Huddle Up, Fall Pests Aren’t Playing Around

The National Pest Management Association reveals a game plan to prevent pests from intercepting the next tailgate 

FAIRFAX, VA (September 19, 2017) — Football season is back, which means the coming weekends for sports fans will consist of throwing on their favorite jersey and whipping up five-layer chip dip to bring to the next tailgate. But, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that unwelcome guests – in the form of pests – could easily intercept the parking lot party.

“During the cooler months, many pests forage for food that will sustain them through winter,” said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “It also happens to be a popular time of year for tailgates, which serve up the perfect spread for pests, as burgers and chips are often left uncovered, sweet drinks are cracked open and trash gets piled up.”

Before kickoff, tailgaters should review the following game plan from NPMA to stop pests from scoring big: 

  • Yellowjackets: Known to sting repeatedly, this feared mascot feeds on sweets and proteins, so serve soda and alcohol in clear cups. If a yellowjacket is flying nearby, avoid swatting it, as this will only provoke it.  
  • Flies: Is that buzzing sound coming from the stadium or a pesky fly? Flies can contaminate food surfaces at tailgates by spreading disease organisms picked up when feeding on trash and feces. To keep flies at bay, regularly empty trash cans, cover food and keep tabletops clean.
  • Ants: Like any dedicated fan base, ants use their strength in numbers to thrive. Capable of foraging 100 feet away from their nest, they travel in large groups and are drawn to sweets and high-protein foods. Store desserts in sealed containers and immediately clean up crumbs or spills.
  • Mosquitoes: While it takes blood, sweat and tears to win on the field, proper mosquito prevention will assure no blood is shed off the field. Apply insect repellent containing at least 20 percent DEET and wear long pants and sleeves to avoid mosquito bites when tailgating.

For more information on preventing fall pests, visit


The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 6,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property. For more information, visit