How to deal with mosquitos outdoors
Hiking and camping can be the most beautiful part of the week…until the mosquitos come. They just keep coming and seem to never leave you alone until you’re back home with dozens of tiny, itchy bites. However, much to our relief, there are many ways to keep them away and continue to enjoy the beauty of hiking and camping trips.
Using natural oils
Many natural oils are famous for keeping mosquitos away while on an adventure. One of the most powerful is citronella oil. The oil can be applied behind the ears and on the wrists, or on a piece of fabric. The mosquitos (and other pests) are repelled by the strong scent of essential oils and tend to be repelled by them. Some other oils commonly used as repellents are lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, and neem oil.
The cooling feel of peppermint oil is known to provide relief to the itchiness in case of a bite as well.
Another effective way to use the oils would be to create a repellent spray and spray it on yourself before heading out. Here is a great, non-toxic recipe from organixx.com.
Also, check out these cool natural plant-based tea light candles that will help you deal with them in a better way:
From most of my research, these ones seem to be the best to get at only $10
Non-Toxic DIY Essential Oil Mosquito Repellent – Organixx
If you’re not sure how your skin will react to the oils, it would be safer to spray them on your clothes or headwear instead.
If you are unable to access the ingredients needed, many natural repellants can be found online.
Using herbs in a bonfire
In case you are camping or sitting by a bonfire, and want to keep the pests away without having to spray everything around you, burning dried herbs such as sage and rosemary is also known to keep mosquitos away.
Mosquitos tend to stay away from smoke in general, but to be completely safe, the herbs will make sure they stay away. When a bonfire is not letting out much smoke, the fire may actually attract more pests. Burning dried bundles of sage or rosemary in your nightly bonfire will be a sure-fire way to stay bite-free all night.
This trick not only keeps most bugs away but also leaves your bonfire smelling wonderful.
What if I’m asleep?
While you may be taking all these precautions during the day, when you’re asleep is when they seem to be the most active. Do not worry, there are still many ways to keep them away.
Spraying or applying essential oils is a great way to make sure you may sleep in peace. Use the recipe linked above or one of your own preferences. Applying lavender oil spray to your pillow will act as a double benefit, as lavender is known to help you fall asleep and repel bugs.
If you do not have any oils on hand, congestion balm can serve the same purpose, such as vapor rub or any other strong scented minty balm. Not to mention it will help you breathe properly, also aiding in a good night’s sleep.
Burning some coffee grounds in a fire-safe dish outside the tent is a very common way to keep all bugs away as well. However, it smells unpleasant, and if not handled properly, could be a fire hazard.
In case of a bite
You’ve been bitten, what now? The first thing you should do is wash it with soap and water. If you don’t have them on hand, wipes are great too. Avoid scratching it. Scratching may lead to bleeding and breakage of the skin, which makes the risk of infection very high. Apply an ice pack if it is available to help reduce the swelling and itching.
Treating the itching
Honey: if you have honey on hand, clean the bite first and apply honey to the affected area. This universal healer is anti-inflammatory and will help relieve you from itching.
Salves and Balms: Salves and balms are an excellent thing to keep on hand when on an outdoor adventure. You can find many itch relief salves in drugstores and pharmacies or you can make your own using the recipes linked below.
Homemade Anti-Itch Cream for Bug Bites – Living Well Mom
Homemade Afterbite (anti-itch salve for mosquito bites) (icanteachmychild.com)
DIY black drawing salve for mosquito bites – The Makeup Dummy
Making a mosquito trap:
Keeping mosquito traps around your tent will grant you the relief you are searching for. You can either purchase them online or make one of your own. Here is a simple trap recipe from wikihow.com:
To make a mosquito trap, fill a bucket halfway with water and mix in 4 drops of dish soap to remove the surface tension of the water. As a result, the mosquitos will drown when they try to lay their eggs in the water.
Putting a light under the bucket may help attract them if you are not catching any in your traps.
Some other methods to protect yourself are:
-Eating a lot of garlic so that your sweat is not as appealing to the mosquitos
-Wearing long-sleeved clothing, in case of heat wear lighter colors or thinner materials.
-Using apple cider vinegar traps
Outdoor adventures should be as stress-free as possible. Eliminating the worry of horrid, blood-sucking mosquitos can help calm your mind and keep your trip fun and itch-free. Follow our guide to dealing with mosquitos and you should be all set. Best of luck in your adventures.
written by Yara Farah
Don’t forget to check out my other blog posts too