Memorial Day BBQ Tips

We are really looking forward to Memorial Day this year, and we’re sure you are too. This past winter was rough for a lot of people. Blizzards blanketed parts of the country in feet of snow for weeks and freak storms kept schools and businesses closed for just as long. But Memorial Day is a chance to forget about all of our winter troubles and celebrate the coming of summer!

Memorial Day celebrations range from family to family, but many of them include a barbecue, games, and patriotic decoration of some kind. Since we are here to make outside fun again, we want to make sure your Memorial Day goes off without a hitch by providing some simple tips and DIY ideas.

PREPARE BEFOREHAND

We’ve all been there…you’re throwing a party and you forget something major, causing you or a friend to have to run out at the very last minute and panic shop trying to find what it is you need. Avoid that hassle by preparing and making sure to have all the necessities before a single guest arrives at your house.

Perhaps the most important thing to have ready is the grill. Make sure to have all the propane and/or charcoal you need to keep the grill burning as long as necessary. Clean the grill beforehand as well, so you can start with a clean slate. If you are a grilling novice, maybe try it out a few times before the party to make sure you understand the best ways to use it and how long it will take to get things ready.

KEEP THE MENU SIMPLE

An easy way to complicate your day is to try to do too much with the food. Keep it simple with hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken. Keep some veggie burgers on hand as well in case there are any vegetarians in attendance.

Since you are sticking to the basics, one way to kick things up a notch is to have an over the top condiment station. Cheeses, guacamole, hot sauces, pickles, onions, BBQ sauces, and salsa are just a few options to include.

Try things like fruit skewers, pasta salad, and baked beans for the sides, which require minimal time and preparation. If you want to take it a step further, you could make it a potluck and ask guests to provide the sides and the desserts. It would take a lot off your plate (no pun intended) and allow people to help the host out in their own way.

DON’T FORGET THE DÉCOR AND ENTERTAINMENT

Use patriotic plates, napkins, and tablecloths to easily decorate your party. If you have kids, use craft time before the party to make things like pinwheels, painted stars on the lawn, wreaths, mason jar decorations, and more! A simple search on Pinterest will turn up hundreds of ideas.

Whether your party is for kids or not, lawn games are a great way to entertain your guests and keep the party going after the BBQ is over. Games like cornhole and Can Jam are classics, but might require some prep beforehand if you don’t already have the materials. If the weather permits, a water balloon toss would be great for the kids as would things like Twister, horseshoes, and a three-legged race.

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As much fun as Memorial Day is, it’s important to remember the reason we have this day off to spend with friends and family. No words can every properly express our thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice to serve this country. We can only hope that the way we celebrate this day and the way we live every day can serve as a testament to our gratitude.

From all of us at Mosquito Joe, have a safe and happy Memorial Day! If you are hosting an outdoor party and want to protect your guests from mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, call your local Mosquito Joe today to get on the schedule!

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Backyard Birthday Bash Ideas

If you have a kiddo with a summer birthday, it’s always fun to take advantage of the warm weather as you plan a celebration. Whether in your backyard or at a neighborhood park, there are plenty of ways to make it memorable. We’ve got some ideas to help you keep your birthday boy or girl and the whole party crew entertained (and out of your house!)

Backyard Pirate Party

Pirates are always a hit with kids (and even most adults!), so if you’re looking for an adventurous way to celebrate, consider a backyard pirate bash to include the following activities:

  • Pirate castleDecorate a favor: Get small treasure chests from the local craft or dollar store and have kids decorate them as favors.
  • Walk the plank: Set up a kiddie pool and lay a piece of wood across the top of the pool. Have the kids walk the plank!
  • Dig for treasure: If you have a shallow storage tub lying around, fill it with sand. Bury toys into the sand and let the kids dig for them!
  • Scavenger Hunt: Hide small toys or snacks around your backyard and create a scavenger hunt complete with a treasure map and x marks the spot! The kids will love finding their “treasure!”

Backyard Splash Party

Keeping everyone cool with a backyard water party is never a bad idea during the hot months of summer! The options listed below might actually incorporate items you already have in your garage, which is always a plus!

  • Water BalloonsWater balloon fight: Fill a big tub with water balloons, and let the kids go to town in the backyard! The fun will be worth the cleanup.
  • Sprinkler fun: Turn on all of your sprinklers, and tell the kids to suit up! This always makes for an endless amount of fun!
  • Homemade slip-n-slide: If you have a tarp, lay it out across the backyard. Spray it down with a hose, and don’t forget to leave the hose running for that constant slip-n-slide effect. The kids will have a blast slipping and sliding their way across the yard! If you don’t have a tarp, no need to worry. Plastic sheeting from the hardware store also works perfectly!

