Are you always having itchy bites all over your body when you camp out or relax in your backyard with your hammock? Are you searching for a way to escape? Have you considered finding out if your hammock has bed bugs? Then, this article is for you.
Hammock beds are made of sturdy nylon parachute fabric whose handle might be wooden or steel, while bed bugs are flat reddish-brown insects that are mostly found around your used furniture or upholstered surfaces.
However, there is a chance of your hammock bed having bed bugs. How? Read along with me while I show you the possibility of your hammock bed having bed bugs.
Let’s get started.
Yes, it is possible for your hammock to have bed bugs, especially when it is hung in between trees during camping but do not worry, they will not last long as your hammock bed is easy to clean, unlike your bed at home.
However, the probability of your hammock bed having bed bugs is low.
How Do I Keep Bugs Away From My Hammock? (Stop Bed Bugs)
You might need to invest a little to keep bugs away from your hammock, especially when camping out during summer.
- Do Not Camp Near Water
- Use A Bug Net
- Invest In A Parachute Hammock Or a Jungle Hammock
- Treat Your Hammock
- Apply Petroleum Jelly
- Make use Of Natural Mosquito Repellants
- Make Use Of A Sleeping Bag In Your Hammock
- Pay Attention To The Maintenance Of Your Hammock
1. Do Not Camp Near Water
Bugs are known to lay their eggs in the water, making them prevalent around the water area, so to prevent your exposure to bugs, try as much as possible not to camp near water.
2. Use A Bug Net
There are different types of external bug nets designed for your hammock, and all you have to do is attach the bug net to the hammock’s ridgeline, making it look like the hammock is wearing the bug net.
The external bug net is safer to use as it is always closed via a zipper that serves as an entrance and exit for you.
3. Invest In A Parachute Hammock Or a Jungle Hammock
Jungle hammocks are often referred to as sheltered hammocks and are the best to invest in if you want to keep bugs away, as they come with a built-in mosquito net as a form of protection.
However, this hammock is expensive, which is why people invest in a parachute hammock that is not as expensive as a jungle hammock though it has a few limitations that can be attributed to soft netting.
4. Treat Your Hammock
Bugs and other insects will crawl and fly away at the scent of permethrin. You can treat your hammock with permethrin to keep bugs away or to kill them.
Permethrin is a dual-purpose ointment that can be used as medication and insecticide at the same time as it is applied to the skin as a cream to repel or kill bugs that land on you and applied to ropes, ridgelines, and hook as an insecticide to repel or kill insects that craws on it.
However, you need to use it moderately as it has side effects, including itching, irritation, swelling and redness, and rashes.
5. Apply Petroleum Jelly
Instead of using permethrin, you can apply petroleum jelly on the ridgelines, ropes, and wall hooks of the hammock, as bugs tend to drop off on slippery surfaces due to not being able to get a grip on their feet.
6. Make use Of Natural Mosquito Repellants
Rub natural mosquito repellants on your body to keep the bugs at a distance, as they tend to run off at the scent or taste of these natural oils or plants. Such natural repellants include,
- Catnip Oil: This oil serves as a safe bug and insect repellant, and it is obtained from the Nepeta Cataria plant but does not last more than 7 hours.
- Cinnamon Oil: This oil tends to be longer than other natural repellants as it lasts for a very long time.
- Citronella, lemongrass, and rose oil which is mostly found in Geraniol.
- Any repellants include natural ingredients such as Fennel, clove oil, neem oil, thyme, and celery extract.
7. Make Use Of A Sleeping Bag In Your Hammock
A sleeping bag is made up of nylon, taffeta, and polyester, which is not easy for a bug to climb upon or build its house on and also serves as protection when used in a hammock.
8. Pay Attention To The Maintenance Of Your Hammock
The hammock should be cleaned thoroughly and regularly before use (for campers) to prevent the build-up of bugs house especially when it is always hung in an open space in your backyard or hung initially between trees.
How Do I Know Bed Bugs Are On My Hammock?
There are various ways to know when bed bugs come to visit your hammock or have turned your hammock into their new house even without you seeing them, and this includes,
- Bed bugs excrement and blood that comes in the form of tiny dark spot.
- Blood stains that look rusty on the hammock, which the bugs leave behind after they might have fed on you.
- Red itchy bite.
- They can be noticed through their smell, as they have a musty odor due to their strong pheromones.
- Their shed skin cells.
