Some of the best memories are made while spending time with family and friends at an outdoor bbq and celebrations. However, an invasion of pesky pests such as mosquitoes, ants, flies and stinging insects can quickly put a damper on outdoor activities. We like to remind our homeowners to take steps before and during outdoor events to prevent pests from ruining the fun.
Not only are pests an immense nuisance when you’re trying to relax and enjoy a day outdoors, but some also pose health threats to you and your guests, making prevention even more important.
Ants and house flies can contaminate food while stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. Mosquitoes are carriers of the potentially fatal West Nile virus, as well as other illnesses that are becoming more prevalent across the U.S., such as the Chikungunya virus. Not good stuff
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from common household pests, offers the following tips for preventing pests at summer picnics, barbecues and other outdoor events:
- Before the party, check all window screens and screen doors and repair any holes. As guests come in and out of your house, make sure the doors close behind them.
- Remove or drain any sources of standing water in your yard that could serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including birdbaths and garden ponds.
- The majority of mosquito species are most active at dusk and dawn, so if you are planning an event before sunset, make sure there is plenty of insect repellant on hand containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET or Picaridin. Placing citronella candles on decks and patios can also help to minimize the presence of mosquitoes during an event.
- Stinging insects, especially yellow jackets, are attracted to sugars and proteins. Provide clear plastic cups for your guests, as aluminum cans and plastic bottles, are convenient hiding places for stinging insects.
- Keep all food and beverages in sealed coolers and containers to avoid contamination from ants and flies, and keep garbage cans sealed and away from guests.
- Immediately clean up any spills or crumbs from tables and other surfaces, and bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.
- You can even get creative with your grilling.
Taking these simple steps can make all the difference in preventing unwanted guests from crashing your summertime event.