Pest Free is the way to BBQ – Tips to Keep Away Unwanted Guests
With summer in full swing, many of us have joined the 85% of consumers who acknowledge their love of picnics, barbeques and outdoor leisure activities. In preparing to host events, something that is often overlooked by event hosts are the pests that arrive as unwanted guests. Pests in general are typically more active during warm weather and will happily invite themselves to your gatherings. Flies, ants, mosquitoes and stinging insects (especially yellowjackets) are renowned for appearing at the least opportune moments. Not only do they cause an annoyance to you and your guests, they have the potential to pose health risks. Flies are notorious for being carriers of diseases of over 100 disease-carrying pathogens. Stinging insects are the cause of over one half million trips to the emergency room each year, some of which result in death due to anaphylactic reactions. Ants for as small as they are, have the capability of contaminating foods and drinks, while mosquitoes carry diseases such as West Nile Virus. Taking preventative measures for your events will give you the peace of mind that your event will be a pest free one.
Just a few tips to keep your guests happy and your barbeque pest free:
- Remove/drain any sources of standing water which create breeding grounds for mosquitoes including wading pools, birdbaths and garden ponds that do not have pump systems. These water features also attract stinging insects.
- Keep in mind that mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. Events planned during this time should be accompanied with insect repellent candles and the availability of insect repellents containing DEET.
- Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to shampoo, perfume, scented candles, etc. Avoiding heavily scented items will decrease your attractiveness to these insects. Keep in mind that aluminum cans and plastic/glass bottles can create hiding places for stinging insects that may result in guests being stung. For that reason, provide clear plastic cups for drinking.
- Inspect your home well in advance of your event for any existing pest issues including ant mounds and wasp nests. If necessary, contact a pest control professional to assist you in eliminating the pests prior to the time of your event.
- Prior to your event, check for any needed window or screen door screen repairs that may be needed to prevent pests from entering the home. Encourage guests to keep doors closed as they enter and exit the home.
- Plan to serve food indoors and keep all food in sealed containers/coolers when not being consumed.
- Clear trash, spills and left-over foods immediately from tables. Remove utensils and dishware shortly after the meal is finished to prevent attraction of ants, flies and stinging insects.
- Rinse all bottles and cans and dispose of them in tightly sealed trash/recycle containers away from guests.