Camping and bugs, spiders, ants

When Good Glamping Goes Bad: Creepy Crawlers

Dear glampers,


It’s hard to believe summer is almost officially over.  Today we thought it would be fun to discuss one of those things that we all encounter somewhere along our glamping trips:  insects in camp. Yuck.

Living and glamping in the southwest and Texas means dealing with hoards of invertebrates, several of these creepy crawlies being quite nasty.  We’ve had a lot of incidents at one park in particular (which shall remain nameless) in the vicinity of Dallas, TX.  Our list of creepy encounters at this single campground reads like a virtual “who’s who” of unwanted camp guests:  ants, tarantulas, chiggers, fire ants, and ticks.  To be fair, we’ve encountered these pests (and even a scorpion or two) at other locations in the area.  However, none of them holds a candle (or in my case, holds a giant stick) as that first time a tarantula casually wandered through our camp.  I freaked, which I think is totally normal.  Cooler heads prevailed.  The kids told me to “chill out” and TJ satisfied his thrill-seeking-issues by attempting to “wrangle it.”



A tarantula encounter while glamping



What TJ called a “defensive posture,” I called a “I’m about to eat your face posture.”  I swear that thing spit venom at him.  Just after this photo was taken, the tarantula ran up a tree and parked itself on a branch about 10 feet up and sat there scowling at us all night, no doubt plotting his revenge.  It was very unnerving to see that thing still silhouetted on the branch at 10:00 PM like an eight-legged Norman Bates.


Perhaps more creepy was our encounter with the ants.  Has this happened to any of you?  Upon returning from a lovely hike with the kids, we discovered them in the Airstream.  And by “in,” I mean IN the Airstream.  We still don’t know exactly how they got in, but after getting ant traps for the interior and spraying the heck out of the struts with bug spray, the problem went away within 24 hours.


Then there was the great tarantula safari; this one in Southwest Oklahoma.  We spotted 13 of those hairy arachnids crossing roads in one park in just 15 hours of camping.   And those are just the ones we saw on the trail.  I’m not even going to think about how many were out there in the grass.


When we Glamped in the upper midwest, the worst we had were some mosquitoes (unlike Minnesota’s reputation for parrot-sized mosquitoes, they were actually not bad).  We had a little portable fan blowing across the campsite and that really seemed to help.  It was either that or it was the three cans of OFF… but who can tell?


The moral of the story is this:  No matter what creepy-crawlers we encountered on our adventures, we found that they added that extra element of surprise to the adventure, and they make for great stories afterwards.  In some cases, long afterwards.


Do you have any terrible/fascinating invertebrate encounters?  Any tips for handling bugs you could share?  We’d love to hear your adventures, too!


Hope you all have a lovely, safe, and tarantula-free Labor Day weekend!

Happy glamping,


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