What Color Does Not Attract Bugs?

Let’s face it, nobody likes it when your camping tent is full of bugs. Some of those bugs will even bite you and leave itchy marks all over your body. There are many different sprays to keep the bugs away, but have you ever wondered what color does not attract bugs?

Besides using chemicals to keep the bugs away, some people have experimented with using different colors. Specific colors should be chosen for tent canvas, clothing, or pretty much anything near you. We don’t want to waste your time so here are the best colors that most likely won’t attract bugs:

  • Brown
  • Green
  • Mint Green
Bug attracted to different colors on a leaf
Bug on a leaf, Source: Pexels

Why do some colors attract bugs?

There are many different reasons why are some bugs attracted to certain colors. Sometimes they mistake it for food, other times they’ll get “provoked” by the colors. The fact is, there are approximately a million different bug species all over the world. We, humans, got different interests and eat different food from country to country, and we are all same kind. So, compare us to bugs who can differ a lot from species to species and you’ll understand that it’s hard to come up with a general answer to this question.

However, there is one pattern that scientists have discovered amongst most bug species.

Bugs almost always prefer colors that stand out. Certain colors such as white and yellow will reflect UV light. We don’t see UV lights, but most bugs do and they love jumping on them. Darker colors such as brown, red, blue, and green do not reflect colors as much, which is why the bugs will mostly ignore them.

Most bugs are herbivorous, eating only plants, however, there are many omnivorous bugs eating both plants and meat. Some bugs are attracted to specific colors that remind them of their natural environment. This includes green and brown, which are the same colors that we previously said are “better” to wear. This is because there are so many different species of bugs.

If the colors are not attracting bugs, they could still attract other types of insects. That’s why choosing a color to repel bugs can be an ineffective way to keep them away. Instead, you can do other, more efficient things to protect yourself from bugs, keep reading to find out how.

How to keep bugs away?

There are multiple ways to prevent bugs from messing up your camping trip. There isn’t one general approach to keep the bugs away, but a combination of methods will help you out. We’ll cover some of the ways you can keep the bugs away, both with products and without.

Use a multi-layer camping tent

As much as it sounds trivial, some people will go camping with just a sleeping bag. Sleeping bags are great, they will keep you warm, and they are soft, but they don’t provide enough protection against bugs. Often these bags come in bright colors which will attract even more bugs to you.

Instead, choose a multi-layer camping tent to keep the bugs away. You should pick a color for the tent that’s not bright, but brown, green, and darker tones in general. Ideally, you can choose camouflage tents that work great to repel bugs. Now, you might wonder why we said multi-layer.

A multi-layer tent provides additional protection against insects, wind, and rain as well. It’s an additional protection that will make your camping experience better.

Use a bug spray

You can find a bunch of different sprays on the market to repel bugs. When searching for a good one, just make sure that it has either “deet” or “picaridin” in the ingredients. These two ingredients are working best to repel various kinds of insects including mosquitoes.

They also come in a form of a hard stick that you can roll over your skin. Bug sprays are really effective, and they are not expensive in general. One bug spray on average can last you a couple of camping trips.

Wear long sleeve clothes

Even if bugs somehow get on to you, long sleeve clothes will prevent bites and stings. Ideally, the color of these clothes should not be bright as we have already mentioned what color does not attract bugs. Long sleeve clothing is especially useful if you are walking through high grass because bugs love to “camp” on grass leaves.

Avoid dark, unlit areas

You will find way more bugs in dark areas than in well-lit. Remember what happens when you move a brick that was not moved for a long time? Bugs come out. This doesn’t mean you should hang lights everywhere around your tent, as that might attract other types of insects. Campfires are great though, most bugs can’t handle the heat, so you’ll be good.

Skip the perfume

Bugs are often attracted to strong smells. That’s why you should never wear perfume or deodorant when going camping. You’ll also notice how drinking an excessive amount of alcohol can attract bugs and other insects to you too. That’s because your body releases a specific smell when the alcohol is evaporating which the bugs obviously like.

Store food properly

This one is a no-brainer, never leave your food outside. Within minutes, you’ll find a bug party feasting on your meal prep. You can try using vacuum-sealed meals to keep the food fresh and the bugs away.

Final words

To conclude, there are no magic colors that will repel bugs, but if you avoid bright colors, you’ll generally attract the least number of bugs. There are other methods to keep the bugs away such as wearing long sleeve clothing, not wearing perfume, and storing your food properly. So, next time when you ask yourself what color does not attract bugs, you should better ask yourself what can I do to prevent bugs from reaching me instead.

About Krešimir

Hi, my name is Krešimir and I am a software developer by profession. In my free time, I have a passion for content writing and SEO optimization. I love to use my technical skills to create engaging and informative content that helps people online. When I'm not working or writing, you can find me camping or enjoying time spent outside. I love spending time outdoors and find that being in nature helps to clear my mind and recharge my batteries. Whether I'm hiking through the mountains or just enjoying a peaceful day by the lake, I always come back feeling renewed and ready to tackle whatever challenges come my way.