Missy Henriksen: Hi! I am Missy Henriksen with the National Pest Management Association.
For many, one of the best parts of the summer is grilling and barbecues. But uninvited guests like insect pest can kill the mood of outdoor festivities pretty quickly. Here are a few tips for a pest free cookout.
A week or so before the party, check you screen doors and patch any holes. Look around your yard and eliminate any sources of standing water as these are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests.
Mosquitoes are most active between dusk and dawn. So if your barbecue is in the evening, provide insect repellant containing DEET for your guests. Wear long sleeves and pants to avoid bites. If guests go in and out of the house, make sure they shut the door tightly behind them. Yellow jackets flies and ants are particularly fond of food, commonly served at a barbecue. So keep food and drinks sealed and use clear plastic cups for beverages. Cans and bottles make good hiding spots for stinging insects. If you have any spills, clean them up right away. It's best to serve food indoors and keep the outdoor space for eating and entertaining. After the meal, bring dishware and utensils indoors promptly, trashcans should be covered and kept away from the party area. Clean up thoroughly afterwards. Don't let pest ruin a great summer barbecue. Take a few preventative steps and keep the bugs at bay.