There’s nothing quite as relaxing as sitting at a campfire under the stars, surrounded by the beauty of nature. That is until nature attacks, and you find yourself being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
Rather than spraying chemicals into the air and your lungs, there are various DIY approaches you can take to keeping mosquitoes and other pests at bay. Here are some of the amazing products you’ll want to take with you on your next camping trip.
There are plenty of essential oils you can use to deter mosquitoes while experiencing the great outdoors. Rather than putting your DIY skills to the test, using a blend of essential oils mixed with a carrier oil creates a simple, ready-to-use bug repellent that won’t harm the environment.
Some of the most common essential oils used for this purpose are citronella (naturally), lemongrass, tea tree oil, and mint. To offset the strong smells, you can use petunia as well. As petunia plants are a natural deterrent to mosquitoes, the essential oil of this plant creates an effective, fragrant repellent.
When using essential oils, be sure to apply them with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or grapeseed oil. This is especially important when applying the oils to children, as their skin is often more sensitive and prone to reactions. Keep your mixture stored away from pets, as some essential oils are toxic to our furry friends.
If you don’t feel comfortable applying the repellent to your skin, consider putting it into a diffuser meant for large spaces. It will have the same impact as a citronella candle.
Smoldering Egg Cartons
Forget about packing expensive citronella candles to take camping. Instead, you can use old egg cartons and coffee trays to create an effective deterrent without smoking out the area. Not only does this method keep mosquitoes away, but it also repels black flies, hornets, and wasps!
Carefully light the corner of an egg carton or coffee tray on fire, then blow out the flame. Set the carton on a plate or in a metal bucket near where you’re sitting. The carton will burn slowly and flamelessly, emitting a light smoke that won’t be bothersome or overwhelming. As it’s not an open flame, this method is less risky than candles, especially during the dry season.
Lemon Halves with Cloves
For a mosquito repellent with a pleasing scent, use lemons and cloves to create your own repellent. Simply halve a few lemons, leaving the juice inside, and insert fresh cloves into the lemon flesh. Set them around your common area and watch mosquitoes disappear. Whatever it is about this combination of scents, the pests don’t like it and will work to avoid it.
For even better results, set the lemons at the edge of your campfire or near candles, as the heat seemingly boosts the impact of this DIY method.
Bring Mosquito Repelling Plants
If you have a garden at home, plant flora that has natural pest deterring properties. Lemongrass, mint, catnip, and petunia– the same plants that have effective essential oils– all keep pests at bay. Before you go camping, make a cutting of some of your plants, wrap them in twine, and bring them to hang around your campsite. As the plants dry, the fragrance will keep pests at bay.
A word of warning: catnip may result in visitors to your campsite, so combine it with other plants to mask the smell from nearby felines. This DIY approach is renewable and good for the environment. It’s also an affordable option if you camp regularly or spend lots of time outdoors at home.
Don’t let mosquitoes get in the way of your next great adventure. Use any of the DIY methods listed above and enjoy a chemical-free, bug-free getaway.