Bug Busters USA offers the following tips for preventing pests at spring picnics, barbecues and other outdoor events:
- Before the party, check all window screens and screen doors and repair any holes. As guests come in and out of your house, make sure the doors close behind them.
- Remove or drain any sources of standing water in your yard that could serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including birdbaths and garden ponds.
- The majority of mosquito species are most active at dusk and dawn, so if you are planning an event before sunset, make sure there is plenty of insect repellant on hand containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET or Picaridin. Placing citronella candles on decks and patios can also help to minimize the presence of mosquitoes during an event.
- Stinging insects, especially yellowjackets, are attracted to sugars and proteins. Provide clear plastic cups for your guests, as aluminum cans and plastic bottles are convenient hiding places for stinging insects.
- Keep all food and beverages in sealed coolers and containers to avoid contamination from ants and flies, and keep garbage cans sealed and away from guests.
- Immediately clean up any spills or crumbs from tables and other surfaces, and bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.