Flies, mosquitoes, ants, bees – none of them are on the BBQ guest list, but you can bet your bottom round steak they’ll try to crash the party. Well, not this summer! This grilling season you’re going to be prepared to keep bugs away so they don’t feast on your guests or the food.
Treat the Area in Advance
A week or so before the BBQ, treat the areas where you’ll be cooking and where people will be eating. Give your yard, patio, porch, etc. a good once over to look for signs of insect activity. Make note of things like wasps’ nests, anthills and buzzing around flowers. If you live in the southeast step outside during sunset to get a better gauge of how bad the mosquitoes could be.
Now that you know your trouble spots, it’s time to treat them. You can DIY, but for the most complete coverage you may want to consider a custom pest control treatment from the professionals. Technicians can do their own inspections and tailor the treatment to address all of the issues.
Give the entire area a good cleaning. Clear out all the clutter, weed the garden and mow the lawn. This gives insects fewer places to hide out before and during the BBQ.
Some insects, like mosquitoes, only thrive under certain conditions. You can minimize the chance that they’ll snack on your skin by eliminating any areas with standing water. At Vulcan Termite and Pest Control Inc. we also offer specialized mosquito control treatments that address both eggs and adults.
Find a Way to Add Fans
A nice breeze doesn’t just keep guests comfortable. It also keeps pests away. Flying insects will have difficulty moving around when fans are constantly circulating the air. Here are a few FAN-tastic ideas for your BBQ:
- If you have overhead outdoor fans keep them on the entire time.
- Add a clip fan to the grill out an area. This can help keep the cook cool and stop insects from landing on the food.
- Plug in tower fans and standing fans near seating/eating areas.
- Use an air circulator to circulate air over a larger area.
- Pick up a few handheld fans for guests to use.
Get a Few Food Cover Tents
Food cover tents are handy mesh screens that protect plates from pests. They couldn’t be easier to use. Just unfold them and they’ll pop up. Higher end models can be locked so there’s no risk of the canopy collapsing. Food tents are a great option for plates by the grill and buffet-style spreads.
Cook and Decorate With Herbs
Some insects are very sensitive to the aroma of herbs. Throwing a little rosemary, basil or sage on the grill could help keep bugs from buzzing around. If you have potted herbs place them around the seating area. It will add to the ambiance and can repel insects.
Keep Trash Contained
Ants and flies are always looking for an easy meal, which means trashcans are a prime target. Keep a garbage can with a lid a short distance from the cooking and/or eating areas. Tape a sign to the trashcan letting guests know it needs to be covered at all times. Do regular sweeps to clean up spills, wipe down surfaces and pick up dirty plates and/or cups even if they don’t look like they have food residue.
Strategically Use Mosquito Netting
Mosquito netting does double duty during a BBQ. It can keep insects off of guests and help segment different areas. There are pop-up tents that can be moved into place, canopies that can be hung from overhead and curtains that can be strung up around a covered patio or porch.
Check Your Screens
If you already have a screened in outdoor space check to make sure there are no holes, loose edges or tears. For one or two small issues a screen patch kit will do the trick. However, if the screen is badly worn or has sizeable tears it’s best to go ahead and replace it instead of trying to repair it.
Set Up a Few Citronella Candles
Citronella candles are actually effective at temporarily keeping some insects away from the general vicinity where they’re located. Just be careful to place them where there’s no chance they’ll get knocked over.
Provide Guests With Bug Spray
If all else fails, bug spray can keep insects from bugging guests. Keep a few bottles handy that contain EPA-approved repelling ingredients like DEET or picaridin. For more information, check out our bug spray breakdown.