If you're planning a picnic during the warm weather, you need to make sure that your food and area are protected against bugs! Encroaching ants, mosquitoes, bees and other insects can ruin a fun meal outside. Take a little time to prepare your picnic with these insect-proofing tips.
Pick your spot (and time) carefully
Choose a spot that is clear, open and away from any soggy ground or wet grass. Avoid areas near water, especially standing water, because mosquitoes and other insects tend to linger there. A picnic by a lake or river is fine, but position yourself as far away from water as possible. Scout for any lines of ants or buzzing bees to avoid similar problems. An open space with frequent breezes is best, because bugs avoid windy areas. Also, remember that many colonies are quiet in the mornings and more active in the afternoon and early evening.
Use citrus as a quick fix
Many bugs try to avoid the acidic smell of citrus, and a variety of other scents. If you want to protect a temporary picnic spot, consider lighting some citrus candles, or spraying the area with a harmless citrus essential oil for extra protection.
Set up smoke defenses
If you don't mind a little smoke around the picnic table or lawn, it can be an effective way to get rid of bugs, as they will avoid it. A popular option is a set of citronella tiki torches that you can place and light as you need them. Of course, this option doesn't work well if someone at the picnic has asthma or is sensitive to smoke.
Keep food inside or covered
Food will attract bugs, so try to avoid displaying it until you are ready to eat. If you are near a house, keep the food indoors until it's time for that course. If you are out in a park, bring a cooler or two and keep food fresh until it's ready to be plated. This is especially important for any fruits or desserts you may have: Bugs are adept at smelling sugar in any food, so keep these out of the open air until you are ready to eat.
Avoid bright colors
Many flying pests use colors to pinpoint where nectar or other food may be. Although bright-colored summer clothing is in style, it's a good idea to avoid bright colors and floral patterns. Colorful, bright clothing just makes it more likely that bugs will stop by to investigate.
Keep your yard clean
If you are eating outside your home, make sure it is clear of trash, and that any standing water has been removed. A clean yard is far less hospitable to annoying insects. If you've noticed a lot of ants or mosquitoes in your yard, call Inspect-All Services to learn more about mosquito management and other techniques to help manage these pests.