Camping is a great way to explore nature, immerse in nature, and simply get away from the hustle and bustle of urban living. However, there’s a chance you’ll encounter some pesky pests while you’re out in the wild, such as midges – small, pesky, biting flies that can ruin your camping experience. In this blog post, I’ll share my personal experience as an experienced camper and father of three to provide advice on how to keep midges away when camping.
What are Midges?
Midges are small, biting flies that are commonly found in regions near lakes, ponds, rivers, and wetlands. Although they are often mistaken for mosquitoes, midges are actually a different type of fly and they do not carry any diseases. However, they can still be extremely annoying and bothersome, their bites often causing pain, itching, and swelling.
How to Identify Midges
Midges vary in size – some species can be as small as 1.5 millimeters and some up to 5 millimeters. Midges have slender bodies, clear wings, and antennae that are two to three times longer than the body. During the day, they can often be seen resting on grass and vegetation.
How to Keep Midges Away When Camping
As a long-time camper and father of three, I’ve learned a few tricks on how to keep midges away when camping. While these methods may not completely get rid of the midges, they can help reduce the number of midges when camping.
Avoid Areas with Standing Water
Midges thrive on standing water, so when possible, try to avoid camping near areas where there is standing water. This includes ponds, lakes, wetlands, and rivers. Instead, try to camp near higher elevations where there is less standing water.
Wear Protective Clothing
Wearing the right clothing can help prevent midge bites. This includes wearing long trousers and sleeves, hats, scarves, and even gloves if necessary. Always wear light-colored clothing as midges are attracted to dark colors.
Use Insect Repellents and Citronella Candles
Using insect repellents and citronella candles are another great way to keep midges away when camping. Applying insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or IR3535 will provide the most protection from midges. Citronella candles also act as a natural deterrent, just make sure to place them in areas around the tent and campsite.
Set up a Midge Trap
If all else fails, you can set up a midge trap. Midges are attracted light, so setting up an electric light bulb close to your campsite will entice the midges to come closer. Once they’re close enough, you can trap them in a mesh net or container to get rid of them.
Midges can ruin your camping experience, but by following the tips outlined in this blog post, you should be able to keep midges away when camping. Avoid camping near standing water, wear protective clothing, use insect repellents and citronella candles, and set up a midge trap if all else fails.