How to keep pests at bay when entertaining outside
In the warmer months we all love to have an outdoor dinner party or lunchtime BBQ. But bringing our meal time out in the open also means opening up the opportunity for flies and mosquitoes and other pests to join the party, too. In this post, we share some tips and ideas to help you keep your outdoor entertainment area at home pest-free.
Remove the bug attractors
Before the party, do an outdoor check for things that could attract bugs:
Remove Standing Water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Go around your backyard and look for places that water gathers: uneven gutters, kiddie pools, buckets in the garage, a planter tray you left lying around in the garden.
Move trash and recycling: Put your trash cans and recycling bins as far away from your house as you can - make sure that the lids on your trash cans fit tight. Flies love garbage and ants love the sugary residue in recyclables. Moving both away will cut down on the flies buzzing around your patio table and the ants crawling around your house.
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.
Bug lanterns attract bugs into the light and zap them bye-bye. Place a bug lantern away from your dinner table so it doesn’t affect the ambience of your outdoor party. Best for at night, these lanterns do have a drawback: zappers are said to attract bugs that aren’t pests, like bees and beetles, too.
In general, smoke repels mosquitoes and flies. Adorn your deck or patio with citronella candles (they don’t like the smell) and Tiki Torches (perfect to see the lighting mood for a BBQ night).
A simple wire-mesh colander can be used to keep bugs off dinner. If you are setting up a buffet-style meal, an upside-down colander over a plate of food protects it, while keeping dishes on display.
Keep bugs at bay while creating ambiance with a mosquito net. A net creates a separate room outside, lending your next outdoor dinner party a sense of privacy and intimacy.