How To Keep Bugs Out Of The Tent

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With many of us going out camping soon, there is one thing that will annoy everyone…bugs. It can be quite annoying, so knowing how to keep bugs out of the tent we’re camping in is crucial.

The little creatures are an annoyance that is often harder to deal with than they’re worth. Due to this, we wanted to help you with ridding yourself of them while enjoying the outdoors. It sucks to want to have fun out there only to deal with these pesky things.

It can be particularly problematic in humid areas, such as the South. This means mosquitos could be an issue for some while for others it might be gnats or flies, which can also be problematic for the South too.

This is a much bigger problem outside the United States with some bugs in African or South American nations that carry severe viruses or parasites. Therefore, knowing how to keep all of these bugs away is key to a good campsite.

How We’re Handling The List

With our list of how to keep bugs out of the tent, we’ll be handling it in two different ways. This has to do with both in-tent and out-of-tent concepts. Both are important to remember and keep in mind.

However, both operate in two different ways. For example, for out of tent concepts you’re going to focus on ways to keep problematic bugs away from the tent or entire campsite.

Meanwhile, the in-tent concepts will revolve around ways to keep bugs specifically out of the tent but won’t address the entire campsite.

It is key to remember that you can use a few of these at the same time, but some will only work for specific circumstances too. With all that said, or written in this case, let’s get started on how you can keep those pesky bugs out of your tent!

Get A Tent That’s Bugproof

We obviously should start with the obvious. If you want to keep bugs away from your tent, then getting a tent that’s relatively bugproof could do wonders. This seems like an easy answer, right? Too easy, if you ask us. You want to know what these tents will offer clearly.

These tents will tend to have:

  • Zippers that zip all the way down
  • Bugproof flooring
  • No Holes, Even Small

Some, like the REI Co-Op Bug Hut Pro 2 actually have a patented yet invisible built-in Insect Shield® repellent. This keeps bugs away, quite literally. Of course, it only lasts for about 6 months before you’d need to buy the specific repellant.

Either that, or you’d have to use it for a long period of time in the weather. It even lasts through rainstorms and even snowfall. Yet this is only one example of a tent that offers bugproof protection. There are many more.

On top of this, you can get netting to add to your tent to keep bugs away. Specifically, if mosquitos are a problem then netting that will keep those away could be a massive help. It will also keep many other bugs out too.

Choose Your Campsite Carefully

2 tents at a campsite

Some people do not consider that the tent you pitch might be relatively good with keeping bugs away but the place you chose was horrible. For example, if you pitch your tent near a water source it might seem like a good idea. In reality, it’s a terrible concept unless it’s really cold.

You may also want to make your own shelter and therefore use a tree to help. Maybe you’re on particular camping grounds with various other people, so you want to be near a light source. In reality, while pitching your tent near a light pole might make you feel more protected…it won’t do much for your bug problem.

Why is all of this key for you to know? Bugs love light sources, water areas, and often hang out or live near or inside trees. Therefore, ALL of these locations are terrible if you’re wanting to steer clear of bugs. Therefore, don’t pitch your tent around them.

Natural Ways To Keep Bugs Away

fire to keep away bugs

While bugproof tents are ideal, there are other ways we can show you how to keep bugs out of the tent too. This time, it’s some natural concepts that could work well. Some of it, interestingly, you could easily do but perhaps never attempted before.

For example:

  • Keep Food Away From The Tent (Unless in an air-tight bag)
  • Keep Your Lantern Away From Your Tent When On
  • Use Smoke From Your Fire To Create A Bad Environment For Bugs

While smoke, for example, could be bad to create in a big way…you don’t have to do that. If you have a fire that builds up enough while you’re out and you have it contained properly, you can let it go out on its own.

Simply place your tent downwind from the fire, which allows the smoke to hit the outside of it. As long as your tent is zipped up, it won’t create a smokey environment for the tent. If your tent will let the smoke in, simply have your tent near the fire but far enough to not catch on fire should any random issue occur.

When it comes to the lantern issue, while you could have it on in your tent for random needs, it just does not need to be by your tent outside or near an opening.

The same can be said about food. You want to make sure to not leave anything out nor let an odor grow for too long. This is important to keep bigger predators away too. Bugs, of course, will look for anything they can detect.

Therefore, they’ll make their way into the tent to get any food left in there. This is why if you’re going to have food in a tent, it needs to be sealed in a bag that will remove the odor. Thereby, taking away the problem.

Infamous Bug Repellents

citronella bucket candle

There are several different types of bug repellents out there. Therefore, when you’re thinking about how to keep bugs out of the tent, you’re going to need to consider them. There are some specific insect repellents meant for your tent.

Of course, some come with this like the REI tent we referred you to above. You can try specific bug lights or zappers too. They will draw the bugs in and keep them away from the tent. They can be used all night, with batteries lasting for a while.

Here are some options you can try:

While these are all great, you can also take simple insect repellent that you’d get at the local store that you can also wear. This could, in theory, keep bugs away from you even if they did get in. Spraying it at the entrance of the tent has been shown to help for several hours too.

Things like Citronella Candles will do some good, as well.


As you can see, there are many ways to handle this. When thinking about how to keep bugs out of the tent…sometimes you have to think creatively. Other times, you just need to use some common sense. Ultimately, it depends on the situation.

We guarantee if you try one or several of the things we mentioned above, you’ll have great success keeping the bugs away. In fact, we’ve used many of them ourselves and have seen their success.

Therefore, while we won’t guarantee results….we can be as positive as possible that they will work well for you. That said, go out and enjoy the outdoors!

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