General Ideas for Any Backyard Bash

  • DIY ice cream bar: Set up a topping buffet, and let your little guests make their own sundaes!Ice Cream
  • Water gun painting: Fill water guns with paint, and set up easels with paper in the backyard. Let the kids make their own colorful creations by squirting paint from the water guns!
  • Bubbles: Let’s be real. What outdoor party is complete without bubbles?

Before we leave you to backyard bash preparation, it’s important for us to note that mosquitoes feed mainly at dawn and dusk. Unfortunately, dusk is also the perfect time-of-day to be outside manning the grill and getting splashed by water balloons. Consider clearing your yard of mosquitoes with a barrier spray treatment, so that your guests can leave your party with a big smile and not a bug bite in sight. Give your local Mosquito Joe a call today to ensure that you’re on the schedule in time to have an itch-free backyard birthday!

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Get Your Play On This July!

Aside from Independence Day and debilitating heat, July is also Park and Recreation Month! Promoted by the National Recreation and Park Association, this month is dedicated to encouraging people to embrace outdoor activities and experience their local parks system. It’s a time for us to recognize the importance of physical health and the pivotal role that outdoor adventuring plays in our wellbeing. Whether it’s a kickball league, hiking trail, or nature class, you can find the perfect way to celebrate this month in your local parks!

If you’re having trouble figuring out a place to start, here are a few ideas to start getting that body moving!

  1. National Park and Recreation Month SwimmingFind some local nature trails and explore. Discovering new places to become one with nature is never boring. Bring your bikes or pups along for added fun!
  2. Look in your area for an outdoor fitness class. Many communities offer sessions like yoga or interval training at a local park.
  3. Go swimming. Whether you’re taking a dip in a lake or just going for a casual swim in the community pool, this is the best way to cool off and stay active at the same time.
  4. Collect cool rocks or seashells. Live near a beach? Take a long walk, and keep your eyes open for shelf-worthy items. Make a game out of it, and the kids will have a blast.National Park and Recreation Month Picnic
  5. Have a picnic. Go out to a local park and bring a blanket, food, and a frisbee (or any toy of your choice). Enjoy your picnic, and spend the day in the sun.
  6. Take your dog to a dog park and release all of that pent-up energy! This is an easy way to mix things up from the normal walk around the block, and Fido can make some new friends!
  7. Engage the rest of your community in what you’re doing to celebrate Park and Recreation Month by posting your pictures of your adventures on social media using the hashtag #PlayOnJuly.

If you own a small business closely associated with the outdoor recreation industry, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved in the month as well! Visit the National Recreation and Park Association’s website for a comprehensive toolkit to help you promote staying active and visiting the local parks.

  1. Print the Park and Recreation Month poster and hang it around the community at community events, inside your facilities, and anywhere else that will stand out.
  2. Download the social media and press release templates and fill them in to make your community aware of Park and Recreation Month.
  3. Post the infographic on social media with the hashtag #PlayOnJuly.
  4. Download the customizable calendar to fill in all of your outdoor events and post on your website and social media.

This is the best time of year to be outside, so get out there and enjoy it while you can! Enjoying the outdoors is a great way to stay active, learn more about your community, and spend quality time with family and friends.

If you come back from your park adventures and want to enjoy the outdoor space at your own home, give your local Mosquito Joe a call to make sure you spend more time playing and less time swatting. Mosquito Joe rids your yard of mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, making outside fun again for you and your family. Happy Park and Recreation Month from our family to yours!

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Celebrate the 4th in a Mosquito Joe City!

If you are as eager to get your patriot on as we are, you don’t have much longer to wait. It’s practically celebration time! Independence Day is a federal holiday we’ve been celebrating every year since America adopted the Declaration of Independence way back in 1776.  With July quickly approaching, it’s almost time to rep’ those true colors and get rollin’ with the red, white, and blue!

Mosquito Joe vans will be out in full force in communities across the country, working to protect families from mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks during their 4th of July celebrations. But did you know that some of our Mosquito Joe service areas are also home to some of the country’s top-notch Fourth of July celebrations? Here are a few of the best:

Charleston, South CarolinaCharleston, SC

Patriots Point 4th of July Blast is one of the biggest Independence Day celebrations in the country. Watch the elaborate fireworks show while hanging out on the historic USS Yorktown’s Flight Deck. This bash is for those of you who want to party shoreside and dance to the live beach music band! Tickets do sell quickly, so if it’s already sold out, keep this in mind for next year.

Williamsburg, VA

You might expect Williamsburg to be at the top of the list, seeing as it’s one of America’s favorite historical destinations. The 4th of July Fireworks celebration lights up this 18th century city every year. Join in on some old time fun, listen to live music, admire the U.S. state flags, and end the night watching a beautiful display of fireworks.

