How To Keep Bugs Out of Your Tent

There’s an immense amount of insects in the United States of many different kinds. While some pests are found in backyards and parks, their populations greatly increase in places with trees, bushes, long grass, and water.

Many insects also transmit different diseases. So, these bugs can cause anything, ranging from a minor allergic reaction to serious health issues.

If you want a pleasant camping experience that is free from the hassle of insect bites, we’re here to help!

In this article, we won’t only cover the most common camping bugs. We’ll also give you a brief description of each of them and any concerns you should have about them. Op top of that, we’ll tell you how to prevent these bugs from getting into your tent in the first place.

Typical Camping Bugs in North America

Having an amazing time at a campsite requires a few interactions with bugs near your tent.

However, before we jump into ways to keep these pesky bugs away and out of your tent, we want to review some common bugs in North America. We’ll also provide a little bit of helpful information about them.

Common Camping and Forest Bugs


We’ve all heard about these bloodthirsty bugs! There are many different species of ticks in wooded areas. The brown dog tick, the blacklegged tick (a.k.a. the deer tick), the lone star tick, and the Rocky Mountain wood tick are the top four ticks to watch out for while spending your time at a campground.

The deer tick, in particular, is notorious for transmitting Lyme disease. The bites of other ticks can cause rashes, pain, irritation, allergic reactions, and more.


These bugs are even more annoying than ticks!

Not only do they bite you, feast on your blood, and leave you with irritated skin, but they are also known for making noise at night when we’re trying to sleep. Worst of all, some species of mosquitoes also transmit diseases that can cause serious health risks.

Stinging Insects

There are many different kinds of stinging insects out there. Bees, wasps, and yellow jackets are the most common camping annoyance, though.

While some people hardly notice a yellow jacket, wasp, or bee sting, some people are deathly allergic to these insects and can even end up in the hospital.


Ants are known for getting into our food and tents. But they aren’t just annoying. Some species of ants, such as fire ants, can be dangerous, too. Their bites are extremely itchy and painful.


Flies are commonly found near food and rotted animal bodies as well as near animals like horses and cattle. There are many different kinds of flies and some of them can bite.

Although flies themselves don’t transmit diseases, they can transfer diseases from one place to another, like from a dead animal to your food.


Last but not least, arachnids are very common in wooded areas. There are plenty of spiders in the world that are completely harmless. But some are notoriously aggressive and inject venom with their bites.

Of all the spiders that are out there, we’d highly recommend that you keep an eye out for the black widow spider and the brown recluse spider. These two spiders are the ones that have the most dangerous bites.

Keeping the Bugs Away

Now that you know the most common camping bugs and some important facts about them, we can talk about the best ways to keep them as far away from your tent as possible. In this section, we’ll discuss what deters bugs and how to keep them off of you. If you get these bugs on you, you’ll bring them into the tent with you. So, to help you have a very enjoyable time camping, we’re going to cover all your bug repellent bases!

Tips to Make Your Tent Bug Free

Chose your tent location wisely

The first option that we want to cover has to do with the location of your tent. The specific spot that you choose to set up your tent will help determine whether your tent will be bug-free or not.

We strongly recommend choosing a camping spot that is as far away from puddles, ponds, tall grass, and woodpiles as possible.

This is because mosquitoes, ticks, and flies love being around bodies of water. Some spiders, ants, ticks, and ground bees enjoy hanging out in tall grass, flowers, and weeds. So, you should be on the lookout for a camping tent location that is “high and dry.”

By following this tip, you’ll instantly reduce your chances of having a bug-filled tent.

Burn sage

If you have no choice but to set up camp right next to stagnant water or a lake, we highly recommend that you throw a handful of sage into your campfire.

Mosquitoes absolutely hate the scent of sage, so they’ll steer clear of you and your fire.

Make sure your tent is properly prepared

To keep bugs out of your tent, it’s also imperative that you make sure that your tent is fully intact. If you notice any snags or holes in the material, you have to either patch them or buy a brand-new tent that is snag and hole-free.

It’s also crucial that you keep your tent door zipped up as much as possible. You don’t want to give pests free access to the inside of your tent!

Be mindful of smells

Bugs love sweet aromas such as perfume, flowery lotions, shampoos, and conditioners. These products are attractive to them, so if you and your tent smell sweet, bugs will want to stick around.

If you want to use any beauty products while camping, it’s better to go for ones that have citrus scents, since a lot of bugs don’t like citrus oils.

Spray bug repellent

The use of bug repellent is one of the best ways to deter bugs from your body. So why not spray it around your tent as well?

There are also bug sprays that you can spray around your tent for increased protection. And you can even find special sprays designed to be used on your camping gear instead of on your skin.

Keep yourself and your pets bug-free

If you want to have a bug-free tent, you must also be bug-free. If you or even your dog have bugs on you and enter the tent, the bugs will come inside the tent as well.

So, we highly recommend that you use a bug deterrent on yourself as well as on your pet. Just make sure that the insect repellent you use on your pup is pet safe since a lot of human bug sprays can be toxic to pets.


Charlene Swift

What about earwigs–they are rampant in northern Michigan


    As far as I know, there isn’t a way to keep them out for good, but I’ve heard earwings are not big fans of cinnamon, lavender, and citronella, so you might try using some essential oils.


I just kill a big bug that look like a better it scare me while I was sleeping and do this bugs get in the tent and I feel ictching while IAM trying to sleep I am homeless please tell what can I use to keep bugs out


    You should give the tips in this article a try! You can also look for some other articles we have on our page, based on what insects are bothering you specifically. Good luck!

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