Prevent Pests From Crashing Your Summer BBQ

FAIRFAX, Va. (July 25, 2011)Picnics and barbeques are frequent occurrences during the summer months, when weekends, holidays, and vacations are often cause for celebration with family and friends. More often than not, hosts and guests alike must deal with pesky party crashers, in the form of ants, flies and stinging insects. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners that there are several ways to show those pests the door, or even prevent them from showing up altogether.

"Nothing ruins summertime fun like ants, flies, mosquitoes, wasps and other stinging insects," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. "Not only do they annoy and irritate your guests, but they can also transmit disease and cause painful bites and stings."

The NPMA recommends the following steps to avoid a pest-filled picnic or barbeque:

  • 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, and wear long sleeves or pants to avoid bites.
  • Ants and flies are attracted to barbeque fare, so take steps to keep food safe by using tightly sealed containers or coolers. Also, be sure to clean trash, crumbs, and spills from picnic tables immediately. Store all trash away from the party and always keep your garbage bins covered.
  • Yellow jackets 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. Once the guests have arrived, remind them to shut the door behind them in order to keep pests from entering your home.

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The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment to the protection of public health, food and property.