Getting mosquitoes out of RV can be very frustrating. Those pesky summer pests are a nuisance when you’re trying to enjoy an evening campfire or take your dog for a walk. However, those little vampires become a problem when they invade the sanctity of your travel trailer.
Keeping mosquitos out of an RV has been a problem even when horses pulled enclosed covered wagons.
Read ahead on how to tackle this pesky problem with some great solutions.
Mosquitoes in Your RV: The Ultimate Nuisance
Who likes annoying bugs flying around, biting you under the covers at night, and causing upheaval in your RV?
No, One, Ever!
We have the added nuisance of dogs battling to bite and subdue the pesky bugs. Not only do mosquitoes drive you crazy, but they also carry diseases for both you and your pets.
What Attracts Mosquitoes to your RV and Campsite?
Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans and animals emit. They’re also attracted to body heat, perspiration, and skin odor. It’s said that pregnant women and those with type O blood attract more mosquitoes than others.
Mosquitos are also attracted to dark clothing, perfumes, and scented lotions, particularly floral scents.
You might also want to avoid salty and potassium-rich foods like bananas, avocados, and dried fruit. Consuming alcohol also makes your skin give off a chemical that attracts mosquitoes. It will increase body temperature, which is another mosquito attractor.
Keeping your campsite tidy increases the chance of mosquitos out of your RV since there aren’t many things attracting them. After, all your body is their dinner plate.
How Mosquitoes Get Into Your RV
Mosquitoes get into your RV through open spaces. If you are going in and out, they can sneak in. Check your RV for small gaps in screens, vents, seals, windows, and slides. Also, check your storage bays for any insect infiltration.
11 Best Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your RV
1. Remove Attractants
This one might require removing yourself from your RV. Of course, trash, sweat, and everything that comes with camping will bring those little buggers running.
If a particular area is prone to mosquitos, like bodies of water or swamps, it might be best to do things like eat indoors, minimize opening your entry door, and keep yourself and your area as clean as possible.
2. Keep Doors and Windows Closed or Screened
While part of the point of camping is to enjoy the outdoors, ensure you keep your doors and windows closed or screened to keep mosquitoes out of your RV. Before you head out, thoroughly check screens for the smallest of holes. Mosquitoes can come in through very small openings.
3. Use Bug Sprays and Creams
Bug sprays and creams that repel mosquitoes are a must-have in areas with high infestations. You can use a Deep Woods bug spray with Deet or an alternative. Another option is to choose one of several natural deterrents on the market.
4. Spread Scents Mosquitoes Don’t Like Around Your RV
You can start with a layer of mosquito repellent in a ring around your campsite. Then add some citronella candles or tiki torches. You can also spray some essential oils around your campsites, such as eucalyptus, sage, mint, or lemongrass. Only use one at a time and see which one works.
5. Eat Food Mosquitoes Don’t Like
Stay away from salty and potassium-rich foods such as bananas. Eat foods such as beans, lentils, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and grapefruit. These all have elements that will be excreted by your skin that repel mosquitoes.
6. Wear Clothes With Better Coverage
The less exposed skin you have, the fewer chances mosquitoes have to bite. Covering up will help keep mosquitoes away. Also, stay away from heavy perfumes, particularly fruity-smelling ones.
7. Park Your RV Away from Mosquito Hot Spots
Mosquito hotspots are anywhere with standing water. Warm and humid air is the perfect combination for breeding. The bugs also like tall grass and mulch. Parking your RV where there’s cement or gravel may not make for the best “natural” area, but it’ll help to keep the bugs away.
8. Keep Your Campsite Clean
Keep your campsite clean, so you don’t draw bugs and other wildlife into your area.
9. Seal Cracks Around Your Doors and Windows
It’s always good to check for gaps, cracks, or breaks in your door and window screens before you leave on your RV trip. Add this to your pre-trip checklist.
10. Set Up A Mosquito Net Enclosure on Your “Front Porch”
Setting up a mosquito net enclosure on your front porch is another layer that keeps mosquitoes out of your RV. This is a great solution if you’re in a particularly infested area.
11. Try a Bug Zapper
There are mixed views on bug zappers. Try a bug zapper using today’s technology and see how effectively it works. Newer UV models use less energy and have wide coverage. They’re safe for birds, squirrels, and other animals.
How Will Mosquito Deterrents in the RV Affect Kids and Pets?
Of course, what mosquito deterrent you use in your RV will determine how it will affect your kids and pets. Research the essential oil you want to use since some are toxic to pets. DEET products can also be harmful to children on pets if ingested.
