We all hate eight-legged intruders invading our tent. Summer camp is coming up in Boy Scouts, and I need ways to deter arachnids and insects. After digging into the internet, I eventually compiled a list of methods for this purpose.
Step 1: Simple Tricks
As long as it's okay with your tent partner or friends, eat a capsule of garlic daily. The smell will secrete from your skin. Insects hate this smell. Additionally, onions have the same effect. If you don't mind the smell, consume them or rub on your exposed skin.
Now there's the common methods.
- Don't wear scented perfumes, sunscreen, or body products. You can buy unscented antiperspirant deodorant.
- Sweating makes you more vulnerable to mosquito bites. Don't eat foods rich in salt or potassium as they produce lactic acid.
- Avoid camping near standing water or any source of trash or recycling.
- Build and erect a bug trap. This is Instructables. I'm sure there's a DIY trap out there.
- Keep a slight breeze going if possible. this may be achieved by a fan or positioning your tent to where the wind blows through it.
- As my most favorite, encourage predators. If you plan on reusing a camp site, set up a bat house or a bird feeder.
Step 2: Repellent
Make your own insect repellent. Trust me, it's worth it. There are a plethora of insect repelling odors such as garlic, onion, peppermint essential oil (especially for cockroaches), citrus, cinnamon, basil, cucumber, and more. Do research. Get creative. Different odors are effective against different creatures. Many of these aromas are natural, non-toxic, and easy to find. Many oils will even kill spiders or insects on contact. I would advise compiling these into a spray bottle for easy use..
Ants- Cucumber, Clove, Cinnamon, and Peppermint
Flying insects- Basil
Mosquitoes- Lavender and Citronella
Fleas- Lavender, Sage, Orange peel, and Eucalyptus
Much of this data is credited to http://www.chacha.com/question/what-smell-do-bugs-hate-other-than-bug-repellent
Step 3: Spider Scent Sacs
Spiders smell through their feet. Yes, I wish I could smell out of my feet. They hate the scent of chestnuts, cloves, and countless other things. This gave me an idea. Take a coffee filter, and fill it with crushed chestnuts or cloves. If you really want to, it might help to add oils or other ingredients mentioned such as onion or garlic powder to also deter insects. Secure the excess filter material with a rubberband. Take these capsules, and hang, tie, and secure them all around your tent. If you are sleeping in a cot, it would be a good idea to hang them around each cot leg.
On a particular Summer camp, I noticed a significant decrease in the amount of mole crickets in my tent once I deployed these bombs. I used a combination of dried whole cloves, onion powder, and garlic powder. Keep in mind that different insects are repelled by different scents.
Step 4: Conclusion
With a little bit of planning, keeping spiders and insects away in the can be relatively simple. With a few simple tricks and natural methods, you can always be prepared for these annoyances.