How to Repel Mosquitoes While Hiking? (Quick Guide)




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Mosquito Spray

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Mosquitoes are one of the most annoying insects in existence. They can ruin a perfectly good outdoor activity by biting you and leaving itchy bumps on your skin.

How do you avoid mosquito bites while hiking? What is the easiest way to repel mosquitoes while hiking? The answer is simple: use repellent!


If you’re like me, mosquitoes absolutely love you. No matter what I do, they always seem to find me and feast on my blood.

While hiking, this can be a big problem. Not only are they annoying, but they can also carry diseases like the West Nile virus.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to repel mosquitoes while hiking. In this blog post, I’ll share with you some of the best tips for keeping these pests away.

So read on for helpful advice on how to stay bite-free while enjoying the great outdoors!

What Are Some of The Best Ways to Repel Mosquitoes While Hiking?

Also, What to bring with you on your hike to repel mosquitoes 

How to Apply Mosquito Repellent Correctly to Bites?

Mosquito Spray

Mosquitoes are a nuisance while hiking, but with the right preparation, you can repel them and make your hike more comfortable.

This quick guide will teach you how to repel mosquitoes using natural methods so that you can enjoy your hike without being bothered by these pests.

Also Treat your clothing with permethrin, before you leave to go hiking, spray your clothing with Permethrin spray.

This spray doesn’t just repel mosquitoes, it actually kills them. The treatment lasts about six washing cycles.   

You can also use Thermacell mosquito repellent. Wear tick repellent with either DEET or Picaridin is also recommended when hiking 

How Do You Avoid Mosquito Bites While Hiking & Walking?

Step 1: Try to avoid marshes, vernal pools, and even tall grasses when you hike. It is the best way to stay away from mosquitoes. 

Step 2: Carry with you a mosquito repellent therapy such as your preferred brand of DEET. 

Step 3: Put on insect repellent at least 20 minutes prior before going into or leaving any area that may be mosquito-infested; Reapply often if necessary ( especially after working outside ).

What Is the Easiest Way to Repel Mosquitoes While Hiking ?

Mosquitoes can be a real nuisance while hiking, especially if you’re trying to enjoy the views and sounds of nature. Here are a few tips on how to repel mosquitoes while hiking:

1. Wear long sleeves and pants.

2. Apply mosquito repellent.

3. Use a mosquito net.

4. Burn mosquito coils or candles.

What Can I Put on My Legs to Keep Mosquitoes from Biting?

There are a few different things that you can put on your legs to keep mosquitoes away from biting. You can use mosquito repellent, or you can use a mosquito net. You can also wear long pants and socks to keep the mosquitoes away.

If you are using mosquito repellent, make sure that it is DEET-based. You can put the repellent on your skin or clothing.

If you are using a net, make sure that it is large enough to cover your entire body.

You can also use a hat and sunglasses to protect your head and eyes

What to Wear Hiking with Mosquitoes?

What you wear while hiking is key to repelling mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, so it’s best to wear light colors instead. You’ll also want to avoid wearing anything that smells sweet since mosquitoes are drawn to sweet smells.

Even though mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, they will still bite you during the day. Make sure to put on sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30 before going hiking in mosquito-prone areas.

Mosquitoes also prefer high humidity levels, so make sure you’re prepared for dry conditions by bringing plenty of water and applying lip balm frequently.

You should also protect your eyes during hiking since mosquitoes can carry eye viruses that cause blindness.

One popular option is to wear sunglasses with an anti-reflective coating on them, which will help prevent you from getting pink eye or other types of infection after being bitten by a mosquito while out in the great outdoors. 

How Do You Prevent Bugs & Mosquito Bites when Hiking?

It is essential that you wear long enough sleeved, light-colored clothing. It’s best to cover as much skin as possible and to use insect repellent products containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide).

However, remember to avoid DEET all by itself. Instead, consult a bug repellent product that contains other ingredients such as Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE).

Do not forget your sunscreen! Hiking exposes you to the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays too.

Use a lightweight backpack or fanny pack & make sure all your pockets are zipped up tightly – bugs just want a warm body to cling onto.

Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn – also known as the “Mosquito Hours.

You’re less likely to be bitten during the daytime hours. And ALWAYS remember: Wearing perfume indoors or outdoors may attract more mosquitos than if there were none.

What Is the Best Mosquito Repellent Device for Hiking & Walking?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best device for repelling mosquitoes will vary depending on the individual and the environment.

However, some popular devices include insecticide coils, personal insect repellent sprays or lotions, and mosquito patches.

Carry a tick remover to safely remove the tick 

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Most hikers will find a tick attached to them or their pet at least once in their life. It’s not as easy as just plucking them off of your body. They are, quite literally, attached to you. Always carry something with you to help safely remove the tick without breaking its head off under your skin.

