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How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Tent

Going on hikes and eating s’mores are just a few of the joys of camping. Unfortunately, spending time outside opens the door for bugs to bother you. You can’t completely avoid bugs if you’re on their turf, but you can take steps to pest-proof your tent. Check out a few tips to help keep bugs out of your tent. 

Inspect Tent

Campsite tent

Before heading out, you’ll want to make sure your tent is in good condition. Check for tears especially in areas with mesh fabric. Inspect the zippers and ensure they zip all the way shut. Repair or replace any damaged zippers and patch up any holes you may find. This will help keep pests from entering your tent.

Choose the Right Campsite

Tent at campsite

When setting up your campsite, avoid areas near standing water including ponds, lakes, or spots where puddles can easily develop since pests, like mosquitoes, thrive near moisture. Bugs also hang out near plants, so choosing a spot away from dense vegetation is best. If your tent can handle it, choose a breezy area to make it more difficult for bugs to fly near you.

Keep Your Tent Shut

Open tent

This may seem obvious, but it really is the best way to keep your tent bug-free. When putting the tent up, make sure the door is zipped shut. Only open it when you are entering or exiting the tent. Minimizing how often it’s open will limit a bug’s opportunity to sneak inside. 

Keep Tent Cool

Portable fan

Most bugs prefer warm weather and tend to avoid cool conditions. Keeping your tent cool will help to keep bugs out. If possible, set your tent up in a shaded area. Open your tent windows as long as there’s a screen covering them. You can also bring a portable fan with you to help keep you and your tent from getting hot. 

Don’t Store Food Near Your Tent

Camping food

One thing that is sure to bring bugs to your campsite is food. Keep food away from your tent and store it in sealed containers. Wash your utensils after each meal and store them too. You’ll also want to avoid setting up your tent near trash bins. Bugs, like flies, tend to hang out near trash in hopes of finding something to eat.

Don’t Eat in Your Tent

Cooking while camping

It’s hard to resist a midnight snack, but you won’t want to eat it in your tent. Any crumbs you happen to leave behind will lead bugs, like ants, right to you. Keep your treats outside and avoid storing food in your tent if possible. Keep bottles of water or other drinks shut tight, especially when left in your tent.

Turn Off Lights


Some bugs are attracted to light, which is why you’ll want to avoid placing lights near your tent. Keep lights off until you are inside the tent and it’s zipped up tight. A campfire is your best option for a light source. Not only can you toast marshmallows, the smoke will help to deter pests from coming near you.

Check for Bugs

Dog with tick

Before entering your tent, check to make sure you aren’t bringing any pests with you. Ticks like to latch on to you when you’re walking in grass. If your furry family members are with you, examine them too. It’s also a good idea to do a quick check of your tent to make sure bugs didn’t slip inside while the door was open.

Bug Spray

Natural Insect RepellentMosquito Fogger

Applying a bug spray, like our Natural Insect Repellent, can help keep pests from bugging you. It contains natural plant essential oils, which means it’s a more family-friendly option. It will help repel mosquitoes, ticks, and flies. For best results, we recommend applying it every two hours or as needed. You can also use our Mosquito Fogger to create a protective barrier around the campsite. It kills mosquitoes and flying pests on contact, while providing you with residual repellency.

You’re bound to run into a few bugs while camping, but that doesn’t mean you have to welcome them into your tent. Taking just a few preventative measures can help keep your tent free of any pesky bugs. If pests are giving you a fit, we want to help! Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.

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