There are few things as annoying as getting all cozied up and ready for bed, crawling into your comfy sheets or sleeping bag, closing your eyes, and hearing a mosquito buzzing around your head! Mosquitos are not just irritating.
They can also be dangerous because they sometimes carry diseases like Dignity Fever, West Nile, Zika, Chikungunya, Malaria, and Lime Disease. However, don’t let these disease-carrying pests scare you away from enjoying your camping trip.
So, how do you keep those pesky mosquitos out of your RV or camper van?
From tried-and-true methods to unique natural hacks, here are 10 tips to keep mosquitoes far, far away while camping.
1. Keep Your Windows and Doors Closed and Seal Up Cracks
The first thing you can do to keep mosquitos out of your RV or camper is to be sure to keep all of your doors and windows closed, especially at dawn and dusk.
Of course, that’s harder to do when it’s hot outside, so mosquito nets are a good solution.
You can buy some at most camping stores or make your own if you like DIY projects!
Some companies produce mosquito nets fitted for particular van or RV that seal all the way around the door and leave you with plenty of fresh air to enjoy.
Also, look for cracks or gaps where mosquitos might sneak into your camper or RV, and if you see any, get some rubber trim and apply it to the area to seal the gap.
Remember, mosquitos can be tiny, so even the slightest opening can provide an entry point for the little buggers.
2. Mosquito Net Awning
Many RVers are using mosquito net awnings. You can buy one online from Amazon or at many outdoor and camping stores.
It creates a small bug-free room that you attach to your vehicle, allowing you to eat or work in peace.
Plus, it makes some shade and allows you to enjoy time out of direct sunlight.
3. Try To Avoid Camping Near Water
If you love being around water and the sound of the ocean instantly calms your spirit, not camping near water may not be something you’re willing to consider.
But, like it or not, remember that mosquitoes love water, especially stagnant water. They also love dense forests.
If you must camp near water, look for flowing rivers or the ocean. Stagnant lakes or ponds are nothing but trouble! Vast deserts are a great place to avoid mosquitos but watch out for scorpions!
Mosquitos are also not usually found in high altitudes, so why not head to the mountains! The mountainous air will keep you cooler at night and primarily mosquito-free!
4. Avoid Foods That Attract Mosquitos
Did you know that mosquitos are attracted to certain foods? That nightly glass of red wine might calm your nerves, but it will also attract mosquitos! Yep, mosquitos have a sweet tooth!
These are just some of the many types of foods that can attract mosquitos:
5. Use Good Ventilation
Have you ever wondered how mosquitos always seem to find us? Mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 emitted from our bodies.
They also like the heat we generate. Using a fan can dissipate the CO2 and heat, so it’s not as concentrated in just one area.
It also makes it harder for mosquitoes to fly because they get swept away in the air current.
At the very least, the sound of your fan may hide the sound of their irritating high-pitched buzzing.
6. Build A Campfire
There’s nothing quite like sitting around a campfire staring at the stars at night. Good news! Mosquitoes hate smoke, so a campfire is a superb way of fending them off!
You can stay up late gazing at the flames and sharing stories and keep the bugs away at the same time! Building a campfire is an excellent way to stay outside late while avoiding bugs.
7. Use Bug Spray
Bug spray may help keep you from getting bitten by a mosquito, but it won’t keep them away.
You’ll likely still see the mosquitos and hear them, but it’s an excellent plan to use bug repellent along with some of these other techniques, such as a campfire.
You can also buy little coiled insect repellent bracelets and wear them to help deter mosquitos.
They might not be attractive, but they are pretty effective, especially if you wear more than one.
Try to stick with a more natural bug spray with eucalyptus or tea tree oil as one of the key ingredients.
That way, when you take a shower, you won’t be polluting the groundwater with harsh chemicals.
8. Wear Long Sleeves and Long Pants
Another way to prevent mosquito bights when camping is to wear extra layers of clothing as even thin layers can be an effective mosquito deterrent.
Even if it’s hot out, you can wear a thin long-sleeved shirt and long pants. An additional bonus is that wearing long sleeves and pants will also prevent sunburn!
One more thing about keeping mosquitos away from your campsite; try to avoid wearing black because mosquitos are more attracted to the color black.
9. Light Citronella Candles
Of course, if you would rather not cover your body with products, even natural ones, there are always citronella candles.
They aren’t always super effective, but they provide an additional protection layer when used with bug spray or a campfire.
The candles also provide a little ambiance and some gentle indirect lighting inside your van or RV.
10. Use Bug Zapper
Last but not least, if you have access to a suitable power source and extension cord, try a bug zapper.
It won’t only kill mosquitos but also flies and other annoying insects. You can also hang up sticky traps, which many commercial greenhouses use.
Insects are attracted to their odor and color and get stuck to them.
During my first few months in Mexico, I was eaten alive by mosquitos! I had welts covering my body, and nothing seemed to help.
Then suddenly, they just stopped biting me, and now I seldom get bitten by a mosquito. It seems like my body eventually became more immune.
Some people are more susceptible to mosquito bites than others. Factors like genetics and the presence of lactic acid make certain people more vulnerable.
Your metabolic rate can also influence whether or not you’re seen as a tasty snack. Insects are everywhere, and if you’re going to enjoy RV life or van life, you need to learn to adapt.
We live in their environment, not the other way around. Remember that insects serve a purpose.
Birds and frogs eat insects, so they are an essential part of our ecosystem.
Maybe changing your perspective from that of predator to partner will help you be more tolerant of mosquitos.
But taking proper precautions like covering your body and closing up your RV at dawn and dusk can make RV life a much more comfortable experience, and help keep mosquitos out of your camper