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August 1, 2017

Spending time outdoors in the summer is a great way to take advantage of the warm weather and to entertain family and friends. Mosquitoes, ants, flies, and wasps are the ultimate party crashers. These uninvited pests can ruin an otherwise perfect outdoor event and even make your guests uncomfortable.

“It can be a challenge to avoid pests when spending long periods of time outdoors, as some are attracted to typical barbecue fare and others are active at night when people tend to fire up the grill,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the NPMA. “If people follow some simple tips, like wearing insect repellent and keeping food covered, they can enjoy the summer season without worry.”

Below are some tips to follow to be sure that pests are kept off of your summertime party RSVP list.

Keep food and beverages sealed.
Place all food in trays or dishes with tightly sealed leads or cover them with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent food-borne illnesses that are carried by insects, such as flies. Also, offer screw-top beverages to keep bottles sealed and insects out. If possible, keep all food indoors for serving and then guests can still eat outside!

Remove standing water.
Make sure standing water is drained and eliminated around all outdoor areas to avoid mosquitoes and their bites. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so by removing these breeding areas, you will greatly reduce the mosquito population in your yard. This includes emptying birdbaths, kiddie pools, and flowerpots. Also, consider calling 877-DEAD-BUG to schedule a Preventative Mosquito Service (PMS)! These services can be monthly or even performed specifically days before your event.

Empty trash often.
Although you will want to spend the majority of your time enjoying the day with your guests, don’t forget to continuously remove and take out the trash. Letting trash pile up will tempt bugs to join your party. Also, keep trash cans with tight lids to make sure the pests can’t get in!

Light a candle.
In general, smoke will repel mosquitoes and flies. Placing tiki torches around the perimeter of your party can help and go a long way in keeping pests away. Also, use citronella candles on tables to not only add ambiance but to keep pests away as well!

Mow your lawn.
Using the lawnmower before your event can go a long way in keeping bugs away while you are entertaining outdoors. Bugs are attracted to tall grass and weeds, so trim your lawn and keep it dry to prevent standing water (this attracts mosquitoes, as mentioned above!)

Plant herbs, such as lavender, peppermint, and basil.
These herbs are a natural way to keep pests away. Try planting these herbs in your garden! Lavender fends off mosquitoes, moths, fleas, and flies; Basil will repel both flies and mosquitoes; and peppermint will protect your yard from mosquitoes, mice, spiders, flies, and ants.

Consider planning your event during the day.
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so planning your outdoor celebration in the afternoon will help prevent mosquito bites. If your event continues on into the night, remember to bring out the citronella candles and bug spray with an EPA-registered active ingredient. As always, consider calling Black Diamond to treat your outdoor event space ahead of time!

Pest free is the way to be! Enjoy your summer events and backyard more with these tips and the help of Black Diamond services!