Many people want to know how to avoid insects while camping. The truth is when you go camping you are in insect territory. There’s no way to completely avoid insects, but there are a lot of things you can do to cut down the likelihood that you’ll have a bad experience with them. The most obvious is to wear insect repellent and to avoid wearing clothes that are really bright. You should also forego the perfume. Smelling nice and sweet is akin to throwing out the welcome mat for bugs to feast on you.
Here are some insects you should know about and steps you can take to avoid them while camping:
Spiders: The black widow spider and the brown recluse spider are two spiders you really want to avoid while camping. The black widow spider is shaped like an hourglass and will have a red, orange, or white spot on her underside, or stomach. The brown recluse spider is brown and has a spot on its back that resembles a violin. To avoid these spiders, don’t stick your hands in dark places and wear gloves when rummaging through brush or picking up sticks and logs for a campfire. You’ll know instantly if you’ve been bitten by a black widow, but it may be a few hours before you feel the affects of a brown recluse bite.
Scorpions: Since they are nocturnal, scorpions generally only come out at night. Scorpion stings are very painful. To avoid crossing paths with a scorpion while camping, always shake out shoes, clothes, bedding, bags, and camping gear before you use them. If you go walking around after dark, wear shoes that will protect your feet. Flip flops and sandals won’t protect your feet against scorpions, so wear protective footwear.
Wasps, Bees and Other Stingers: To avoid bees and wasps while camping, be careful when you are around flowering trees, shrubs, and flowers. You should also be mindful of garbage cans. Many stinging insects will swarm around them because they are full of food. Be on guard when walking around trees, too. Bees will nest in hollowed out areas of trees. A trick many campers swear by to keep yellow jackets away from picnic tables is to lay out Bounce dryer sheets. For some reason they seem to repel most yellow jackets.
Ticks: When you are walking in areas that are prone to have ticks, wear long pants and tuck your pants into your socks or boots. You should also wear shirts that cover your arms and tuck your shirt into your pants. Check your clothes regularly to see if a tick has attached itself to you. Once you return back to your campground, have someone check your head and the back of your neck for ticks.
No one wants to socialize with insects. With a few safety measures you can drastically cut down the chances that you’ll have a bad bug experience while camping.