Keeping Irritating Insects Out While Camping

The Scottish biting midge could strike fear into the most hardened of campers, but these little blighters are not the only insects that can be a pain while you are camping. Whether you are in the Scottish Highlands or the Norfolk Broads, or anywhere in between, insects are a fact of life for summer campers. But that does not have to mean that you must put up with them coming inside your tent, caravan or motorhome.

First things first, check your equipment before you go. A modern tent with a sown in groundsheet and good quality seams should not allow many insects to enter. Mesh door panels and window areas on many tents allow air flow without letting them in. Before going camping in the summer it is a good idea to check these areas for holes and rips. Likewise, check your motorhome or caravan for any gaps or fissures on windows or skylights where insects could get in.

It is important to note that most insects will do no harm at all and simply by opening a door you are bound to get one or two little things inside – who cares? Mostly, it is possible to live and let live – it is just insects that keep flying in your face, or any that bite, that can pose an irritation. The good news is that there are certain things you can do to minimise the hassle (and possibly itching and pain) in your camping quarters.

If you are in a very midge-filled area or can see many annoying insects about, it should go without saying but you should be careful about when you open your doors. It is usually a good idea to keep doors shut as much as possible during the hours of dawn and dusk, when they are at their worst. Running a fan and creating a wind will discourage many insects, while burning citronella candles and using various essential oils used in moderation around the space may also help to keep them away. (Do not use sprays with DEET near tent or other fabrics, as these can be damaged by the harsh chemicals.) Some people use an oil lamp with a slowly dispersed insect repellent but obviously this should not be used inside. It may, however, be a solution for campsites in a midge field.

Of course we all go camping to enjoy nature – insects included, but there are sensible ways that you can make your space your own and avoid coming back with itchy bites. Try to use natural solutions and take sensible precautions with your equipment to make sure you are not bothered by biting or irritating insects.