Bug-Free Barbeques

You’ve fixed the food and prettied up your patio, but there’s one more detail to take care of before you entertain outdoors. Consumer Educator, Teresa Hunsaker, has tips to help keep your summer barbeque, bug free.

I love summer! I love the sunshine, the reunions, and the BBQ’s. I am not the only one that likes these things…so do the bugs. Here are some tips to help keep them away:

Citronella Candles: Place candles in strategic and safe locations around the gathering site to keep bugs away…each has about a 5-6 foot radius.

Mint mouthwash: Most bugs do not like mint anything…so put some mint flavored mouthwash in a spray bottle, and mist it at the bugs or into the air where bugs are gathering. They will scatter.

ThermaCell Insect Repellant: Not the spray repellent you are thinking of, this is a butane cartridge that heats a repellent mat in a handy device that repels insects up to 15 feet. So cool. Cost is $20 at WalMart.

ThermaCell Lantern: There is no open flame in this lantern and it is considered 98% effective at keeping bugs away. It is a battery operated lantern that you insert repellent mats into and the warmth of the bulbs sends out the repellent. Cost is $28-$30 at WalMart or other home and garden or sporting goods stores.

Fly paper: These work great, but will need to be placed away from kids. Available at most home and garden centers.

Wasp traps: Work really well, but just hang them a little distance from the gathering spots…it stinks to us humans, but attracts wasps.

Cover drinking glasses: A small square of aluminum foil over the top of your drinking cups or cans is perfect. Then just poke a hole in it for a straw. Can do the same thing with cupcake liners over the top of the cup or can.

Plants as repellant: Rosemary, catnip, mint, basil, and marigolds act as natural repellants, so consider planting those around your yard in the spring.

Lemon: Lemon dish soap, lemon ammonia, and lemon juice are all helpful at keeping bugs/mosquitoes away. Try mixing equal parts of each of these, place in a spray bottle, and spray yard before the party begins. Even lemon grass can be planted in the yard, or, if you have access to some, you can steep it in some water and make a spray with it. It can also be crushed in some rubbing alcohol to make a skin safe spray that mosquitoes hate.

Garlic: Besides the garlic bud or garlic oil you can also buy a product called Garlic Barrier or Mosquito Barrier on line. It is rather expensive but works. You can also crush a 10-12 cloves of garlic and cover with water, approximately 2 cups. Bring to a boil, boil 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit 30 minutes. Strain off the garlic and use liquid in a spray bottle.

Fans: Place small electric fans in a couple of strategic places to keep bugs moving away from the food/eating areas. Bugs do not land where air is moving.

Plastic bags of water: Fill heavy freezer bags with water. Hang around yard…for some reason the bugs, and especially flies hate this magnifying of light that the bag produces.

Dryer sheets: There are those that stand by the power of the dryer sheet for keeping bugs at bay…tying them around your picnic site, and even on belt loops, is supposed to help too. I personally have not tried this one, but am about to this week at our get together.

Also: Remember to keep garbage containers away from gathering site and try to eliminate standing water around the yard or area…both of these attract bugs and insects.

If you have any questions, contact Teresa Hunsaker at the Family and Consumer Science Education Department at the Weber County USU Extension office at (801) 399-8203 or online at www.extension.usu.edu/weber

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