5 Ways to Keep Bugs Out of Your RV & Campsite

Stay bug free this summer with these tips, tricks, and tools.

Ann & Lin Bishop Ann & Lin Bishop  |  06.14.2019

As camping season gets into full swing, so do those pesky bugs. From the painful biting mosquitoes to the annoying fruit flies, keeping them and all other unwanted creatures out of your RV and camping area can be a daunting task. But armed with the proper tips, tricks, and tools your camping experience can be a bug-free one.

Here are our top five picks to keep your RV and campsite bug and critter free:

1. Keep Your RV and Campsite Clean

The first line of defense to keep the bugs and critters out of your RV and campsite is to keep both of those areas clean. Bugs and wild animals love the smell of food and will high tail it on over if they smell it at your site. Be sure to put away or dispose of all food immediately after use. Dispose of your trash in the appropriate RV park containers as soon as possible. Wipe down your countertops, including any tables outside. Wash your dishes right after you are finished eating. And don’t forget to keep your kitchen sink strainer clean!

2. Use a Thermacell Patio Shield

In addition to the traditional bug sprays and creams, when the mosquitos are in full swing, additional forces are needed. Keeping those annoying mosquitos at bay is a breeze with the easy-to-use Thermacell Patio Shield. Place it outside on your picnic table and you’ve got a 15-foot diameter zone of protection from those summer pests.

keep bugs out of your rv

3. Try Peppermint Oil

Peppermint drives bugs batty. While most people find these scents delightful, they repulse insects – especially spiders. Put a drop on curtains and bedding, and place cotton balls sprinkled with peppermint oil around your rig.

4. Bug Spray Around Perimeter of RV

Exterior insect killer sprayed around the perimeter of your RV is a great line of defense. Diatomaceous earth is another great insect repellant, and is actually a natural, non-toxic bug repellent alternative if pets or kids will be around the RV! Remember to reapply these products after it rains, as they’ll get washed away.

keep bugs out of your rv - spray around campsite

5. Keep Your Exterior Lights Off at Night

Bugs love swarming around bright hot lights at night. With your exterior RV porch light right by your door, you are basically giving them a personal invitation to come on in if you keep your light on at night. If you need your porch light on for safety or personal reasons, try switching the bulb out for a yellow bug light. The bugs will have a harder time seeing the yellow light and might just head next door to your neighbor’s bright light instead!

Now that you are armed with the right tools to help keep bugs out of your RV and campsite, get out there and enjoy!

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  1. Ann Posted on 06.25.2019

    Hi Bob – Here is a blurb from Amazon about the Thermacell Patio Shield (here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/Thermacell-MR-PSR-Shield-Mosquito-Repeller):
    “It provides a 15-Foot area of protection and provides 12 hours of protection. No Chemical Sprays, Wipes, DEET or Lotions on Skin – Patio Shield is more effective and repels mosquitoes without sprays, scents or flames of torches, smelly citronella or dirty candles. Scent-Free, Long-Lasting, Easy to Use — Highly effective repellent mats turn white when time to replace; evaluated by the EPA for safety and effectiveness.” Hope that answers your questions!

  2. Bob Posted on 06.23.2019

    What is a Thermacell Patio Shield and where is it available? Cost?

  3. W Mahoney Posted on 06.21.2019

    Peppermint oil (and some other essential oils) are pretty bad for cats, so if you have felines, don’t use it around them at all. It’s so strong that it can also bother dogs and kids, so be careful. Outside and in the bays is fine, but not so strong that you can smell it inside. We tried it undiluted on cotton balls in cabinets once, and it was so strong our eyes were watering, so now we dilute it and use it mainly in the outside bays. The combo of water, Dawn, and a bit of the oil sounds great, I’m going to try it, thanks!

  4. d Werneth Posted on 06.21.2019

    Also mix equal parts water, peppermint oil & Dawn together. Spray aroun doors kitchen sinks bathroom etc. Kills ants immediately & all otter small pest!

  5. mona bishop Posted on 06.20.2019

    Will get peppermint oil for my camper. Enjoy reading about your travels keep up the good work. Safe travels to you both and your 3 fur babies

  6. John Capizzi Posted on 06.15.2019

    Love the blog. Thanks for the idea of the Peppermint oil. I am constantly cleaning but we still seem to get these very tiny tiny bugs!!! Keep the blog going. Congratulations!!!