Camping and RVing can be a great experience, but bees and wasps can be quite the nuisance. These stinging pests can be obnoxiously intrusive and interrupt fun times at your campsite! Bees and wasps don’t intentionally come looking to bother you, but unfortunately that often ends up being the case! There are certain preventative measures you can take, along with using repellents designed for keeping bees and wasps from congregating in your RV.
The thing to remember about bees and wasps is that they never actively set out to try and ruin your outdoor fun, especially bees. A bee’s main job is to set out, gather, and distribute pollen between plants and gather nectar for their young. So if a bee comes across your outdoor spread and smells something it likes, it’s going to stick around and check it out, and possibly communicate to other bees that there is something good in the area. Wasps, although much more aggressive than bees, do not come around looking for a fight either. They are probably just out looking for food for their young too, when they happened to stumble upon your delicious smelling campsite!
Once these seemingly pesky insects discover a place that they like, they will not want to leave, so you will have to take both preventative and defensive actions against these insects! So here are a few tips on how to keep bees and wasps away from your RV!
Prevent Bees And Wasps From Showing Up
Bees and wasps are attracted to a lot things that you might find at a campsite. Anything from food, clothing, and even hygiene products! If you have any indication that bees or wasps might be present at the place your are camping, there are certain precautions you can take when planning your trip!
When packing clothing, you should consider the texture and color of what you’re going to bring. White, pastels, and other light colors are always a safe bet. Avoid vibrant red or brown colors, as these look like a bee or wasp’s natural predator and might provoke them! Bright colors and bold patterns, especially floral patterns, will attract bees the most. Just remember, if you look like a flower, bees will think you are a flower! Also, try to avoid any sprays, lotions, or strong smelling shampoos, as they can tend to smell sweet or flowery, which is exactly what a bee is looking for!
If you’re planning on serving food outside, there are many measures you can take to keep bees and wasps at bay! If you know that bees or wasps are likely to show up, it could be smart to set up a decoy area! You can set up things like some fruit, a sugar water mixture, or even a cup of juice or pop about 15 to 20 feet away from where you’ll have your food set up. Set it out about half an hour before you bring your food out, and hopefully it’ll keep bees and wasps busy and distracted from your delicious food!
Since bees and wasps rely heavily on their sense of smell when hunting for food, reducing the amount of smells you’re putting out from your food could prevent them from catching a whiff. Remember, the more delicious and strong-smelling your food is, the more attractive it will be to these insects! Be sure to keep all of your food covered when you’re not loading up your plates. It’ll keep bees and wasps from crawling into food, and reduce the smells that can attract them!
Another thing you can to do avoid attracting bees and wasps is to make sure you’re not leaving your trash out where it can emanate inviting smells. Purchase an outdoor lidded trash can where you can store garbage and make sure it is well sealed to prevent enticing smells. You could also be sure to deposit your trash as soon as a bag is full at designated areas to reduce the chances of insects catching a whiff! If you elect to keep a trash can, you could place some repellents around the can, which we will discuss here!
As with any DIY subject, there are a myriad of things you could try to repel bees and wasps. Some may work really well, while others might be huge fails. Here are some highly recommended solutions that could keep bees and wasps from congregating around your RV.
Your first thought may be to go with the commercial chemical repellant route, which could work well! Many drugstores and retailers sell personal bee repellent, but there is some skepticism as to how effective they might be over time. There are countless sprays out there, many highly rated with various ingredients. Finding one that works best for you could be a trial-and-error process, but worth it for you in the long run!
One natural thing you could do is to start a campfire, if you can. Bees and wasps will be subdued by the smell of smoke and it will work to keep them at bay! Smoke causes the bees to release a stress hormone, which means they will be more concerned with their own survival than they will be with bothering you!
Making traps could also be a great idea, as they could eliminate pesky insects. This is especially handy with wasps, as they are more aggressive by nature and could cause more safety concerns for you and your family. If you are having more of a problem with bees, you might want to think of another option. Most species of bees that you will find are just trying to find flowers to pollinate and are not there to bother you. The natural bee population has been dwindling significantly in the past few years, which could be detrimental to our environment, so it is best if you can avoid killing them!
There are plenty of natural remedies as well, which are great if you appreciate a more organic, chemical-fee approach. Almond extract is a widely agreed-upon natural deterrent. Lemongrass, mint, cloves, and garlic have also been recommended for keeping bees and wasps at bay! There are plenty of recipes to makes sprays and solutions using these ingredients. Some of them include citronella, which will also help to keep mosquitos away too!
Perhaps one of the silliest suggestions would be to fill up brown paper bags with air and tie off the opening with a string before hanging them around your campsite area. They will look like hives to bees and wasps. Since these insects are usually highly territorial, they will want to avoid an enemy’s hive!
If you’re a seasonal camper staying in one spot for an extended time, or if you have your RV in storage, you might be concerned with bees or wasps forming a nest on or around your RV. To stop that from happening, you should regularly be checking the area around your RV to make sure that there isn’t any increased bee or wasp activity. If you notice a higher number flying around, or a specific area that they are fixated around, you might have cause to worry. Try some of the deterrents suggested above to ward them off! If your RV is being stored, make sure to cover up any areas where bees or wasps could get in to build nests.
Bees and wasps aren't a guaranteed nuisance when it comes to RV trips, but they can be present and pesky! Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you to keep bees and wasps from congregating in your RV! Have any other successful tips to repel bees and wasps? Leave us a comment!