Nothing ruins a nighttime campfire more than a swarm of mosquitoes. You’d rather focus on the fire, the stars, and the conversation with friends and family. But those little blood suckers are relentless. So, how do you keep mosquitoes away from your camp?
Keeping Mosquitoes Away From Your Camp
Citronella Tiki Torches – do a pretty good job of warding off mosquitoes. The problem is that most people don’t use enough of them. Get about eight of these tiki torches and set them up in a circle with a 20 foot radius from the campfire. Make sure to keep a watch on the torches in case a wind swells up and blows out the torches.
Citronella Firewood – Citronella is a shrub that you can buy in many garden centers. It produces a scent that will repel mosquitoes. Grow this at your home, then harvest it and let it dry over a week. Then, bring it with you when you go camping. As a firewood it will drive mosquitoes away.
Eucalyptus Firewood – Eucalyptus trees produce an oil that naturally repels mosquitoes and gnats, and its smokes is highly effective. Eucalyptus firewood is generally sold by private party, usually advertised through Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. If you cannot find Eucalyptus firewood, most other wood smoke will still have a weaker ability to repel mosquitoes.
Throw Sage Into the Fire – Gather sprigs of fresh sage and throw one into the campfire every few minutes. The smell of burning sage is a natural mosquito repellent. The specific variety of sage we are talking about is Salvia officinalis, the same stuff you buy in the produce section of a grocery store.
Thermacell Repellent Device – This is a personal device that you clip to your belt, or lay next to you on table, which repels mosquitoes and gnats using a synthetic form of chrysanthemum oil. The device uses a small heating element powered by butane that heats the oil and releases the odor that mosquitoes and gnats hate. It only works within a 5 foot radius from your body, hence you will need one device for each person sitting around the campfire. You can buy these at Wal-Mart or online from Amazon. (see it on Amazon)
Spray Your Clothing With Repellent – Deet-based repellents still works better than anything else, even with the toughest of mosquitoes. It can also be toxic if it gets into your body. Instead, spray a hoodie with repellent, making sure to get the front and back, arms, and hood. If you don’t want to use Deet, use a lemon-eucalyptus oil blend (which you can find at camping stores or Wal-Mart).
Permethrin– is a highly effective repellent based on oils expressed from Chrysanthemum flowers. It’s as effective as Deet. You can find it at Wal-Mart and Menards, or online at Amazon. But you have to be very careful applying this stuff. Apply only on clothing. Make sure to remove the clothing from your body first, and make sure the oil has dried. This stuff will give you terrible rashes if it comes in contact with your skin.
Stay Fully Clothed – Don’t wear shorts, don’t wear sandals, don’t wear short-sleeved shirts, and don’t wear clothing made with thin material. If it’s warm outside, then spray your shirt and pants with repellent. Wear a hat, and spray it with repellent also.
Bug Zappers – These electric devices work pretty well in killing mosquitoes and other flying insects. They are powered from 120 volt, but you can plug them into your RV’s outdoor electrical outlet. Mosquitoes are not necessarily attracted to light, but most bug zappers will include some kind of mosquito attractant. Set this up well away from your campfire to keep insects away from you
Eat Lots of Garlic – As odd as it may seem, the oil in garlic will leech out of your skin and act as a mild insect repellent. It will only be effective with weaker mosquitoes, but it’s just one more weapon to add to your arsenal.
Don’t Camp Near Water – Mosquitoes require bodies of water to breed. The further away you can get from lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, will decrease the population of mosquitoes around your camp.