Many hikers carry tweezers, which will work, but there is a higher risk of breaking off the tick’s head and releasing potentially infectious fluids into your body!

What Tips Do You Have to Avoid Mosquitoes and Ticks for Hikers?

When hiking, it’s important to take precautions against mosquito and tick bites. Here are some tips to help you stay bite-free:

– Wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt to cover your skin

– Use an insect repellent that contains DEET or picaridin

– Check for ticks regularly and remove any that are attached

– If you get bitten by a mosquito, apply a topical anti-itch cream or lotion

By following these tips, you can enjoy your hike without having to worry about pesky mosquitoes and ticks.

Final Thoughts 

You can repel mosquitoes while hiking and avoid mosquito bites by using repellent.  I hope this blog helped and gave you quick guides on what to do. Although mosquitos can be quite irritating in the backcountry, they should not prevent you from spending time outdoors.

Equipping yourself with the strategies and tips listed above will make your trip far more enjoyable and safe. 

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    Additional Information Regarding Associated Diseases

    Though many mosquito bites are innocuous, some can transmit a multitude of diseases to humans and animals, some extremely serious.  Below is a list of associated diseases hikers will want to be concerned about here in the U.S.

    • WEST NILE VIRUS – The most common mosquito-borne illness in the U.S., more than 46,000 people have been infected since the disease first appeared here in 1999. Of them, 25,574 have experienced serious illness and more than 2,000 died, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Since many cases go unreported, the CDC estimates that more than 3 million people, in every state except Alaska and Hawaii, have actually been infected. The virus is spread by mosquitoes that have bitten infected birds and then carry it to humans. It can cause fever, accompanied by body aches, disorientation, diarrhea, neck stiffness, headache, joint pain and tremors, and can also spread to the brain. Only about 1 percent develop potentially fatal encephalitis or meningitis.  
    • CHIKUNGUNYA – Spread by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, this disease is still pretty rare in the U.S. It’s characterized by the sudden onset of fever and severe joint pain, usually 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Other symptoms include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling and rash.
    • DENGUE FEVER –  Recently spread to the U.S. from Latin America and Asia, dengue fever has been reported in Texas, Florida and Hawaii. Four strains of the virus produce symptoms such as severe headaches, high fevers, and eye, bone, muscle and/or joint pain. Getting this virus puts you at risk for a potentially fatal dengue hemorrhagic fever should you get infected a second time.  
    • ARBOVIRAL ENCEPHALITIS – Culex mosquitoes spread various forms of this disease including St. Louis, Western Equine, LaCrosse, and Eastern Equine (EEE). All are endemic to the U.S. and increasing in incidence. The most common symptoms of the disease are flu-like with head and muscle aches, fever and nausea. In young children, the disease can be far more serious, including fatal.
    • YELLOW FEVER –  A viral infection, symptoms can appear from a few days to a week later and include headache, backache, muscle ache, fever and chills. Around 15 % of people who get yellow fever develop serious illness that can lead to shock, bleeding, organ failure and, rarely, death.
    • ZIKA – Not life threatening and often only mildly symptomatic, this viral infection typically causes fever, rash, headache, joint pain, conjunctivitis and/or muscle pain lasting for several days to a week. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of it. That said, the CDC reports that Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.


    Scientists at the CDC are eager to dispel the notion that blood type, foods we eat, or the color of our clothing attract or repel mosquitos. Reports on those things have been refuted, apparently because of bad study statistics, or invalid methodology. What we do know, is that there are a variety of ways in which mosquitos do detect their hosts.

    MOVEMENT – Mosquito’s eyes are highly sensitive to movement and they’re more likely to detect people who are moving around. This explains why they’ll often swarm hikers and backpackers on the trail.

    BODY HEAT – Mosquitos can also detect body heat. People with higher body temperatures are at risk of increased targeting. If possible, try to stay cool and dry while you hike.

    BACTERIA ON SKIN- Scientists say we also advertise our presence to mosquitoes through scent signaling. Each of us carries an ecosystem of bacteria on the surface of our bodies, although it varies from human to human.  

    CHEMICAL SCENTS – Further, we all have a unique chemical makeup that may or may not attract mosquitoes. Researchers say that in addition to bacteria, our skin exudes hundreds of these different chemical scents, including body odor, secretions, and lactic acid (sweat). Sweating releases high concentrations of several combinations of body chemicals. Because of this, hikers and their sweaty gear ring the skeeter dinner bell. 

    Other compounds we excrete include ammonia, carbon dioxide, the carboxylic acid (a fatty acid), and octanol (similar to lactic acid but found in the breath and scent of most mammals). Most mosquito species are equipped with sensory mechanisms that detect and attract them to these odors. This explains how mosquitoes are able to find their blood meal hosts, even in complete darkness.  


    As we mentioned above, mosquito bites are not only irritating but also potentially dangerous. Preventing bites and the potential transmission of diseases is essential. Below are some steps you can take to protect yourself.


