These Simple Tips Will Help You Keep Your Picnics Pest-Free & Enjoyable
Summer is a time to forget about the cold, winter months and have some much-needed fun in the sun.
Eating outside is one of the best parts about summer, but unfortunately, pesky pests like flies, ants, gnats, and mosquitoes tend to put a damper on this. Whether it’s a fun picnic in the park or dinner off of the grill on the back deck, when you’re trying to enjoy food outside, the last thing you want is uninvited guests like mosquitoes, ants, gnats, bees, and flies.
Find the Best Place for a Picnic
Picnic in well-maintained areas like parks or designated picnic spots, and be sure to check for ant mounds before you pick your spot.
Ant mounds are small, cone-shaped piles of dirt with a hole at the top and ants surrounding it (most of us played with them as kids). Have your picnic at least 100 feet from these mounds to avoid ants from invading your picnic spot.
If sitting on a blanket is your ideal picnic spot, choose a place where there is short grass and a small number of weeds. Pests like to gather in tall grass and will latch onto your blanket if their space is invaded. To prevent ants from joining your picnic, sprinkle cornstarch or baby powder around your picnic tables and blankets.
Like always, staying away from standing water can prevent mosquitoes from joining your picnic, as they need standing water to lay their eggs. Puddles, lakes, and ponds are a few examples of standing water to avoid while having a picnic.
Don’t Give Critters Access to Food
Covers and lids are your friend.
Using lids to keep food covered until mealtime is the best way to prevent ants and flies from getting the first bite. Insects are drawn to smells of food, so the lid will obviously help lessen the smells getting out.
If you love sugary drinks like lemonade or soda, be sure to use cups with tight lids. If you don’t have lids, you can cover your drink with napkins, foil, or other household items. Ants, wasps, and bees are attracted to sugar and especially sugary drinks. Keep this in mind while deciding what to bring to a picnic, as this may be the time to choose a less sugary option.
Make sure to keep garbage in a secure place that flies can’t get into, whether that be garbage cans with tight lids or a closed plastic bag.
Easy Ways to Keep Bugs Away
Mosquitoes can be repelled in a variety of ways. Using bug spray will help keep you safe from mosquitoes, gnats, and even ticks. Citronella candles are also a useful tool in preventing mosquitoes and gnats, as they don’t like citronella oil and will stay away.
If possible, bring an oscillating fan to your picnic. This inhibits insects’ ability to fly, and they will go in the opposite direction of your picnic. As an added bonus, it’s always nice to stay cool with a fan!
To keep bees away, you can place dryer sheets around your picnic table. This is a way to prevent bees and wasps from potentially stinging you or one of your guests, as the dryer sheets will repel them.
Picnics are one of the greatest parts of summer. Yummy food, gorgeous weather, and great company create a fun atmosphere. Don’t let pests ruin it for you and your guests by using, these easy tips to enjoy your outdoor meal, pest-free!