13 Mosquito Repellent Tricks and Remedies That Actually Work

Woman spraying mosquito repellent on her legs.

13 Effective Tricks to Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Campsite

Did you know that mosquitoes can smell the carbon dioxide in a human’s breath from over 100 feet away? No wonder people are constantly trying to come up with new tricks to keep mosquitoes away from their campsites and RVs.

Mosquitoes are annoying. No one likes being eaten alive as they try to enjoy their time outdoors. Not only are mosquito bites super itchy, but these little pests can also carry many stillwater borne diseases, like West Nile virus.

However, mosquitoes are just one of those things that come with camping.

One of the most amazing things about nature is that we can’t control it. But we can certainly find ways to keep mosquitoes away from us.

Bug spray is great and all, but there are a lot of downsides. It smells bad, it makes you super sticky and greasy, and the chemical solution bothers many campers with sensitive skin. And don’t get us started on accidentally getting that horrible taste in your mouth!

The good news is that bug spray is not your only option. You’d probably be surprised at how many different ways you can repel mosquitoes without it.

It’s time to take back the campsite and stop slapping yourself once and for all!

Try out these tricks to keep mosquitoes away from your campsite, and finally win the war on bugs. No matter what your camping style is, there’s something that will work here.


Sage Plant. Sage can be used as a natural mosquito repellent.

1. Burn Sage

Here’s a great camping hack: add sage to your campfire to repel mosquitoes. They don’t like the smell of sage, so it’s a natural bug deterrent. It’ll keep them from ruining your campfire fun, but the smell will also linger on your skin and clothing as added protection after it’s done burning.

While most humans enjoy the earthy smell of sage, mosquitoes do not. So that means you get to take in a nice aroma while enjoying a bite-free environment.

As an added bonus, ticks also hate sage and will stay away from the smell, too.


Bug spray. DIY mosquito repellent spray.

2. Make a DIY Mosquito Repellent Spray

Lots of people these days are looking for natural ways to repel mosquitoes because they are concerned about the chemicals involved. It’s super easy to make your own DIY mosquito spray, and many of them can be made using household ingredients.

Of course, there are many different versions you could concoct, but try this DIY mosquito repellent spray to bring on your next camping trip.


Bug Band mosquito repellent wristband.

3. Buy Bug Repellent Bracelets

This is another way you can avoid spraying yourself with bug spray and getting sticky. Bug repellent bracelets, like this one from BugBand, just stay on your wrist and release repelling chemicals into the air around you.

These wristbands emit vapours that contain active ingredients to repel many common bugs. It will emit the vapours at a radius around you, forming a shield against bugs.

You don’t need to be wearing it to be shielded, either- it’ll work if you just hang it on your chair or fasten it to something nearby.


Woman pulling dryer sheet from box. Use them as a natural way to repel mosquitoes.

4. Pack Some Extra Dryer Sheets

Dryer sheets are a handy thing to keep while traveling in your RV, even if you aren’t planning on doing any laundry on your trip.

Just placing a dryer sheet in or around the vicinity is enough to keep mosquitoes (and bees!) away from the area. Keep them under tablecloths or closer to food to help deter them when you’re trying to have a late night campfire snack.

You can also keep the dryer sheets in your pockets and they’ll work just the same.


Mint tin with mint leaf inside. Use it for natural mosquito repellent.

5. Get Into Mint

Insects hate the smell of mint, no matter how you use it. So whether you grow the plant in a pot, brush your teeth liberally with mint toothpaste, or suck on mints all day long, they’re less likely to bother you just the same.

Try spraying some mint mouthwash around the campsite or on yourself to get rid of pests. Just pour it into a spray bottle for easy application.


Citronella candle being used as a trick to keep mosquitoes away.

6. Light a Candle

Smoke repels mosquitoes, flies, and some other insects.

