Summer’s nice warm weather and extended daylight hours make a perfect setting for outdoor barbeques and cookouts. You invite your family and friends, and everyone enjoys some grilled burgers, hot dogs, or chicken along with tasty side dishes and ice cold beverages. These informal get-togethers have become one of your favorite summer activities.
Unfortunately, some unwelcome visitors have crashed your guest list. Pesky flies and yellowjackets, most prevalent during the warmer months, often flock to events where food is present. And right around sunset, annoying mosquitoes make an appearance, whining around your head and often biting you multiple times. However, you can minimize your encounters with these obnoxious (and often hazardous) visitors. These 4 useful tips will help to banish the bugs from your outdoor feasts.
Bugs Present Several Hazards During Outdoor Events
Getting bombarded by bugs, especially when you’re trying to enjoy a nice meal with your guests, can be highly annoying. In addition, these bothersome insects can present several health and safety hazards.
First, greedy house flies that feast on your food can carry more than 100 types of disease-carrying germs. Next, the yellowjackets move in, hovering over (and on) your food and sweetened drinks. These pests are especially prevalent during mid/late summer, as they’re searching for food to sustain the colonies’ queens during the long winter. Yellowjackets can be quite aggressive, and they typically sting their victims multiple times, often causing allergic reactions.
Finally, the mosquitoes swoop in to gorge themselves. These stealthy, persistent pests frequently carry West Nile virus and Zika virus, along with several diseases common to specific regions.
Make Your Property Less Desirable to Insects
If troublesome insects don’t find your yard an especially inviting place, they’re less likely to visit – or set up permanent residence there. Most importantly, make your property inhospitable to mosquitoes, which can carry several harmful diseases.
Several times a week, take a walk around your grounds, and drain standing water sources that mosquitoes use as breeding grounds. Regularly change your birdbath water, and also pay attention to your wading pool (if applicable). If you have a garden pond, install a pump that circulates water so it doesn’t become stagnant.
Before spending time on your deck or patio, light well-spaced citronella candles that help to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay. You’ll enjoy the candles’ pleasant scent while lowering the likelihood that you’ll become an easy meal for those nasty pests.
Minimize Your Personal Insect Risks
Protect yourself against marauding insects by taking two types of precautions. Yellowjackets and other stinging bugs are attracted to scented shampoos and colognes, so don’t use these products before your barbeque or picnic.
Next, remember that mosquitoes are highly active at dusk and dawn, so mount two lines of defense against these disease-carrying pests. First, wear long sleeves and pants to make it harder for the mosquitoes to bite your exposed skin. Spray yourself thoroughly with an insect repellant containing DEET or Picaridin. Stock some extra spray for your guests.
Keep Stinging Insects Away From Your Outdoor Feasts
Don’t give yellowjackets and other stinging insects a ticket to your outdoor feast. These voracious little freeloaders are attracted to tasty foods, and you’ll often see them checking out your salads and side dishes. By waving them away, you risk a confrontation with these often-aggressive bugs. To minimize your risks, move your buffet table indoors so guests can fill their plates in peace. If that’s not an option, cover your foods when everyone has served themselves.
Sodas, sweet tea, and other beverages are even more appealing targets for stinging insects. They love to hide in aluminum cans and plastic bottles, and you often don’t notice them until you take a hearty drink of your beverage. To prevent this unpleasant encounter, provide clear plastic cups that will make the bugs easy to see.
Run a Coordinated Cleanup Operation
Stinging insects always gravitate to food and drink, wherever they can find it. In other words, they’ll happily buzz around (and light on) your serving dishes and utensils, table spills, and open trash cans.
Discourage the yellowjackets and their cousins from hanging around your outdoors feast. Clean up spilled food and drink, and wipe up crumbs when you see them. After everyone has finished their meal, bring plates and serving ware indoors for disposal or cleaning. Rinse your beverage cans and bottles, and place them in tightly closed trash cans. Keep those containers sealed, and position them far away from your guests.
After you have made your Murphy, NC yard less attractive to stinging or biting insects, and given yourself a healthy dose of protection, invite your guests to enjoy a tasty outdoor feast. Also, because many of these insects remain active into the fall, keep your guard up until the weather turns cooler.
The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team