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It’s summertime and that means cookouts, picnics, and outdoor fun. While eating outdoors is fun throughout the summer, it definitely comes with many challenges – dealing with insects crashing your party being one of the biggest concerns! Planning a picnic or outdoor barbecue can be a lot of fun, but worrying about insects… not so much. Knowing how to keep away uninvited guests like ants, mosquitoes, and stinging insects is extremely important considering these pests can make picnics more of a headache than anything else. Follow the tips below to help keep pests away from your next picnic.

Find the perfect location.
Choosing the right location will go a long way in fighting the bug battles. It is best to picnic in a well-maintained area, such as parks and designated picnic spots. If you picnic near tall grass, you can expect ticks. It is a good idea to have a nearby trash can so that you can dispose of your waste, sure, but make sure you do not set-up your picnic too close, as the nearby area will attract flies and other insects. Also, choose a location that is away from standing water as this will help you steer clear of mosquitoes. In addition, setting up your picnic away from areas with lots of flowers will help you stay away from stinging insects.

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Eat at the right time.
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, so the best time of day in order to avoid them is midday to late afternoon before the sun begins to set. Considering eating lunch outdoors verse breakfast or dinner to avoid mosquito bites.

When planning the menu, skip the sweet foods.
Many insects like wasps, ants, and bees are naturally attracted to sugary scents. If you can limit the number of sugary sodas, cakes, and cookies at your picnic, you will greatly reduce the chance of insects finding you. Not to mention, this is a healthier choice for your body as well!

Wear bug spray and bring candles.
DEET is extremely effective at repelling mosquitoes, as well as being an effective repellent for ticks. With mosquito-borne illnesses, such as Zika virus, and Lyme Disease being content concerns, it is important to use an EPA-registered ingredient like DEET to ward away these pests. Also, pack a few citronella candles. Even if you are eating in the daylight, the oil in citronella candles will ward off mosquitoes in a 5-foot radius.

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Cover up!
This actually relates to a few things. First off, keep your food covered until it is time to eat. This will help limit the smells that insects will be drawn to. Also, use cups with lids or bottles with twist off caps so that sweet drinks and juice aren’t spilled or left open to attract wasps and ants. Finally, cover your body as much as possible considering the heat. Wearing long sleeves and long pants can help minimize bug bites.

As summer continues, do not let insects limit your fun. Be careful to not bring home the pests with you inside your picnic baskets! If you do see insects or other critters around your home, give us a call at 877-DEAD-BUG. We also have services that will protect your family against ticks and mosquitoes, such as our Preventative Mosquito Service so you can enjoy your yard more this summer!