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Midwest summers mean it’s time for barbecues and neighborhood parties. However, those perfect outdoor gatherings can turn sour if disrupted by annoying pests. In the Kansas City area, the most common summer-time outdoor pests are: bees, wasps, ants, ticks, flies, and mosquitoes. Here are 6 tips to help you throw the perfect pest-free outdoor party.

Prior Preparation

Some of the best ways to make your gathering pest-free must be done prior to the party. If you are expecting to host several gatherings during the summer, it may be worth it to work pest-repelling plants into your landscaping.Planting geraniums, marigolds, lavender, and lemongrass near your gathering area can help keep the bugs away because they dislike the smells of these specific plants.

lawn mower

 

Shortly before your party, trim the lawn, shrubs, etc. Insects and bugs are attracted to long, thick grass, so keeping everything trimmed can greatly reduce the insect population in your yard. It is also important to remove standing water, where mosquitoes tend to breed, and remove any trash or debris from your yard.

Timing

Many insects, including mosquitoes, are most active at dawn and dusk, so the timing of your party is an important factor to consider. If you host daytime gatherings, you are much less likely to have mosquitoes around.

Food and Drink Care

Bees, wasps, and other insects are attracted to sweet foods and drinks. When preparing food for a barbecue or party, keep all food covered and tightly wrapped until it is time to eat, and then cover it again when you are done serving. It is also helpful to cover drinks using lids. Pests are also attracted to garbage, so keep the garbage cans well away from the group gathering and ensure that the lids are on tightly.

Remember, pests can get anywhere where there is food, including restaurants. According to Fox4kc, the owner of a restaurant was forced to close his door due to cockroach infestations.

Lighting

If your party runs into the evening, there are still things you can do to avoid mosquitoes. If possible, leave your porch lights off or consider changing the color of your outdoor bulbs. Insects are drawn toward the light, but they are less likely to be attracted by pink, orange, or yellow lights. Tiki torches using citronella oil are a great option. Not only do they create a nice ambiance, but the citronella actually repels bugs. You can also use citronella candles to perform the same functions.

 

lawn torch

 

Insect Repelling Products

One of the best ways to protect your guests is by passing around insect repellent. The EPA suggests using a repellent containing DEET because it has been proven to repel both ticks and mosquitoes and protect against dangerous diseases that they carry like Zika virus, West Nile Virus,  Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and others. Bug lanterns can also be used to repel insects. If you choose a bug zapper, it will actually attract and kill insects, so place it away from your main gathering area.

Professional Pest Control

If you have a particularly bad bug problem this summer, you might consider getting some professional pest control done. Professionals can treat your lawn, shrubs, and under the eaves of your home to eliminate a lot of the potential problems. With monthly maintenance, your summer parties can remain pest-free throughout the entire season. Six Brothers Pest Control is your Kansas City Pest Control expert. We want to help you enjoy your outdoor parties this Summer.