Keep Bugs Away from Your Outdoor Party with These Natural Tips
You’ve planned a backyard barbecue to kick off the weekend and cooked enough food to feed an army. You just didn’t realize you were going to be feeding an army of ants until they came marching in, ruining your summer fun.
Flies, mosquitoes, wasps, ants, rodents, and other uninvited guests can certainly leave their mark on the backyard BBQ memories you are trying to make. Certain foods and drinks are sure to attract unwanted bugs and pests, which can quickly lead to the party moving indoors.
If you want to make sure your party stays outdoors, we’ve got a few DIY tips and tricks to help you keep the bugs away from your outside party.
Use Scents That Pests Hate
Insects rely heavily on many of their senses. They are attracted to scents, colors, and other environmental cues such as moisture, heat, light, and shade. Your red, white, and blue-themed party may seem patriotic to you, but a pesky bee will recognize the color of sweet flowers and come in for a closer look.
Don’t ditch the decorations, try this instead: Rosemary, mint, and lavender all smell great to people, but not to pests. Herbs can be arranged in vases or containers and set around the area and used as centerpieces; they can also be tied together in bundles and hung on chairs. The vases can even do double duty and serve as tablecloth weights when placed in small pails and clipped to the tablecloth! All of these will also enhance the ambiance of your outdoor space.
Citronella and peppermint are other smells that may deter some pests away from your outdoor gathering.
Set up Natural Pest Stations Away from the Gathering
If it’s sticky, sweet, and full of sugar, it’s definitely going to be a crowd-pleaser — but it won’t just be your guests lingering around the dessert table. Fresh fruits or fruity drinks, soda, ice cream, cupcakes, and even barbeque sauce can all give party-crashing pests a sugar high.
Consider setting some distractions for sweet-seeking insects a few yards away from your gathering about 20 minutes before food is served. A couple cups of flat soda or some overripe fruit will keep the bugs busy so they leave your get-together alone.
Natural Mosquito Repellent
Make sure your party is not set up in an area where there is standing water. This is a breeding ground for pests, including mosquitoes.
There are a few reasons why mosquitoes bite some people more than others. Mosquitoes are attracted to body heat, carbon monoxide, and type O blood. Some of us, unfortunately, are just prone to mosquito bites. However, there are some bug spray options you have at your disposal.
EarthKind’s Mosquito Repellent is a great skin-friendly option to have on hand at your next backyard BBQ. This spray is naturally scent-free and offers 14-hour protection from mosquitoes and ticks.
Some people also claim that drinking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar mixed into your water makes you less attractive to mosquitoes too; try adding honey to improve the taste.
Cover Up Your Food
Everyone knows uncovered food and drink will attract pests, and a cookout is a bug’s favorite place to eat. Rethink the standard paper plates and plastic cups; reusable containers with lids can be just as convenient. They’ll help keep pests away while helping you reduce waste and protect the planet too!
You can prepare individual servings of salad in sealed jars ahead of time (put ingredients in reversed order with wet ingredients on the bottom, and leafy greens on top) so guests can dump the contents onto a plate or bowl and enjoy.
Keep Your Trash Cans Away
Keep garbage cans away from where the food will be served and away from where people will be sitting. Scraps of food and drinks make the perfect meal for bugs hovering around your patio. Make sure that your trash cans have tight lids.
Clean Up the Yard
Pets can attract pests if their food or water is sitting out, or if they go to the bathroom and the mess isn’t quickly cleaned up. Walk around your yard and look for pet waste. While you’re at it, inspect your patio for hornet and wasp nests that may be started underneath tables, chairs, and roof lines.
Watch What You Wear
Try to stick to light, solid colors for both decor and attire. Not only are they less attractive to insects, but they will help you stay cooler instead of absorbing the sun’s heat the way dark colors do. If you know that you’re prone to insect bites, instead of fruity or floral personal care products, choose unscented varieties, or opt for plant and herbal blends.
Try Using a Botanical Pest Control Solution Indoors
Spending time together with family and friends makes summer even sweeter, but remember to leave pests outside where they belong. There may be a lot of traffic in and out of your house during the party, so place our Stay Away® pest control pouches near the door and in any pest-prone places. Our pouches use essential oils and other botanical ingredients to create scents that will keep these unwanted visitors out.
With a little planning, you can keep your party pest-free naturally, inside and out!