How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Tent

You don't want these creepy insects getting inside your tent...
You don’t want these creepy insects getting inside your tent…

We’d be willing to bet that anyone that has gone camping in the Summer finished their camping trip with mosquito bites. It’s very common and extremely uncomfortable. But how can you avoid these creepy crawlies if you still want to go camping? It turns out that there are several arrows you can have in your quiver: from bug repellents and natural remedies to mosquito nets, if you know what you’re doing, you can be relatively safe against bugs. Let’s take a look

Bug Repellents and Insect Repellents

Bug spray or insect repellents that contain active ingredients like DEET or picaridin are the best if you want to repell mosquitoes, ticks, and other bugs. If you apply these to your skin and clothes you’ll form a protective barrier against any undesired insects.

But what if for some reason you don’t want to apply industrial formulas to your skin?

Don’t worry: you won’t be left alone in the fight against insects.

You can use natural alternatives, where you create your own natural insect repellent. The three most common are:

  • Mixing essential oils known for their bug-repelling properties, such as citronella, eucalyptus, or lemon eucalyptus with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil

  • Diluting apple cider vinegar in water and transferring the solution to a spray bottle to create an effective bug-repelling spray

  • Finally, creating a scent around your camping area with citronella candles is also a great idea, as insects hate this fragrance

Setting Up Protective Barriers

Investing in a good quality mosquito net is a game-changer – we highly recommend you buy one.

A mosquito net will create a physical barrier that protects you from any bugs while still allowing for optimal airflow (extremely useful if you’re camping in the summer).

Just make sure that the net is securely fastened to prevent bugs from breaking in and always remember to keep your tent zipped up when not in use – then you’re good to go.

Proper Campsite Management

They multiply in stagnant water
They multiply in stagnant water

Besides getting a mosquito net and either buying or creating your own insect repellent, you also need to take a few measures in your campsite to avoid mosquitoes:

  • Insects thrive in stagnant water, so make sure you avoid any standing water near your camping area. This is the best way to significantly reduce their breeding grounds

  • Don’t forget to store your food in tightly sealed containers to prevent bugs from being lured by food scents

One Last Tip: Spraying Your Tent

The last weapon you can have in your arsenal is to create a DIY bug-repelling spray to be used over your tent using natural ingredients with bug-deterring properties.

Here’s a simple recipe:


  • Essential oils like citronella, eucalyptus, lemon eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, or a combination of these

  • Water

  • A spray bottle


  1. Fill a spray bottle with water, leaving some space at the top for the essential oils

  2. Add approximately 10-15 drops of an essential oil to the water

  3. Close the spray bottle tightly and shake it well to ensure that the oils mix completely with the water

  4. Before applying the spray to your tent, do a patch test on a small area to ensure that it doesn’t damage your tent fabric

  5. Once the patch test is successful, lightly spray the solution on the exterior and interior surfaces of your tent

    1. Pay special attention to areas where bugs may enter, such as seams, zippers, and openings

  6. Reapply the spray as often as needed, especially after rain or if the tent has been exposed to water, as the solution tends to become less effective over time


Knowing how to keep bugs out of your tent has never been easier. If you take bug repellents or a DYI natural remedy, a mosquito net and take some campsite precautions in your next camping trip, you’ll be well prepared to deal with any mosquitos that try to ruin your fun. If you go camping and don’t take any measures… well, good luck with those itchy bites.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Effective is Apple Cider Vinegar as a Bug Repellent?

When diluted with water and applied as a spray, apple cider vinegar has a strong scent that repels insects and creates a protective barrier around your camping area, reducing your chances of getting mosquito bites.

What are the Best Practices for Storing Food to Avoid Bugs?

You need to store your food in sealed containers if you don’t want bugs to visit you, since these airtight containers reduce the scent of food.

How Do Mosquito Nets Keep Bugs Out During a Camping Adventure?

By mosquito netting you are effectively creating a physical barrier between the inside of your tent and any bugs outside. Mosquito notes can be used for tents or sleeping bags, providing protection while allowing solid ventilation.

Can Citronella Candles Really Repel Insects?

Yes, absolutely. These candles emit a specific fragrance that insects tend to dislike, acting as a natural repellent. When camping, make sure you place your citronella candles around your campsite or near sitting areas.

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