To keep your guests happy and your backyard pest-free during barbecues, consider the following tips:
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 or Picaridin available for you and your guests. Adorn your deck or patio with citronella candles that can help minimize the presence of mosquitoes in the area, and wear long sleeves or pants to avoid bites.
Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to fragrances from shampoo, perfume and candles — not to mention food and drink. Avoid using scented items beforehand and 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. And with guests coming in and out of your house, make sure the doors close behind them.
Keep all food and beverages in sealed coolers and containers.
Keep garbage containers sealed and away from guests.
Clean trash, spills and crumbs immediately from tables and other surfaces.
Rinse all beverage bottles and cans, and dispose of them in tightly closed garbage containers.
Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.
Plan to serve food and beverages indoors, and reserve outdoor space for eating and entertaining.
Remove or drain sources of standing water in your yard that could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including birdbaths, and wading pools.