Braman offers tips on how to avoid summer pests at backyard festivities
Some of the best summer memories are made while spending time with family and friends at backyard barbecues and celebrations. However, an invasion of pesky pests such as mosquitoes, ants, flies and stinging insects can quickly put a damper on outdoor activities. Braman Termite & Pest Elimination, a leading provider of pest management services across southern New England since 1890, reminds homeowners to take measures before and during outdoor events to prevent pests from ruining the fun.
“Not only are pests an immense nuisance when you’re trying to relax and enjoy the outdoors, but some also pose health threats to you and your guests, making prevention even more important,“ said Jerry Lazarus, third-generation owner of Braman Termite & Pest Elimination.
Ants and house flies can contaminate food, while stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year. Mosquitoes are carriers of the potentially fatal West Nile virus, as well as other illnesses that are becoming more prevalent across the U.S., such as the Chikungunya virus.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from common household pests, offers the following tips for preventing pests at summer outdoor events:
- Before the party, check all window screens and screen doors and repair any holes. As guests come in and out of the house, make sure the doors close behind them. Refrain from propping doors open, even though it may be convenient.
- Remove or drain any sources of standing water in the yard that could serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including birdbaths, buckets and empty pots.
- The majority of mosquito species are most active at dusk and dawn, so when planning an event before sunset, make sure there is plenty of insect repellant on hand containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET or picaridin. Placing citronella candles on decks and patios can also help to minimize the presence of mosquitoes during an event.
- Stinging insects—yellowjackets in particular—are highly attracted to sweet liquids like soda. These insects delve into soda cans for a free meal and can become trapped, resulting in stings to the mouth of unsuspecting soda drinkers. When drinking from an aluminum can while outdoors, use a straw to avoid sucking up any stinging insects that may have fallen in. Provide clear plastic cups for guests to help avoid this problem.
- Keep all food and beverages in sealed coolers and containers to avoid contamination from ants and flies. Keep garbage cans sealed and away from guests.
- Immediately clean up any spills or crumbs from tables and other surfaces. Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.
“Taking these simple steps can make all the difference in preventing unwanted guests from crashing your summertime event,” added Lazarus.