Bugs Bugging You?

Summertime means hot weather, but it also means the creepy crawlies are out. Not all bugs are bad – in fact, some bugs are vital, like bees and ladybugs. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to invite them to your next outdoor BBQ.

Here are a few clever ways to keep bugs from munching on your food (or your guests):

1. Hang ‘paper bag wasp nests’ from different areas surrounding your BBQ area. Simply take a paper bag and tie a rubber band around the open end, much like you were making a balloon. Blow a little air into the bag to give it a nice, round shape – wasps will think it’s a nest and as they are very territorial creatures, will stay away from the perimeter of the nest.

2. Use cupcake liners over beverage glasses. Just poke a hole for a straw and you’ve instantly got a no-fuss drink protector.

3. Mosquitoes have very sensitive noses – they hate being around a few plants such as lavender, basil, and anything citrus-scented. And randomly, many bugs don’t like the fresh scent of laundry sheets. Fortunately, most humans like those scents! As one idea, use fresh lavender as part of your outdoor decorating, either in pots of fresh sprigs placed in containers on the table. You can also place laundry sheets under table runners to keep a variety of bugs at bay.

4. The repellent power of cucumber – ants and bees do not like cucumber at all. Make sure you place a few cucumber slices on food platters and in salads. You can also shred cucumber peels and place them around the entrance to your home or windows if ants are trying to sneak inside looking for water sources and crumbs.

5. The old plastic water bag with the pennies trick to keep flies away – this is one of those things that some people swear by. Take a plastic sandwich bag and fill with water, dropping in a few pennies. Supposedly, the reflection of water and pennies from the sun confuses flies and they’ll stay away.

6. Spray yourself with a natural repellent – you can mix a little bit of minty mouthwash, vanilla extract, or lemon essential oil with water in a small spray bottle and spritz yourself or others. You’ll smell fresh and delicious but the bugs won’t eat you!

It’s much better, in the long run, to try and live in peace with the bugs than to kill them if we can help it. Happy BBQing!