As Labor Day draws near, you are undoubtedly anticipating a long weekend, picnics, and BBQs with friends and family. Pests should not mar your holiday weekend, so in addition to learning the tricks for making a perfectly grilled burger, you need to learn how to keep bugs away this Labor Day. Here are some tips for keeping you and your family safe from Labor Day pests.

Mosquitoes

The first approach to enjoying a pest-free Labor Day BBQ or picnic is to wear bug spray. This will help keep the dreaded mosquitoes from delivering their itchy bites. Still, you can further prevent bug infestation by getting rid of standing water.  Mosquitoes can breed in tiny amounts of standing water, and they don’t travel far from their birthplace.  Therefore, getting rid of breeding grounds will help keep your backyard free from mosquitoes.  Areas of standing water can include bird baths, gutters, buckets, barrels, potted plants and overwatered grass that can’t drain effectively.

Flies

The pesky and potentially harmful fly lives and breeds in garbage cans and around decaying organisms and feces.  This means they can pass on diseases to humans when they land on your food.  To keep flies away, use a fan to breeze over the table and discourage flies from landing lightly.  If you serve food buffet style, keep the food covered.  Use trash cans with lids and place them far from the tables. Insect netting can be used to cover food until it’s ready to be served. Also, set up the tables away from low-lying vegetation.  This way you will be far from areas where flies commonly congregate.

Stinging Insects

Yellow jackets and honey bees like sugar, which means they tend to gather around fruit, open soda cans, and juice.  To keep them away, make sure fruit platters always remain covered.  Transfer your soda to a clear container so you can see what’s in your drink.  This will prevent you from getting stung on the lip by unknowingly sipping out of a can with a yellow jacket inside.  Finally, serve juice in a sealed pitcher.

Ants

These insects are good at cleaning up after humans, but sometimes they get ahead of themselves and crash the picnic before it has ended. Before setting up your picnic, inspect the area. Look for ant mounds or ants trailing.  To help keep them away, clean up food spills and beverage dribbles as quickly as possible.  When you’re done eating, and you want to linger, instead of letting the ants clean up, get rid of dirty plates and utensils first.  Also, sweep the outdoor dining area so the fun can continue after the meal without any ants to spoil the party.

These tips are handy to keep bugs away, but sometimes a more professional approach is required.  A pest control application might be advantageous to keep pests away.  If you're a Labor Day weekend party host that is worried about backyard pests, call Critter Busters today!