    One of the best ways you can protect yourself against mosquitoes is to apply an EPA-registered insect repellent on your skin and clothing when you go out. Repellents primarily work by masking the chemicals your body emits to thwart mosquitos on the hunt. Reapply these repellents often as they lose their efficacy with sweat, wear, and water exposure. They typically come in sprays, lotions, and creams, and include one or a combination of the following four active ingredients:

    DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide)- Available in a variety of strengths  (effectiveness increases with concentration), studies show that concentrations of 30%-50% DEET are more than sufficient for most environments, and for teens and adults. DEET in 5 to 10% formulations is considered safe for children over 2 years of age. The spray is the safest way to apply DEET; avoid getting it on your hands or wash thoroughly after using lotion. Also, DEET should only be used on exposed skin; applying it to clothing or gear can dissolve certain materials. 

    PERMETHRIN – Buy factory-treated clothing with permethrin or treat the outside of your clothing and gear with permethrin. Although technically an insecticide, this repellant kills mosquitoes. It won’t keep mosquitoes from landing on you (like DEET or Picaridin) but rather incapacitates and eventually kills mosquitos after they land on you. Avoid spraying on the skin (human or pet) as it can have toxic effects and is hard on the skin. Apply instead to your clothing and boots and make sure you use enough as too light a coating will wear off quickly. 

    PICARIDIN -Unlike DEET, Picaridin is fairly low on odor while still being equally effective. It won’t irritate skin or damage synthetic fabrics or plastics and claims to be effective for up to 8 hours. 

    IR-3535 –  This ingredient has just recently been approved for use in the U.S. but has been widely used in Europe for years. IR-3535 helps repel mosquitos, ticks, and biting flies with lower toxicity than DEET. It’s safe to use on infants, pregnant, and breastfeeding women.


    THERMACELL MOSQUITO REPELLER- A more recent addition to the repellent game, the Thermacell Backpacker Mosquito Repeller has gotten rave reviews. Using heat generated from your stove fuel canister, it disperses a repellent to create a 15-foot protection zone. It doesn’t emit an odor and does not contain DEET. We’re excited to do further testing this summer. 

    AVOID FRAGRANT SOAPS AND TOILETRIES – Avoid using fragrance-infused soaps and toiletries. Use of these will leave microscopic scents on your skin, which will attract mosquitoes. 

    WEAR LONG-SLEEVE SHIRTS AND PANTS – The more skin you expose, the more vulnerable you’ll be to mosquito bites, so long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks will help protect you. Tight weaves of polyblend are a lot more effective than lightweight cotton or even newer-generation lightweight wool.

    PROTECT YOURSELF AT PEAK TIMES – Peak feeding times for mosquitoes are at sunset and sunrise, so either avoid going out then or be extra careful to take precautions against being bitten.

    WEAR A MOSQUITO NET HAT – Head nets with insect shields will keep skeeters, gnats, and deer flies away from your face and neck. The nets in mosquito hats contain holes small enough to let air through yet block mosquitos from entering. The key is to keep an air barrier between the skin and the net. Don’t let it lay on your skin, as mosquitos can still bite through given time and opportunity.

    CHOOSE REST SITES & CAMPSITES CAREFULLY – Avoid mosquitos by avoiding places where they breed and incubate, such as damp, low-lying places. Place tents at least 100 yards away from water sources. Mosquitos don’t do well in hot, dry, and sunny locales so setting up your tent in a sunny area can also help.


    A number of different all-natural substances are available that help repels mosquitos. They can be a good option for those looking to avoid harsh chemicals or for children. A wide variety of brands are available, but here are the ingredients (usually in combination) you’ll want to consider: 

    CITRONELLA – Citronella is derived from a type of grass and is generally regarded as safe when used correctly. Citronella has a lemon-lime-lemongrass scent to it and it comes in candles, lantern oils, sprays, lotions, and bracelets.

    OIL OF LEMON EUCALYPTUS – ( p-Menthane-3,8-diol) – Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus has been deemed as effective as a 10% to 20% DEET solution (similar to citronella) and has been approved for children older than 3 and adults. It has a synthetically produced eucalyptus leaf scent (not to be confused with lemon eucalyptus essential oil).

    CATNIP OIL – Most cat owners know the catnip herb (containing the chemical compound Nepetalactone) as “kitty cannabis.” But Catnip Oil is a potent mosquito and fly repellent. Researchers report that it’s about 10 times as effective as DEET at repelling mosquitos.

    ESSENTIAL OILS – Lemon, thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus, basil, clove, lemongrass, geranium, tea tree, and lavender, in a combination of three or four, definitely provide a fairly effective repellent. Make your own lotion or spray or ointment. Essential oil repellents are believed to be effective anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

    About Joanne Jensen

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