No matter the season, outdoor barbecues and tailgate parties are a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. However, with any gathering where there is tasty food, enticing aromas and large groups of people, you'll have to contend with flies, mosquitoes and other uninvited guests. With careful planning and diligence, however, you can prevent pests from ruining your outdoor party.
Prepare Your Yard
If you'll be hosting your outdoor party in your own yard, prepare your yard ahead of time to minimize opportunities for pests to gather. Mosquitoes breed in standing, stagnant water, so make sure you don't have any containers that can gather water and give mosquitoes an attractive breeding environment. Mosquitoes can thrive in as little water as you can fit in a bottle cap. Keep weeds, bushes and grass cut back to eliminate shelter for insects and other pests. Finally, inspect your yard for any insect nests and take appropriate steps to eliminate them before your party begins.
Minimize Food Odors
Ants and flies are attracted to the odors of food, especially fruit or uncooked meat. Keep your food items tightly sealed in airtight containers until you're ready to serve or prepare them. Once you've started serving food, don't leave it unattended; if none of your guests are serving themselves, cover the food until someone is ready for a serving. Keeping your food covered will both reduce the number of pests who are attracted to your food and minimize their ability to contaminate your food.
Invest in Insect Repellants
Insects are attracted to the smells of food, but other odors can drive them away. Citronella candles are often effective at reducing the number of insects that attempt to crash your party. Insects find citronella distasteful, and many won't venture into an area inundated with citronella. Use personal insect repellents, especially ones containing DEET, to further protect yourself from pests.
Cover and Relocate Garbage
Unlike humans, insects don't have discerning palates. They're just as happy to feast on garbage and food scraps as freshly cooked barbecue. To prevent garbage-seeking pests from disrupting your gathering, place garbage containers away from your main gathering, and make sure that the containers are lined with bags and covered tightly. Don't allow garbage to sit on tables; encourage your guests to throw away their trash immediately.
If you're planning an outdoor get-together and are concerned about a pest problem, call the experts at State Pest Control. Our expert technicians have been serving our neighbors in central North Carolina for more than 40 years.