6 Tips to Keep Mosquitoes from Ruining Your Next Barbecue
Posted on July 26th, 2011
Summertime is here, and that means you can finally enjoy all those outdoor activities that you yearned for while you were snowbound. Like swimming. Playing in the park. Trips to the lake. And that all-American favorite: backyard barbecues.
But summer also means the return of mosquitoes. Those nasty pests can swarm around your family and friends and turn a fun barbecue into a teeth-gnashing, skin-slapping disaster.
So how do you prevent those pesky mosquitoes from wrecking your next barbecue? Here are six tips to keep those biting insects at bay.
- Remove standing water. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in an inch of water or less. So you should search for places around your home that may have standing water, like flower pot saucers, buckets, tires, pet dishes, and kiddie pools or toys. Whether it’s from recent rains or a sprinkler system, dirty water is like a beacon for mosquitoes. Pouring out the water is like rolling up the welcome mat.
- Check your gutters. The weekend before your barbecue, get up on a ladder and clean out your gutters – or at least vacuum or soak up any standing water in them. Since you can’t see the insides of your gutters from the ground, it’s easy to forget that they may have water in them which can attract mosquitoes.
- Inspect your lawn and landscaping. Standing water can accumulate in soil channels around plants and shrubs, or even in low spots in areas of your yard. It may take some digging to level out the ground to prevent water from pooling. Be sure to keep your lawn mowed, vegetation trimmed, and landscaping pruned so it’s easier to spot standing water.
- Examine doors and windows. Check the screens on windows and doors for holes where mosquitoes can congregate. Do the same for the weather stripping around these doors and windows to make sure there are no gaps where mosquitoes can enter your home.
- Spray pesticides… carefully. If you want to use chemicals to keep mosquitoes away, be sure to follow the instructions on the label with regard to dilution and application of the product. Also, check the warning label to determine how much time you need to allow the pesticide to work before allowing people and animals into your yard – and then spray well before your barbecue begins.
- Ask a professional. For big yards (or big gatherings), you may want to hire a pro to fumigate your yard. If you opt for this solution, ask about the chemicals that will be used and what precautions you must take. (Mosquito Squad of Greater Birmingham South 380-7755)
If you’re throwing an outdoor party, you don’t want any unwanted guests showing up. That’s exactly how you should treat mosquitoes — as party crashers. Taking the time to eradicate them will make your backyard barbecue that much more pleasurable.