Prevent Unwelcome Guests at Backyard BBQs
Kentucky Termite & Pest Control helps homeowners avoid pest-filled picnics
Weekends and holidays during the warm, summer months often draw people outside to have some fun in the sun at picnics and barbeques. However, these enjoyable times with family and friends can quickly become troublesome with the arrival of pesky party crashers, in the form of ants, flies and stinging insects. Kentucky Termite & Pest Control, a pest management company servicing Kentuckiana, cautions that these pests are more than just an annoyance and can be a health concern for partygoers.
“Ants, flies, mosquitoes, wasps and other stinging insects are most active when the temperature is hot, so they are likely to show up at festivities without an invitation,” said Tom Snyder, Branch Manager at Kentucky Termite & Pest Control. “Not only do these pests irritate guests, but they can also cause painful stings and transmit disease, which can put a real damper on summertime fun. Some people can suffer severe allergic reactions to insect stings and mosquitoes have the potential to transmit West Nile virus.”
Image courtesy: University of Kentucky
Flies are notorious for spreading diseases, but biting flies are bloodsuckers and can become serious pest threats for humans, livestock, and pets. They’re active during the day and are attracted to things like shiny surfaces, movement, warmth and carbon dioxide (what you exhale). Their bites are very painful and often cause the human or animal they’re feeding on to spontaneously jerk, causing them to land on the next available victim.
Bees and wasps in the yard will quickly bring backyard fun to a screeching halt. Especially if you or your guests are allergic to their stings. Some stinging insects are more aggressive than others. In general, if they have a stinger, are striped and look scary, they’re sure to cause panic.
Yellowjackets are one of the more aggressive types of stinging insects. Unlike paper wasps, which usually only sting when provoked or when their nest is tampered with, yellowjackets will sting without mercy and seemingly for no good reason.
The yellowjacket is often mistaken for a “bee”, but they don’t carry pollen, don’t have fuzzy legs, and are not docile hoverers like the bee. They’re closer to the hornet family and are predatory, feeding on other insects. Nests are often build in man made structures, like inside eaves on houses and in the rafters of sheds and what not.
This year, there’s been a ton of warnings in the news and on the web about the West Nile Virus cases being off the charts across America. It’s not something to brush off. “It won’t happen to me” is just not an acceptable excuse for choosing not to protect yourself these days. The CDC has some great advice about WNV and how to protect yourself here.
The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) reminds homeowners that there are several ways to send these pests on their way or even prevent them from coming to the party altogether.
5 Tips to enjoy a pest free yard
- Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so if you are planning a barbeque before sunset, plan on having plenty of insect repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient like DEET, picaridin or IR3535 available for you and your guests. Adorn your deck or patio with citronella candles, and wear long sleeves or pants to avoid bites.
- Ants and flies are attracted to barbeque fare, so take steps to keep food safe by using tightly sealed containers or coolers. Also, be sure to clean crumbs and spills from picnic tables immediately. Store all trash away from the party and always keep your garbage bins covered.
- Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to fragrances from shampoo, perfume, and candles, so avoid using these scented items beforehand.
- Provide clear plastic cups for your guests as aluminum cans and plastic bottles are good hiding spots for stinging insects.
- Prior to the party, check screen doors and repair any holes. Once the guests have arrived, remind them to shut the door behind them in order to keep pests from entering your home.
For more information on summer pests and how to prevent them, please visit www.franklinpestsolutions.com