Here in the Midwest, the Fourth of July is a big holiday. Just about every town around here has a parade during the day and a spectacular fireworks show in the evening. We have a family tradition that includes going to the town parade (that Jay and Josh have been in the last couple of years) and then throwing a backyard cookout for friends and family before the fireworks show starts at dusk. I’m thrilled to be partnering with today’s sponsor, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment), to share some things we are going to be doing to ensure our guests are not bothered by bugs while they are attending our cookout.
Some of the things we are doing to try and keep our yard as bug-free as possible are things we do all summer long, like emptying out any standing water around the outside of the house. While I love birdbaths, I don’t love mosquitoes and I know that standing water is prime breeding ground for them, so we did skip that particular decoration on the patio. We do have rain barrels but chose to get a style that is completely covered and doesn’t leave a place for mosquitoes to get in and reproduce. We regularly check our rain gutters to make sure they are flowing freely, not only to keep any leakage issues at bay but also to cut down on possible breeding grounds for bugs. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in standing water in items as small as a bottle cap, so you know we will be clearing ALL of the post-party trash up as soon as our guests leave as well.
Mosquitoes are not only a pest because they cause those frustratingly itchy bites, but can also transmit viruses that cause actual diseases like Zika, West Nile, Dengue fever, and Chikungunya. Some mosquitoes are attracted to urban locations, can survive inside and bite all day. Others are more rural and typically bite around dawn or dusk. Either way, people need to be protected any time they are outside.
We have also taken steps to help make our yard as tick free as possible. Deer ticks can carry Lyme disease and, having seen several friends and family members battle its devastating effects, that is not something I take lightly. We keep the lawn mowed regularly (and check ourselves very closely after mowing) since they are attracted to tall grass. We also make it a point to bring any piles of brush or leaves to the town recycle center as soon as we can since those are also attractive to ticks.
As a favor to our guests, we also provide a variety of EPA-approved bug repellent options for them to use while they are at our house. We like to dress them up a bit and make them part of the party decor! We do place the repellent far away from the food, so there isn’t any extra “seasoning” on the burgers if you know what I mean. We have repellents with DEET since it is proven to protect from bites and is also safe to use on most clothing. (Did you know that? Bug repellents with DEET are safe to use on nylon, cotton and wool, according to label directions.)
We also provide inside seating for around dusk when mosquitoes are at their absolute worst here. The screened door lets the cooler night air in without letting the bugs follow us in! Find out more about protecting yourself, your family and your guests from harmful insects at www.debugthemyths.com.
I love barbques and I HATE BUGS – I swell up and bruise from a simple bug bite. Another fun repellent is Lemon Verbena lotion beside the sink for after your wash your hands (that way you’re not transferring deet to chips to your mouth!)
Bethanny Sudibyo says
Oh, this is very much needed. Every time there is an invited for a BBQ outside, I’m always the victim of mosquito bites. So, thanks for these tips and recommendations.
YES! I love this so much ha- esp bc we always get so many mosquitos so ill be taking a lot of these tips to use next week!
I don’t always think of lawn maintenance as being a key to effective pest control, but you’re totally right! Thanks for the timely reminders!
Claire Justine says
I love Summer and eating outside in the garden but I do not like the bugs that get you at night.
Elizabeth O says
These are great tips for dealing with bugs in the summer. Especially so with the 4th coming up there will be so many garden parties and these tips are really handy
Ugh, we have a nice yard which we can’t use due to the freaking mosquitoes! Thanks for the tips, hope it works!
David Allen Elliott says
Thankfully Mosquitoes generally aren’t too bad here. I have been bitten by them and they are the worst, aside from the issues of the things they can be carrying. Thanks for the great bug free ideas here.
MELANIE EDJOURIAN says
Lyme disease is nasty and so anything you can do to prevent it is goo. Getting rid of anything that might encourage them is a good ideas as is bug repellent.
Tonya Tardiff says
Mosquitos are the worst! We love deet products and have a problem with mosquitos in our wooded backyard.
Amar singh says
A great post. Sadly mosquitoes can be a bit of an issue specially with kids. Good tips and happy celebrating
I went to a cookout yesterday and we ended up throwing out all of the food that was outside because flies got to it. I don’t like eating outside for this very reason.
I went to a cookout yesterday and we ended up throwing out all of the food that was outside because flies got to it. I don’t like eating outside for this very reason. Thanks for the tips I’ll be sure to use them in the future.
Clarice / Camping for Women says
I did not realize it’s already the 4th of July. Thank you for tips on how to get rid of the bugs. Time to prepare for another bbq party.
Laura Dove says
Great advice! I worry a lot about insect bites, although we have far fewer nasty critters over here in the UK.
Bug free is definitely important, especially when you’re hosting gatherings! Your tips are awesome and I’ll definitely try some of them!
Nayna Kanabar says
Some really excellent tips to get rid of bugs and keep them at bay. Deet is an excellent product and brilliant to keep away mosquitoes.
Mommy Sigrid says
That arrangement is sooo cute! And oh, what a nice host you are, providing insect repellants to your guests. So far, in all the outdoor parties I go to, I bring my own. I apply them liberally on the kids.