June marks the start of summer and that means more time spent outdoors with family and friends. Leisurely afternoons and evenings are spent lounging in the backyard, enjoying your summer on your new deck, or in your newly fence-enclosed yard.

Something you may forget, however, is that in addition to preparing to host neighbors and friends, you’ll need to also expect to face unexpected guests in the form of summer pests like ants, flies, bees, and other unwelcome insects.  .

Picnic and barbeque food tend to attract insects of all kinds, and if you are hosting a party after dark, you can expect mosquitos to attend.

Not only can each of those pests become a nuisance, they also pose significant health risks to you and your guests. Ants can contaminate food and house flies have been known to carry more than 100 different kinds of disease-carrying germs. Mosquitoes can leave behind much more than just an itchy red bite, and are known to carry diseases like West Nile virus.

Stinging insects send more than a half million people to the emergency room each Yellow jackets pose a significant health threat as they may sting repeatedly and can cause allergic reactions.

To keep your guests happy and your backyard pest-free during summertime entertaining, consider the following:  

  • Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, so if you are planning an outdoor party 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. Use citronella candles on your patio or deck. This can help minimize the presence of mosquitoes in the area, and wear long sleeves or pants to avoid bites.
  • Stinging insects are attracted to fragrances. Avoid using scented items like perfumes and provide clear plastic cups for your guests as cans and bottles are good hiding spots for stinging insects.
  • Before guests arrive check screen doors and repair any holes. If guests will be coming in and out of your house, make sure the doors close behind them.
  • Keep all food and beverages in sealed containers.
  • Keep garbage containers sealed and away from dining and entertaining areas.
  • Clean trash, spills and crumbs right away.
  • Bring utensils and dishware indoors shortly after the meal.
  • Rinse all beverage bottles and cans, and dispose of them in tightly closed trash containers.
  • Plan to actually serve all food and beverages indoors, and have guests take it outside to dine.
  • Remove or drain sources of standing water in your yard that could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This includes birdbaths, wading pools and garden ponds.
With proper planning and preparation, you and your guests can enjoy the beautiful summer weather in your outdoor living space, free from pests!

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