We all love summer sunshine and BBQs in the garden, but these occasions can quickly be ruined by the appearance of some unwanted guests. There are some particularly unfriendly pests that can be attracted by the tasty smells emanating from your latest party food. And for some people their stings or bites can cause nasty allergic reactions.
Some of the Most Common Pests That Could Gatecrash Your Party
There’s nothing quite so off putting as a fly walking over your freshly grilled pork chop. But more importantly they bring with them on their feet more than 100 pathogens, that can cause some nasty diseases such as dysentery and salmonella. Before they wander over your latest BBQ fare they have most likely been buzzing around someone else’s dustbin. The following preventative measures will help to keep the flies away from your food: keep ALL food covered; quickly clean up any spills; keep your dustbin lids tightly closed and clean up after your pet.
Wasps are very aggressive and can attack for no apparent reason. For some unfortunate people an allergic reaction to their sting can result in a life threatening anaphylactic shock. Wasps are attracted by sweet things so it’s wise to keep these kinds of food stuffs and drinks covered. A DIY method of attracting and trapping them is with a drinks bottle cut in half and filled with a sugary liquid. The top half of the bottle can be upturned and placed upside down in the bottle. The wasps will be attracted to the sugary liquid, crawling down inside the bottle. Once inside they can’t get out again.
Mosquitoes can become the bane of early evening gatherings in the garden. They are quite happy to travel as far as 14 miles for their meals. Their bites usually result in itchy, red bumps that can be very painful for the victim. To reduce the numbers in your garden it’s a good idea to remove all standing water, as this is where they love to breed. There are several different plants that act as a deterrent such as lavender, basil, geraniums, marigolds, catnip and the old favourite citronella. Dot a few of them around your patio in attractive pots or flower beds and you’ll be surprised what a difference they make to your surroundings as well as acting as an insect repellent. Also consider an ultra violet light trap to hang from your patio. The UV light attracts flying insects, where they are zapped by an electrified grid or become stuck on a glue board.
Red ants, in particular, have a nasty, painful sting. But as is very often the case with these pesky insects they seem to be very resilient. If you can find the nest, and hopefully there will only be one, you can try pouring a kettle of boiling water straight down the hole. Add a little vinegar and this may well solve the problem. If you have several ants nests in your lawn you might be wise to call out an expert, who’ll be able to provide a more permanent solution.
Don’t let your evenings in the garden become a race for the fly swat or times when everyone is forced to go indoors. Just a few simple precautions can reduce the chances of unwanted pests ruining your family BBQ. Summer is a time for spending in the garden, and making the most of the sunshine with people you enjoy having around.