Ultrasonic pest repellents are safe for kids and pets. Always do your research and keep all bug-repellant products out of reach of kids and pets.
Is it Possible to Mosquito-Proof a Campsite?
While there’s a lot you can do to mitigate mosquitoes in your campsite, completely getting rid of the pesky buggers might not be an option. Did you know that planting Marigolds works as a bug repellent?
The plant has a fragrance that bugs don’t like. While this may be more practical in a longer-term RV spot, it’s something to consider. Maybe try some potted Marigolds.
If you give some of these deterrents a try and utilize some of the previous suggestions, you should be able to minimize your worry about getting a mosquito out of your RV.
What are the Best 8 Deterrents for Mosquitoes?
1. Conventional Bug Spray
If you want a traditional bug spray, check out Off Mosquito Repellent. It comes in a spray that is easily applied and repels mosquitoes, biting flies, gnats, ticks, chiggers, and fleas. This product does contain DEET and comes in a non-oily or greasy, powder-dry formula.
2. Strong Essential Oils
Essential oils have many uses. Some particular blends can repel mosquitoes. If you have pets, be sure to research which ones can be toxic to animals.
This Trail Guard essential oil is a blend of oils from Ylang Ylang, eucalyptus, coconut, vanilla, Virginia Cedarwood, Nootka Wood, Litsea Cubeba, catnip, and Western Red Cedarwood. Use a natural diffuser outside your RV for mosquitoes, bugs, and other insects.
3. Dryer Sheets
While no scientific evidence proves it, there’s some anecdotal evidence that dryer sheets keep bugs away. These sheets contain linalool and other bug-repelling ingredients. The sheets also can help remove dried insects from the windshield and body of your car.
Dip the dryer sheet in water, spray the affected area with water, and rub it off with a dryer sheet. You want to be careful using this dryer sheet method because while it works great on your windows, the dryer sheets can dissolve your car’s paint finish.
You can also use dryer sheets to protect your houseplants from annoying pests, particularly root-eating pests such as fungus gnats.
4. Citronella Candles
Citronella candles are a common and relatively inexpensive way to keep mosquitoes out of your RV. The jury is still out on the effectiveness of citronella oil, which comes from the lemongrass plant.
It’s regularly used in commercial bug sprays and candles. Citronella has a lemon-like citrusy scent that’s pleasant to people but is abhorrent to mosquitoes. Citronella candles come in various sizes, colors, and lengths.
5. Tiki Torches
Tiki torches are also a commonly used bug repellent. These are great for decoration, and the torch fuel with citronella acts as a mosquito repellent. You’ll need several torches to do the job. Also, make sure you keep an eye on the open flame.
6. Outdoor Misting System
According to experts, these portable misting system products are a great and reliable way to protect against mosquitoes and other bugs such as bees, hornets, and flies. These misting systems can be used with water or with a misted insecticide. When used with water, apparently, the liquid creates a barrier that flying insects avoid.
7. Mosquito Net Enclosures
Mosquito net enclosures are great for keeping mosquitos out of your campsite. Set up is simple; this particular net folds to 9-10 feet high. The DLatre Patio Umbrella Curtains are lightweight at just 2.79 pounds.
8. Electric Mosquito Repeller – Highly Recommended!
You might consider an electric mosquito repeller like the Thermacell Mosquito Repellent rechargeable unit. It has a 20-foot zone of protection that keeps mosquitoes out of your RV campsite.
It’s powered by a lithium-ion battery with up to 5.5 hours of protection per charge. The repellent is scent-free, and there’s no fuel to monitor or replace. For a little more, you can buy the 9-hour version.
Preparing Ahead of Time Keeps Mosquitoes Out of Your RV
A little preparation will go a long way to keep pesky mosquitoes out of your RV. First, you might want to check out where you’re going and learn about the bug situation. A call to your chosen campground can probably answer that question pretty easily.
Then, check your windows, doors, screens, and molding for any places where bugs can enter.
Plan to keep your RV tidy and keep trash out of your site. Finally, ensure everyone coming with you on your RV trip knows to keep the doors and windows closed as much as possible. Ultimately, that’s the best way to keep mosquitos out of your RV.
About the author:
Terri Nighswonger and her husband Todd are full-time RVers and work campers. They have been living full-time in their RV for nearly three years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Minnie Australian Shepherd, Remi.
They originate from the Midwest but plan to enjoy the west for a few years, wintering in Arizona and summering wherever the road may lead. Writing is Terri’s passion, but she also loves hiking, kayaking, walking her dogs, and anything she can do outdoors.