturally repel bugs by building a fire, because insects dislike smoke.
The easiest way to keep bugs away is to clean up after yourself. Constantly leaving food bits, trash and other stuff out will draw in bugs from all over. If you have trash that could potentially draw in bugs because of its smell, try to seal it off in Ziploc bags so the scent does not waft.
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