Your big backyard barbeque is underway – a total success, everything planned to the ‘t.’ But then terror strikes in the form of those winged devils known as mosquitoes. Guests start slapping, scratching, and running for cover - and you’re embarrassed. Luckily, we’ve got some suggestions to help you entertain your guests – not the bugs!
Reduce the Mosquito Population in your Backyard
The best option for controlling mosquitoes is setting up a mosquito trap about two weeks prior to your event. Mosquito Magnet® mosquito traps mimic our body chemistry to lure in mosquitoes. Once close enough, the mosquitoes are sucked into the trap. You can drastically reduce the number of biting mosquitoes on your property by properly using a trap. Fewer mosquitoes mean fewer bites – and a more peaceful summer barbeque for you and your friends!
Choosing the Perfect Time for your Event
Hosting your barbecue during the early afternoon is ideal, since mosquitoes tend to hunt at dusk and dawn, they won’t be bothersome during the hotter hours of a summer afternoon. However, other bugs are still out and about during these hours so take precautions to fend off these intruders as well. For starters, you certainly don’t want to begin your barbecue event with yellow jackets and flies in and around your food, so you should keep your serving table indoors or under the cover of a screen tent.
You should also be sure that spills and food crumbs are cleaned up right away and garbage receptacles are covered tightly. Any foods that are set out for serving should be covered or individually-wrapped, if possible. Since it is definitely warm during this time of day, having some fans outdoors to keep the air moving will be much appreciated. It will also keep mosquitoes and other small flying insects away from your gathering areas! Many of these pests are not able to fly well against an air current, so fans make the perfect dual-purpose addition. You should also wear light-colored clothing and long pants – this will help protect against both the burning rays of the sun and the mosquitoes!
Keep Bugs Away from the Grill
Position your grill in a sunny area of the yard. Since mosquitoes dislike the heat from direct sunlight, this will keep them from congregating by the grill chef. Cooked food should be moved to the serving area, and utensils should be cleaned or placed indoors immediately after eating. Pests such as flies and yellow jackets are attracted to your leftovers, so keep them at bay with proper cleanup. Another grilling tip – place a bundle of fresh rosemary directly onto the hot coals. This will create a lovely scent for you and your guests, infuse the flavor of the herb into your grilled food, and create an undesirable smell for mosquitoes.
Keep Mosquitoes Away with Outdoor Décor
You can use your décor to your advantage in your fight against the bugs! Choose bug repelling plants in your yard and garden, for example, marigolds and mums are hardy and last well into the fall, providing a barrier from mosquitoes and other insect pests. Decorate with herbs and flowers, creating beautiful centerpieces and accents. Try using lavender and eucalyptus; these scents are pleasing to us, but interfere with a mosquito’s ability to “smell” us. Here is a list of scents mosquitoes are repulsed by – luckily they’re all pleasant to our olfactory senses. Placing a fire pit where people will gather can keep mosquitoes and other bugs away from that area. You could also choose to burn eucalyptus branches in the fire for extra mosquito repelling effectiveness. You may also consider starting up tiki torches, citronella candles, and incense a few hours before your guests will arrive.
Prepare in Advance for your Backyard Barbeque
Yard preparation is key in planning for a barbecue. Clean up any trash or debris that may have blown onto your property, and be thorough; even a bottle cap filled with water is large enough to become a mosquito breeding ground. Since many mosquitoes prefer to hide in taller grass, be sure to mow your lawn the day before or morning of your party. Also be sure to collect the grass clippings, not only does this eliminate hiding areas for mosquitoes, but it will keep grass clumps from being tracked into the house on guests’ shoes. Drains and gutters should be cleared to ensure that water isn’t pooled up inside of them. Also, change bird bath water regularly – stagnant water makes a perfect area for mosquitoes to breed, and is also unhealthy for your birds. You may also consider adding bird feeders to your property – many birds choose to eat both seeds and insects and could help control the pest population. Do you have any tips for keeping the bugs away from your backyard barbecue? Let us know in the comments or share your story with us on your next visit to Facebook!