• Danielle Fornal

Keeping Your Summer Cookout Pest-Free

Summer gatherings are one of the highlights of the warm months, but they are best done without the addition of creepy, crawly uninvited guests. Insects such as mosquitoes can cause annoying bites and can potentially transmit dangerous diseases and stinging insects can pose a threat to guests with allergies.

Following the tips below will help keep your outdoor cookout pest-free and allow you to sit back and enjoy your gathering time.

Pre-Cookout Yard Inspection and Clean-Up

  • Inspect your yard for any potential insect problems such as ant hills or stinging insect nests. Call a professional pest management company if needed.

  • Mow the grass the day before a cookout can help reduce harborage for insects hiding in taller grass, such as ticks.

  • Drain any standing water sources to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes.

  • Pick up leaves, sticks and any fallen fruit that may attract insects from your yard and out of your gutters.

  • Make sure trash is properly stored in a covered container.

During the Cookout

  • Have on hand an EPA approved repellent with DEET to ward off mosquitoes.

  • Remind guests (even make a sign) to close doors tightly when entering and exiting your home to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside.

  • If you’re attending a cookout, have a change of clothes along. If the weather allows for it, long sleeves and long pants will protect from bites from mosquitoes.

  • Avoid wearing perfumes or fragrances that will attract insects.

  • Have plastic cups available for use. Beverage cans and bottles are attractants for stinging insects.

  • Keep food tightly sealed and covered and/or keep food in sealed coolers.

  • Keep food prep areas clean and immediately wipe up any spills. Ants and flies are especially attracted to leftover food remnants.

  • Keep trash in covered receptacles. Keep trashcans away from main gathering areas.

  • Use fans to create a breeze that will keep insects away.

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