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How to Keep Mosquitoes Away While Camping or in the Backyard

Updated on August 24, 2016
Mosquito sales woman - cartoon spreading malaria disease to homes.
Mosquito sales woman - cartoon spreading malaria disease to homes. | Source

Mosquitoes Are Deadly

Everyone has experienced the annoying pests as they fly onto your skin and suck your blood to nourish themselves. What some may not know is that with every mosquito bite on your body your chance of contracting a disease spread by these little suckers increases.

The bone breaking Dengue virus, natures Dengue virus upgrade the Chikungunya virus. Yellow Fever, Malaria, various forms of Encephalitis which creates one of the scariest symptoms (brain swelling), and even West Nile Virus are some of them.

So, how do we avoid these little killer vampires? These are my simple and possibly obvious tips and tricks learned from summer camping trips into the Florida Everglades.

Watch how this sucker grows in one minute!


Mosquito & other Pest Repellents

Simple Mosquito repellent Spray will do the trick. Most brands of mosquito spray comes in a small spray bottle or sometimes can which is safely sprayed onto your skin, the most effective ingredients against the suckers in these widely available sprays are deet and picaridin.

  • **DEET **---- N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide
  • **Picaridin** ---- KBR 3023

This keeps mosquitoes away as well as other annoying bugs too. A few bucks helping is worth it to prevent a hit from a potential deadly disease spreading mosquito. Some repellents are lotion like and even available in lemon and other aromas or scentless if you like.

Do Coils work?

I Highly Do Not recommend burn coils but Small burn coils do help sometimes, they only cover small areas and usually burn out too quickly while creating uncontrollable smoke.

Many of them also have funny smells as they burn. For this reason they probably disturb rather than help. They are helpful for something like a backyard patio or deck, as long as proper ventilation is in place.

Too much wind and it blows away becoming useless, too tight of a space such as a room or garage can easily become a smokebox of toxic harmful fumes from these coils.

TIki torches placed outdoors for a family reunion are effectively used by spreading them out evenly.
TIki torches placed outdoors for a family reunion are effectively used by spreading them out evenly.

For the quickest & easiest back yard or camp sites stick to Tiki Torches, they look great too!

Most Tiki Torches use citronella oil as Torch fluid and some have petroleum based Eucalyptus added which while burning keeps away bugs and mosquitoes.

Burn smoke has a slightly pleasant soft aroma some say. Available in many designs and styles to fit your liking but the most common are about 5 foot high average. They provide plenty of light for any reunion when used together correctly as the flame burns.

Tiki Torches burning with Citronella Oil.
Tiki Torches burning with Citronella Oil.

Burn It Up!

A bonfire will put smoke into the air and keep the mosquitoes, along with other pests away. Always be sure you build a properly sustained bonfire that won't get out of control. Some simple guidelines for preventing forest fires is always a top priority.

The bugs may be attracted to the light of the fire, but once they feel the heat and smoke they'll be gone for a good while. Besides, what's a camping trip without a good ole' bonfire?

You can also make some toasted marshmallows, chocolate s'mores, hot dogs, or anything else that might be enjoyed as a good snack. All that fun in the wilderness is bound to bring the hunger on.

Keep a Distance From Sitting Water

Posting a tent by the lake is a favorite spot for many. It's also the mosquitoes favorite spot to lay eggs and hang out. The first thing you'll run into when first waking up in the morning are swarms of the mosquitoes and other bugs.

Maybe even an alligator basking in the sun, If they are in your area that is.

Anyway, keep your distance and don't leave containers filled with sitting water around. Even a shot glass with a bit of water in it is large enough for a mosquito to leave future offspring.

  • Fishing buckets
  • Holes and small cavities in Trees
  • Barbeque grilles
  • Pots and pans
  • Cups with drinks from your last meal
  • Plastic bags, tin cans and other water resistant materials that may be lying around which can hold water
  • Tires which are easily overlooked because the water sits on the inner area
  • Storm Drains
  • Leaking equipment, faucets, hoses, gutters..

Mosquitoes can lay the eggs today and by the next day they will be hatching and flying out into the world to attack those who are unprotected. Keep your guard up as much as possible. Especially during national alerts.

Mosquito lamps are great for smaller outdoor areas

Perfumes and Body Sprays

All those things that smell good are a great way to attract the mosquitoes. So it's in your best interest to avoid covering yourself from top to bottom if your planning an adventure into the great outdoors.

A little deodorant should do the trick for you, scentless of course. Your sweat will attract the mosquitoes so try to keep it down as much as you can. Sometimes you just can't help but sweat, it's all up to your body type.

If that is the case you want to change clothes at least once throughout the day to have on a fresh and clean outfit, therefore keeping them away.

Certain Clothing Colors Attract Mosquitos

Some have told me the color of your clothing can attract bugs as well. Such as, bright vs. dark colored clothing will attract them to you. Always wearing dark clothing when camping, (dark greens and browns) to blend in with nature, and it helps keep a happy camper happy.

Wearing bright clothing (White, Red, Yellow, Orange) is a something that perhaps may not attract only mosquitoes but many other bugs and pests nobody wants. Bright vivid color is nature's natural way of attracting bees and insects to flowers and fruits for the pollination process. That may be why bugs come around more often when wearing bright colors.

Besides, there are many different opinions about the clothing colors affecting the way mosquitoes are attracted to you. Maybe you can experiment with the clothing and see if there is any difference at all for you. In any case, make sure you keep the deadly mosquitoes away!

Quick facts

Now you've got some knowledge before declaring war versus these bugs, and some things to keep in mind.

  • One mosquito can have potentially 1200 offspring!!!
  • Light and bright colors attract insects, wear dark clothing to avoid them
  • Mosquitos carry deadly diseases which can kill in short time periods
  • The mosquito utilizes an anesthetic in its saliva that is injected when it bites, this is why we may not feel pain at times when bitten.
  • Only the female mosquito bites, the male feeds on plant and fruit nectar.


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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Really good information! Thank you for the helpful suggestions.