One of the reasons some people might be hesitant to go on a camping trip is because there is much more exposure to nature, including bugs and animals. Because you’ll be sleeping outdoors in a tent, it is easier for things like mosquitos and spiders to make their way inside and disturb you in the night.
What is the best way to keep spiders out of your tent?
The best way to keep spiders out of your tent is to ensure that your tent is sealed up tightly so that they can not get in. Be sure to always check your gear before your camping trip to make sure there are no spiders already there. Also, keep your site clean so that you do not attract other bugs that spiders will prey on, like ants. If you don’t have a food source in you tent you are mosre likely to keep spiders out. Finally, use commercial repellants like Diatomaceous Earth or products that spiders are repelled by the smell of like garlic, pepper, or vinegar. Use these items around the parameter of your tent to keep spiders from coming up to your tent in the first place.
For an even more in-depth list of how to keep spiders out of your tent, keep reading and if you want to know how to keep the main food source for spiders out of your campsite (ants), check out this article- How to keep ants away from your campsite (tips and tricks)
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Make Sure Your Tent is in Good Condition
Prior to any camping trip, do a quick inspection of your tent to make sure it is in good working order. Check the seams to see if there are any spaces where a spider could get in. Look for holes and rips that may need to be patched.
Check the zippers and make sure they close completely. If the tent has mesh windows, ensure there are no large holes in that material either.
Check Your Gear
If your tent and other camping gear have been in storage for a while, there’s a good chance it could have some spiders in it already, especially if it’s been in the attic. Do a thorough inspection of all your things after you get it out of storage. This will ensure you don’t bring any spiders along with you to the campground.
Before crawling into your sleeping bag at night, shake it out and make sure nothing has crawled inside during the day. In the morning, shake out shoes and clothes as well to prevent any unwanted scares.
Pick a Good Campsite
When it comes time to camp, try to find a place that is far from places that have a lot of bugs and spiders. Put your tent in an area that is not underneath trees or near a source of water.
If it’s not possible to have your tent away from trees, consider hanging a tarp above the tent so any spiders will fall onto the tarp and not directly on or into the tent. When you arrive at the campsite if there is debris that needs clearing, move it as far away as you can.
Make sure to wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt while doing this to avoid getting bitten by a spider. Then clean the campsite and spray any spider deterrents immediately so they can start working as soon as possible.
Eat Strong-Smelling Foods
Try eating something strong like onions or raw garlic. The smell will start to come out through the pores in your skin, and insects will find it unpleasant. Then if a spider does somehow make its way into your tent, chances are they won’t come near you or bite.
If you’re camping alone, this is a great solution because you might start smelling so bad that your camping companions complain. But if they aren’t bothered, then you’ll at least have bug-free nights.
Avoid Scented Products
While camping, you might be tempted to use extra products to smell better, especially if you don’t have access to running water and a shower. But try not to use perfumes, scented sunscreens, or other body products.
The sweet smells can attract insects right to your campsite and into your tent during the night. Make sure to purchase a deodorant that is unscented to use during your trip as well. When cleaning around your campsite, don’t spray any air fresheners or use scented soaps. Plain soap and water or disinfectant wipes are a better option and will not attract unwanted insects.
Stay Away From Trash
Don’t camp near trash cans or other places where there are food scraps, recycling, or other debris that could attract spiders and bugs. Instead, find a clean campsite far from the area where all trash is placed to pitch your tent.
Put all trash that you create inside a bag and keep it closed and secure. Throw away waste as soon as possible and as often as necessary so it does not build up at the campsite. Having a bag of trash sit for several hours will attract bugs to the smell.
It’s also helpful to have a dedicated place for all trash instead of placing it randomly around the campsite. If you isolate all trash to one space, then it will be easy to clean this area, and you’ll know exactly where your bug-fighting efforts are needed.
Keep Your Campsite (and Tent) Clean
When eating meals around your campsite, try to keep things as clean as possible. Food crumbs will attract insects to the area, causing you to wake up to an infestation if you aren’t careful.
Make sure to clean up well after every meal and don’t dump leftovers on the ground. Clean all your pots, pans, and utensils after cooking and store them away. Try not to leave leftovers sitting out on the picnic table, even if you plan to eat them later.
Store all your food in airtight containers and close them as soon as you are finished. While it’s okay to keep food inside the tent, make sure it is secured and also in an airtight container. Bring plastic bags that zip closed to store food and snacks.
If you eat or drink inside the tent, try to avoid spills, especially of sugary drinks. Clean up any food messes as soon as possible and wash the area with soap and water. The same goes for any spills that occur on the ground.
Try to cleanse the ground by pouring some water on the affected area. You can also put some fresh dirt over the mess and then sprinkle a scent that will deter bugs on top of that for extra prevention.
Keep Your Fire Going
Put your campfire to use as a bug repellant because many insects do not like fire. The smoke alone may deter them from entering your campsite. However, make sure to always have someone at the site to keep an eye on the fire. Never leave a fire unattended if you leave the campground or go for a hike.
Put Your Pet on Patrol
If you’re camping with a furry friend such as a dog, they may be able to keep an eye out for any intruders into the campsite. Allow them to be leashed close to the tent on a lead that is long enough to allow them to roam and patrol the area.
However, if you know that there are potentially poisonous spiders in the area, take extra precautions to protect your pet. Harmless insects shouldn’t be a problem though, even if your pet ends up eating a few.
Use Smells Spiders Dislike
Did you know that spiders can smell through their feet? They also don’t like the smell of a variety of things which you may have around the house and can easily pack for your camping trip. Many of these substances are natural, so you won’t have to use harmful chemicals or substances that are unpalatable to humans.
Depending on the location where you are camping, you may want to use more natural substances that will not harm the local environment. Soaps might be damaging, but many spices shouldn’t do any harm. If there is a lot of wildlife nearby, use caution when putting out anything edible.
Some of the things spiders hate include:
- Baking soda
- Black pepper
- Eucalyptus oil
- Horse chestnuts
- Lavender oil
- Liquid dish soap
- Orange peels
- Peppermint oil
- Tea tree oil
Take any of these substances and sprinkle it around your tent or campground. You can also dilute the liquids and oils in water. Then put them in a plastic spray bottle and spray the perimeter of your tent or sleeping bag if you are going to be sleeping without a tent.
If you have candles with any of these flavors, light one near your campsite to get the scent into the air and deter spiders from approaching, but don’t leave a burning candle unattended and don’t light anything at all if you’re camping during a dry time.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
In addition to the aforementioned smells that spiders dislike, another thing you can use around your campsite is diatomaceous earth. This is a good option because it is safe for both humans and pets.
Although it looks like a soft powder, it actually harms insects and spiders when they walk on top of it by cutting their body. Just sprinkle it around the campsite or anywhere you want to prevent spiders such as your tent or picnic area.
Prevent Other Bugs
Although spiders may be your primary concern, you should also be careful not to attract other insects to your campsite. If you have a lot of bugs, then spiders will naturally be drawn to the area which will create even more problems.
Many of these tips apply to all kinds of insects, not just spiders. Another thing to do is to keep your tent dark. Don’t put a lantern or other light in the tent because this will definitely attract bugs and spiders won’t be far behind.