Washington, D.C.Washington, D.C.

If you’re planning to visit or are already located in our nation’s capital for Independence Day, you would be silly to miss the numerous events planned all around D.C. to celebrate the date of America’s birth! Watch the annual Washington Nationals game; cheer for the land of the free during the Independence Day Parade; eat, shop, and dance at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival inside the National Mall; sway your hips to the Beach Boys and John Stamos at the Capitol Fourth Concert; and top it all off by watching the notable display of fireworks from the lawn of the Capitol Building.

Miami, Florida

Celebrate America’s Birthday Bash in Miami from 10am to the end of the 9:00pm fireworks at Bayfront Park. Watch your kids hang in the Family Fun Zone or take a walk through the Budweiser Beer Garden while listening to live music, playing games, and quenching your thirst with Budweiser on draft. Stay for the best fireworks in South Florida!

New Orleans, LouisianaNew Orleans, LA

New Orleans is among the country’s hottest 4th of July celebration locations. Celebrate the 4th aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, eating, party-hopping room to room, and watching the fireworks display, all while cruising along the Mississippi River. There are also concerts, food trucks, seafood fests, and more from July 3rd to July 5th. What could be better than celebrating the 4th for three days?!

Nashville, Tennessee

Honor the 4th by attending Music City’s July 4th celebration in Downtown Nashville. This year’s lineup features the popular country star, Chris Young! Enjoy water slides, food vendors, and tons of family fun during the entire week of July 4th in Nashville and you will not regret it!

St. Louis, Missouri

Fair St. Louis is an Independence Day bash that is fun for all ages, and it takes place from July 2nd-July 4th in Forest Park. There are local artists and merchandise vendors to check out on The Fairway, rides and interactive activities for families, live performances of 3 Doors Down, Akon, Dan & Shay, Jake Owen, etc., parades, and a nationally recognized fireworks show. This one sounds tough to beat!


While these are some of the biggest Independence Day celebrations in the country, we know many of you will be staying local to host parties and cookouts in your own backyard. If that’s the case, be sure to protect your party and your guests from pesky (and potentially dangerous) mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Keep the focus on the hot dogs, s’mores, and sparklers and let us take care of the swatting. Give your local Mosquito Joe a call for a free quote and to get on the schedule today!

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Celebrating Dad This Father’s Day

Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, and you know what that means. It’s is definitely time to start brainstorming and planning for the perfect celebration. Whether you spend the day with immediate family only or have a blowout with all the neighbors, there are so many different ways to bond with dad. While showing him how much he’s appreciated for all he does, don’t forget to make it fun for everyone!

Here are a few ideas to make this Sunday extra special:

  1. Wake up early to cook breakfast and make coffee. Bring it to dad in bed. Once he’s settled, bring him his gifts. Read cards and watch him open presents while he enjoys breakfast.
  2. Have the family over for a cookout. Let the grill master relax while you take over for a change. Just don’t burn anything!
  3. Build a backyard bonfire when the sun goes down. This is the perfect way to spend quality time with family towards the end of the day. Bring everyone outside to roast marshmallows and tell stories.
  4. Go to the movies as a family. This time, let dad pick the show and the snacks.
  5. Go to a local campground or pitch a tent in the backyard. Bring plenty of snacks, sleeping bags, and kick back with dad. This will make for memories that’ll last a lifetime.
  6. Take to the fairway! There is a good chance your dad enjoys playing an occasional 18 holes. Even if you’re not a golfer, go along with him and give it your best shot. I promise you’ll have fun, and dad will be thankful you participated in one of his favorite activities.
  7. Have a picnic in a local park. Make all of dad’s favorites, pack a cooler, and surprise him by taking him out to enjoy it all with the family. Eat, laugh, reminisce, chat, and watch the sunset together. Don’t forget to capture the moment!
  8. If you have a pool, invite your dad’s best friends and their families over for a pool party. The sun is getting hotter by the day, so why not keep cool with dad on his?!
  9. Go for a family hike. Find a local nature trail and spend the morning getting in your daily exercise family style!
  10. Host a neighborhood barbecue. Let the neighborhood families come over to celebrate all the dads and munch on tasty treats. Ease the stress of planning a party by making it a pot luck!
  11. Is dad a history buff? Go to a local museum to learn a thing or two. An educational experience is never a bad idea!

We wish all the dads out there a very Happy Father’s Day! Thank you for all that you do. If your Father’s Day celebrations happen to take you outside, don’t forget that added layer of protection against mosquitoes. Call your local Mosquito Joe today for a free quote and information about our services. We can make sure your celebration and your entire summer are swat-free.

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