What Are The Other Benefits Of Using Bug Net For Your Hammock?
Apart from keeping bugs out of your hammock, there are other benefits associated with using bug nets.
- It Serves As A Good Cover
Sleeping under a mosquito net in a hammock can serve as a form of cover and protection, as a hammock tends to be revealing and might not provide the type of warmth or confidentiality you need.
- It Keeps Us Healthy
Camping in a natural habitat helps to keep you healthy, but few campers get sick as a result of being exposed to bug or mosquito bites; however, this can be avoided by making use of a bug net in your hammock to achieve the healthy advantage of camping around trees or green spaces.
- It Helps You To Enjoy Camping
Camping is always enjoyed when you are not restricted by anything but three is a higher chance of getting restricted when trying to protect yourself against bugs or insects by hiding under your blanket or in a sleeping bag.
Thankfully, this can be avoided by making use of a bug net for your hammock as it is transparent, helping you to enjoy the view of the surrounding from above ( when you hang the hammock between the trees) and helps to maintain airflow without any restriction.
It also helps you to enjoy the moment with your friends and family, resting in a neighboring hammock and keeping you protected at the same time from bugs and insects.
How Do I Maintain My Hammock?
Regular maintenance of the hammock can help to keep your hammock in good condition and free of dirt and bugs. A hammock can simply be maintained by;
- Do not put excess weight on the hammock, as it has its limit.
- Store it in a dry place when it is not in use.
- Clean debris or dirt off the hammock bed regularly.
- Pay attention to the hammock’s material and give proper care to it.
- Wash your hammock regularly by using your hand or washing machine, but you should wash the pillow with your hand.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Wash My Hammock Bed?
You need to wash your hammock to get rid of mold. Mildew, critters, and bugs. Hammock beds can simply be washed either with your hand or with a washing machine, depending on the type you want to wash.
Washing a hammock with a spreader bar differs from washing a hammock without a spreader bar. Here is the best way to wash your hammock using a hammock.
How Do I Wash Hammocks With A Spreader Bar?
A spreader bar is either a wooden or a metal bar that helps your fabric to lie flat. However, Hammocks with a spreader bar can only be washed with the hand as the bar cannot be washed with a machine.
The first thing to do is spread out the bar on a flat surface( a driveway will be the best option)and dampen the hammock using a garden hose.
Secondly, fill a bucket with warm water and a little detergent, then scrub both sides of the hammock with a soft bristle brush (scrub hard when you notice any mold or mildew) and rinse each side off immediately after you are done with the scrubbing.
And don’t forget to hang your hammock under the sun to allow it to dry up, and do not leave it outside for long to maintain the life span and the color of the fabric.
Can I Wash Hammocks Without A spreader Bar Using A Washing Machine?
Yes, hammocks without a spreader bar can be washed with a washing machine, but hammock pillows might get softened easily with time if you wash them with a washing machine.
The first thing to do is to fold the hammock in half and tie the strings at both ends together to prevent it from tangling during washing, especially when it is a rope hammock you are washing.
Secondly, look for a pillowcase, and place your hammock in it, then tie the pillowcase before placing it in the washing machine, making sure that detergent has been added to the water. The next thing to do is pull out the hammock gradually from the pillowcase and untie the string after you have washed and rinsed properly.
And then go on to spread out the hammock to dry completely before making use of it to prevent the buildup of mold.
Can I Wash Hammocks Without A Spreader Bar Using My Hands?
Yes, hammocks without a spreader bar can be washed by hand by placing them in warm soapy water in a bathtub by keeping the loops at both ends out of the water. Then, scrub the hammock with your hands and rinse thoroughly with water before hanging it out to dry completely.
One very important thing you have to note when washing your hammock, either the one with a spreader bar or the one without a spreader bar, is not to wash it with bleach.
Can I Store My Hammock Without Bug Infestation?
Yes. As said earlier, bugs can be more prevalent anywhere there is upholstered furniture, so you have to keep it in a weather-resistant fabric bag or hang it in a well-ventilated area free of moisture. For instance, make sure you do not hang close to any wooden furniture in a garage.
Bed bugs can make your camping less fun as they can attract you when your hammock is dirty or when you use black bedsheets, so it is of utmost importance to maintain your hammock properly by keeping it clean.
However, you might not be able to do away with bugs when you hook your hammock in between the trees, and that is why you have to get an external hammock bug net or invest in a jungle hammock or parachute hammock.