Bring a couple tiki torches to your campsite and place them around the area. Citronella candles work, too. If you’re a seasonal RVer who rents a campsite long-term, these are a great way to spruce up your space a bit as well.


Bottles of vinegar. Household items that repel mosquitoes.

7. Harness The Strength of Vinegar

So this one’s only for those who can stand the strong scents, but dabbing yourself with a cotton ball dipped in vinegar will repel mosquitoes. If you really don’t want to put vinegar on your skin, you can try rubbing it on the picnic table or any other surface in the vicinity.


Orange peels on table. Use them for the best mosquito hack.

8. Use Produce Wisely

Certain types of produce can repel mosquitoes when you rub them on your skin. Lemon and orange peels work well if they’re fresh. These citrus scents are very strong for most bugs and will make them less likely to come and visit you.

If you can handle smelling like a salad, an onion will also work for this. Rub the onion on your skin or on nearby surfaces for its mosquito repellent effects.


OFF! Metofluthrin diffuser for clip on bug spray.

9. Try a Metofluthrin Diffuser

This is one of the easiest ways to keep mosquitoes away without having to put anything on your skin. It works for up to 12 hours and provides 84% to 100% protection against mosquitoes.

These gadgets attach to various surfaces and emit the pesticide metofluthrin, a known mosquito repellent. In diffuser form, a battery operated fan will activate the spread of the chemical.


Bottles of essential oil. Use them for DIY bug spray.

10. Bring Out Your Essential Oils

Many people who use essential oils in their everyday lives might already know this, but certain types of essential oils can be used to keep mosquitoes away.

Here are some essential oils that have mosquito repellent properties:

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Geranium essential oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Catnip oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Basil oil

Mix the essential oils together to make another version of a DIY mosquito repellent spray. A good way to do this is to boil ¼ cup of water with ¼ cup of vodka, let it cool, and then add 5 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil, catnip oil, and cedarwood oil.


Coffee grounds. Use them to kill mosquito eggs and larvae.

11. Sprinkle Coffee Grounds in Stagnant Water

This is an age-old trick that people use to clear stagnant water of mosquito eggs before they hatch.

When you sprinkle the coffee grounds onto the surface of the water, it’ll force the mosquito eggs to rise to the surface and deprive them of oxygen. This will kill them before they hatch.

It’s good to know this mosquito repellent trick incase it rains or you find that there is a significant amount of still freshwater around your campsite. Preventing mosquitos from breeding is a sure fire way to prevent the problem in the future, especially if you’re on a long term campsite.


12. Make a Homemade Mosquito Trap

You can buy mosquito traps from many outdoor stores, but you can also make one yourself in a pinch. Here’s a guide:

Get a plastic bottle and cut it in half. Then, mix brown sugar and hot water until it’s mixed well. Once it’s cooled down, pour it into the bottom half of the bottle and add yeast.

Take the top half of the bottle and put it into the bottom half upside down, so the top funnel is going in first. Make sure the lid is off! Wrap black tape around the bottle to hold everything in place, but ensure you leave the top part uncovered.

Then, all you need to do is put the trap in an area that’s getting a lot of mosquito traffic. If you’re using this trap for a long period of time, change the solution every 2 weeks.


Cloves of garlic. Use it to keep mosquitoes away.

13. Start Loving Garlic

Make like Dracula is coming and stock up on your garlic!

Like vampires, mosquitoes do not like the smell of garlic. In fact, garlic extract actually has mosquito larvicidal properties, which means it can kill mosquito babies before they grow up to become blood-sucking pests.

Eating garlic regularly is also a natural way to get rid of mosquitos and avoid getting bitten by them. If you don’t want to eat it, but don’t mind smelling like it, rub a clove or two on your skin.

However, if you would rather not walk around smelling like garlic, you can boil crushed garlic in water and then use that as a DIY mosquito repellent spray.


Family outside their RV. Mosquito repellent hacks work for camping and RVing.

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This entry was posted in Camping, Outdoors, RVing.