As anyone who has ever suffered a mosquito bite, a bee sting, or an ant invasion knows, bugs can really put a damper on an otherwise flawless day in the great outdoors. Here’s the good news: most bug problems are avoidable. With a bit of preparation and forethought, you can enjoy a wonderful camping trip without once being bothered by any pests. Here are 4 tips to follow.

1.Use DEET. 

Back in 1944, a US Department of Agriculture employee named Samuel Gertler developed a product that he called “bug juice.” Over the course of the past seven decades, this simple compound has helped keep millions upon millions of people safe from bug bites. Although some people protest the use of an artificial compound fearing that it could be dangerous, the truth is that DEET has been proven to be safe time and time again in a wide variety of studies. This substance does not keep bugs away because it is poisonous–it keeps them away because it masks the natural mammalian scent that attracts bugs in the first place.

2. Wear long sleeves.

Long-sleeved clothes are a great way of protecting against bug bites and poison ivy rashes. When the weather permits, it is always better to “go long.”

3. Harness the power of fire.

Artificial lights sources such as flashlights and lanterns attract insects. Fire, on the other hand, repels them. Although care must always be exercised, an insect repelling fire may just be the answer you’re looking for.

4. Get timing and location right.

Make sure that there is no standing water near your campsite, and try your best not to camp immediately after a rain storm that could have left such stagnant water sources in abundance.

Pick up insect repellant, firewood, and all the other supplies you need to stay comfortable at the Saco River Camping Area Country Store!