Keep your Backyard BBQ Pest-FreeMissy Henriksen
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
10 Steps to Reduce Pests at Outdoor Festivities this
June marks the start of summer and for many that means increased
time spent outdoors with family and friends. From hiking, biking
and swimming to more leisurely afternoons spent lounging in the
backyard, homeowners across the country get outside to enjoy the
warm weather on weekends, holidays and vacations throughout the
summer months. If your summer is filled with outdoor activities,
you’re joined by 85 percent of consumers who profess their love for
picnics and barbecues during the summer. Something many
forget, however, is that in addition to preparing to host neighbors
and friends, you’ll need to also expect to face unexpected guests
in the form of
summer pests like ants, flies and stinging
Many of these
pests are more prevalent during the summer, and therefore more
likely to show up during outside gatherings and parties.
Ants, yellowjackets and flies are attracted to typical
barbecue fare, and mosquitoes are especially active at dusk, when
most people head outside to fire up the grill. Not only can each of
those pests become a nuisance for homeowners, but they also pose
significant health risks to you and your guests. Ants can
contaminate food and house flies have been known to carry more than
100 different kinds of disease-carrying germs. Mosquitoes can leave
behind much more than just an itchy red bite, and are known to
carry diseases like West Nile virus, malaria and dengue fever.
Stinging insects send more than a half million people to the
emergency room each year, and are especially active during the
second half of summer when the colonies forage for food that will
sustain their queens during winter. Yellowjackets, in particular,
pose a significant health threat as they may sting repeatedly and
can cause allergic reactions.
To keep your guests happy and your backyard pest-free during
summertime barbecues, consider the following tips:
- Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so if you are
planning a barbeque before sunset, plan on having plenty of insect
repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET
or Picaridin available for you and your guests. Adorn your deck or
patio with citronella candles that can help minimize the presence
of mosquitoes in the area, and wear long sleeves or pants to avoid
- Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to
fragrances from shampoo, perfume and candles — not to mention food
and drink. Avoid using scented items beforehand and provide clear
plastic cups for your guests as aluminum cans and plastic bottles
are good hiding spots for stinging insects.
- Prior to the party, check screen doors and repair any holes.
And with guests coming in and out of your house, make sure the
doors close behind them.
- Keep all food and beverages in sealed coolers and
- Keep garbage containers sealed and away from guests.
- Clean trash, spills and crumbs immediately from tables and
- Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the
- Rinse all beverage bottles and cans, and dispose of them in
tightly closed garbage containers.
- Plan to serve food and beverages indoors, and reserve outdoor
space for eating and entertaining.
- Remove or drain sources of standing water in your yard that
could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including birdbaths,
wading pools or garden ponds.
Keep your family and friends healthy and safe this summer by
following these tips for
preventing pests from infiltrating your backyard barbecues. For
more information, or to find a find a pest control
professional in your area, visit PestWorld.org.