Thursday, November 30, 2023


RVer Product Review: A mosquito repellent that works!

By Tony Barthel
What is the best mosquito repellent for RVers? You see this question a lot in the RV forums and it’s something I’m highly concerned about myself as I am an absolute magnet for mosquitoes. If there’s a mosquito in the county, it’s going to find me and bring its friends for a stinging sensation. 

For years I’ve tried all the commercially available products including OFF!®, citronella candles, Skin So Soft and more. I thought I had finally found the ideal solution in the Thermacell, and that has proven effective for me. But then Nick from Grandpa Gus’s contacted me and asked if I wanted to try the mosquito spray they just came up with. 

I reluctantly agreed – reluctant only because other sprays have failed me. But I also have good experience with Grandpa Gus’s rodent repellent. 

Still, I was skeptical but I had a trip planned to a campground on a shallow lake next to a huge marsh where I go fairly frequently, so it was worth a shot. I also know that if any mosquito repellent is going to work it’s either going to work, or fail miserably, at this campground. While mosquitoes aren’t in the sales material for this campground it’s definitely a part of their experience. 

Grandpa Gus’s product line, which is growing and now includes this mosquito spray, are all-natural products. The rodent repellent has worked well for me while also leaving my RV smelling pretty terrific. We keep the pouches of Grandpa Gus repellent in the camper all year long, refreshing them as needed. 

The mosquito spray is also natural – containing plant oils including lemongrass, geranium, peppermint and cinnamon oils. As advertised, I found the smell pleasant and not chemical at all, which is one of the complaints that I have about OFF!®  – though I wouldn’t care what OFF!® smelled like if it worked for me, which it absolutely does not. 

The only way to test this properly is to start at the aforementioned mosquito-plagued campground but also bring along a friend who is likewise an attractant for mosquitoes. But then to test the effectiveness she has to use whatever she wants while I bring Grandpa Gus out and give it a shot. 

In short, it worked. While I almost always have to be indoors once the sun sets, at the test campground this time I was able to stay outside by the fire and absolutely enjoy myself. In fact, this was a first. Meanwhile, my poor test subject and fellow camper finally gave up and went into her own camper. Perhaps I should have been nicer and shared some of my mosquito spray with her. 

What surprised me is that my wife also reported that she had a few bites the next morning but I had absolutely zero bites whatsoever. This truly marks a camping milestone for me. 

Will Grandpa Gus’s Mosquito Repellent provide similar results for you? I don’t know but I’d love to find out.

Besides contributing to, Tony Barthel and his wife Peggy own and operate


Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.



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John Koenig (@guest_171740)
1 year ago

“Scent Away” is a soap that, in my experience, does a GREAT job of helping you to be “invisible” to mosquitoes by “neutralizing” your scent. It’s available in liquid and bar form. Shower with Scent Away before going out and, mosquitoes pretty well ignore you. Scent Away was recommended to me by a fried who spends a LOT of time in the north woods of NY. I’ve seen Scent Away in the sporting goods section of Walmart.

greg (@guest_171696)
1 year ago

comes up not available when you click he amazon link

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  greg

Sorry, Greg. The link has been updated to Grandpa Gus’s website. 🙂 –Diane

Bob Palin (@guest_171691)
1 year ago

But I also have good experience with Grandpa Gus’s rodent repellent. “

When mentioned together with mosquito repellant this conjured up some interesting images 😎

Steve (@guest_171684)
1 year ago

An early ’70’s joke in Alaska was, “a mosquito landed at Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage and they filled it with 10,000# of JP-4 before they realized it wasn’t a plane!” That’s when I learned about DEET: it was the only thing that kept the Alaska military from having to wear headnets every time they went outdoors. Sure it took the paint off cars if you got it on your hands and touched a door. But if it works in Alaska, it works everywhere. However, EPA may have eliminated DEET at that strength as a “hazardous substance”.

Dennis (@guest_171676)
1 year ago

I saw the comments about the no-seeums. I was fishing with my son and the no-seeums were the only thing biting for me. My son had me put a dab of Absorbine Jr. on the inside of my elbows, on the inside of my wrists, and each side of my neck. The pesky bugs quit biting. It didn’t help the fish bite though. I carry a small bottle of Absorbine Jr. in my camper, tackle box, and back pack.

Larry (@guest_171655)
1 year ago

I tried it when I saw this article two years ago. It may work for a few minutes or if you keep spraying but then the mosquitos are back and biting. Save your money. For me it’s deet.

Steve - Alaska (@guest_101035)
3 years ago

I just clicked the Amazon site and it stated “Not available at this time. We don’t know if or when this product may be available!”

I guess that is a good sign in that many people seem to be buying it!! Hopefully it will be available when next summer rolls around! The Alaskan mosquitoes can be very annoying!!

Gregory Brott (@guest_171688)
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve - Alaska

Available from Grandpa Gus’s website for $14.99 for 2 4oz bottles:

snayte (@guest_100326)
3 years ago

Does it work when the bait subject is not there?  I never get bit if my daughter is there to draw them away from me but if she puts on any bug spray then I will get their attention. So if you were alone how well did it work?

Moresch (@guest_100206)
3 years ago

Note that the price on Amazon is $19.99 not $13. FYI.

RV Staff
3 years ago
Reply to  Moresch

Sorry, Moresch. When I proofed this article, and checked the price, two days ago, it was at $13. I’ve just updated the post to indicate the (greatly) increased price. Thank you for letting us know. 🙂 —Diane at

Scott R. Ellis (@guest_99906)
3 years ago

You don’t say what OFF you’ve tried, and some of it is indeed quite useless. The useful comparison is between Grandpa’s stuff and a pure- (or nearly-pure) DEET spray. I know, that freaks a lot of people out, but it also works. If this works as well as or better than DEET, you’re saying something. If it works better than, oh, Skin-So-Soft and essence of orange peels, you’re saying something else.

BirdsGoToo (@guest_99799)
3 years ago

Do you suppose it would work on biting flies in Upstate NY?

Doug Parham (@guest_99792)
3 years ago

We spend the winter in Florida and the no-seeums have a feast on me! If this works on those pesky little things, it would be worth it’s weight in gold!!

Bill Semion (@guest_99720)
3 years ago

I’d also try a product named Parakito. All natural, and it works.

Julie (@guest_99704)
3 years ago

Oh boy, guess I’m gonna have to try this! My friends and family consider me their mosquito repellent. I’m the magnet!! There have honestly been outdoor gatherings where others got a few bites, at most, while I was pure bait and miserable.

Rick (@guest_99695)
3 years ago

Wonder if it works on no-seeums?

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