Planning a Bug-Free Backyard Picnic Area

When the cold of winter finally recedes, most people are eager to get back outside and enjoy the sunshine with some food and friends. After being cooped up for so long, you might be happy with any kind of sunlight you can get, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be comfortable while you do it. Bugs and pests have a way of putting a damper on a party, even after a long winter.  

To get the most out of your backyard barbecue area, there are a few things you can do beyond conveniently forgetting to invite that one annoying neighbor. By making some simple preparations, you can be sure that your outdoor parties are a hit.  

Decide Where to Place Your Picnic Area 

The location of your eating area is almost as important as what you are eating (although nothing can save a barbecue from overcooked burgers). By planning out the proper placement of your picnic area, you can be sure that you and your guests can eat in peace and not be annoyed by bugs and other pests.  

Take care to place your picnic area a good distance away from the grill. Bugs tend to gravitate towards the smell of cooking food, so if you are far enough away from the cooking area, you can avoid spending your afternoon swatting away mosquitoes. This will also keep the eating area from getting caught in the heat and smoke of the grill. You want your meat to be smoked, not your guests.  

Use Sun Protection 

Umbrellas and canopies are a great idea for any backyard barbecue. It’s great to get some sun, but too much heat and glare can make your party guests uncomfortable. Having something to protect you from the harsh summer elements will give everyone a chance to relax and breathe easily.  

One important thing to avoid, though, is using trees and other foliage as protection from the sun. Bugs and birds love to congregate in trees, which makes them a perfect hiding place for other little critters. Not to mention the fact that anyone who has parked under trees for long enough knows what comes down when there are birds up above. That’s definitely not something you want to be eating underneath. 

Consider Netting 

Mosquito netting is a great idea if you live in a place that deals with these annoying pests on a regular basis. If you decide to go the canopy route, netting is easy to install and can be easily taken down once the party’s over. Netting can also double up and act as a shade for when the sun gets low in the sky. If you have a built-in awning on your porch, consider keeping the netting up for a more permanent solution that will be effective all summer long without the hassle of putting it up and taking it down each time you use your backyard.  

Keep Vegetation Pruned 

Having a backyard with a lot of plant life can make any outdoor party into a beautiful and enchanting experience. Unfortunately, a lush ambiance isn’t the only thing plants are good for. They’re also perfect hotels for mosquito larvae and other nasty critters that have a way of ruining backyard barbecues.  

If you have a lot of plants in your yard, be sure to keep them pruned back and trimmed throughout the summer. This will not only keep them from overgrowing your yard and taking it over, but it will also make plants less inviting for things like wasp nests and mosquito eggs. 

Choose the Right Lighting 

We’ve all heard the expression, “like a moth to a flame” but fire isn’t the only thing that moths are attracted to. Any kind of harsh, bright light will act as a beacon for nocturnal bugs that have a way of showing up when the sun goes down. Be sure to choose your lighting carefully when the time comes to fire up the grill.  

Softer lighting is a much better choice for your outdoor picnic area. String lights give a twinkling, elegant ambiance and will be less likely to bring out the moths and other nighttime bugs. While you’re at it, you can also light up some citronella candles. They not only give off a pleasant, flickering light that is perfect for the magic hour, they also keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay while they’re at it.  

Contact the Pros

It’s never too early to start planning for your summer get-togethers. While you’re arranging your backyard picnic area, check out the services offered by Mosquito Joe for all your pest and bug control needs. Our experts have all the knowledge and professional experience to help you make outside fun again!