Summer Barbecues: A Favorite Event for Everyone - Including PestsNPMA Staff
Friday, July 22, 2011
By NPMA Staff
Although summer barbecues are as popular as ever, these outdoor
events frequently find unwanted guests in attendance - summer
pests. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns
homeowners that these "nuisance" pests can in fact pose serious threats
to the health of your guests.
The May 2009 issue of Fast Company examined the popularity of
summer barbecues in the United States, finding:
- More than 74 million American barbecued in 2007-2008.
- 74% of Americans will host a barbecue to celebrate the upcoming
Labor Day holiday.
- In the summer alone,the average American grill owner spends 4.4
hours barbecuing each week.
"So often, homeowners forget that moving festivities with food
and drink outdoors can bring pests to the party," says Missy
Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. " Ants, yellowjackets
are all attracted to the sweets of barbecue, and subsequently to
those enjoying such fare. These pests should never be allowed
to join the festivities as ants can contaminate food, stinging insects
send more than half million people to the emergency room each year
and mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus."
NPMA offers these tips to help homeowners keep summer pests from
disrupting outdoor summer festivities:
- Plan to serve food and beverages indoors, and reserve outdoor
space for eating and entertaining.
- Keep food sealed in containers whenever possible, and wipe
- Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the
- Rinse all beverage bottles and cans, and dispose of them in
tightly closed garbage containers.
- 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.
- Ensure all doors and windows in your home have mesh screens
that are in good condition.