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mosquito on blade of grass

Barbecues and backyard gatherings are a big part of summer. But, so are pesky pests. What do you do? Start with these 5 tips.

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When summer rolls around, it’s time to pull out the barbecue and enjoy some good food. Unfortunately, humans aren’t the only ones who love a good barbecue. Unwanted pests will also try to join the party. Keep reading for some helpful tips on how to keep your next barbecue free of pests.

Fight mosquitoes with a clean yard

The first step in fighting mosquitoes is preventing them from breeding in the first place. Mosquitoes need stagnant water to lay their eggs, so periodically check your yard for standing water in toys, birdbaths, and pools, and empty them out so mosquitoes can’t breed. Mosquitoes and other insects are also attracted to tall grass and weeds. Therefore, keeping your lawn trimmed will help keep away these pests.

Keep stinging insects away from guests

While stinging insects, like bees, wasps, and hornets, send almost a half a million people to the emergency room every year, they’re also important insects that we don’t want to kill. Unlike mosquitoes, bees aren’t flying around because they’re attracted to us. Instead, they’re attracted to sweet smells and nectar. Therefore, don’t use fragrant candles as party decorations.

Also, try to keep your barbecue away from blooming flowers. If you want to draw the bees to a different part of the yard, take a jar of jam or jelly and place it far away from the party to attract bees to that instead.

Clean up messes to keep ants away

Sure, picnics are synonymous with ants, but that doesn’t mean you always have to put up with these uninvited guests. As soon as you’re done eating, you should take your plates and utensils inside and properly dispose of all trash in tightly sealed containers.

Also, immediately clean up and throw away all beverage cans. Finally, store your leftovers in sealed or wrapped containers and wipe off the outside so they don’t attract ants.

ants marching on a blade of grass

Keep food inside and away from flies

Flies are attracted to the same good aromas we love from barbecues. If at all possible, keep your food inside and do your mingling outside to prevent flies from swarming around your food. If that’s not an option, a simple colander turned upside down and put over your dishes will prevent flies from landing on your food.

Smoke ’em if you got ’em

Almost all insects hate the smell of smoke, so you can easily use decorations to keep these pests away. Place and light tiki torches around the yard for ideal decorations that are also useful. Another option to add ambience to your backyard and keep the bugs away are citronella candles.

Finally, insects also don’t like the smell of  certain herbs. For a natural insect repellent, toss a few sprigs of sage and rosemary on the grill while you’re cooking. Or, make small packets of these herbs and hang them around your party area to repel insects.

The next time you’re having a barbecue, spend more time hanging out with your guests and less time shooing away pests by following some of these simple tips.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.