Football, friends, outdoors, and food make tailgating a favorite past time for thousands of fans every fall. As much as everyone loves football and friendships, we all know what brings it all together – the food. With food, though, comes the threat of pests. Nothing ruins a great cookout or tailgate party more than ants in the coleslaw or flies on the ribs. So what can you do to make the tailgate experience as pest-free as possible?
In this article we will try to provide some easy to follow pest prevention tips that should make your next tailgate party a huge success. Understand, we can’t do anything to help with the opposing team’s fans.
Put a lid on it
First and foremost, keep everything sealed with airtight lids. From the food you’ve prepared to the trash you’re getting rid of, make sure everything has a proper container with an airtight seal. Foods that you don’t have a proper container for should be wrapped in a sealed plastic bag. Make sure you take a box of extra freezer bags – you never know when they will come in handy. Drinks that are sweet or sugary should be kept in, and served, from a container with a screw-on lid. Open pitchers will attract wasps, yellow jackets, ants and other sweet loving insects.
Location, Location, Location
Everything at a tailgate or cookout has a proper location. If items are kept in these locations it should help prevent pest problems.
- Keep trash away from eating, serving, and cooking areas.
- Food serving areas should be kept in netted or tented areas, if possible.
- Although it can make it hotter for the cook, place the grill in direct sunlight. Like you, most insects prefer the shade.
- Position food and food prep areas where there is a good breeze, or use a fan, if possible. Most flying insects will avoid struggling against the wind.
Set the mood
The last place you might think of using candles or essential oils might be a tailgate party or cookout. The fact of the matter, however, is that some fragrances will help deter insects. Peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus are all great at keeping some annoying insects at bay. Citronella plants and lights can be strategically placed to help deter mosquitoes – the bane of any gathering.
Set shields to maximum strength
Make sure you use a proper insect repellent. Mosquitoes bring the threat of West Nile as well as Zika Virus. The use of a spray or lotion repellent on exposed skin could prevent uncomfortable bites as well as possible sickness. Don’t forget the stinging insects. Bees, wasps, and hornets send thousands to the hospital every year, due to anaphylactic shock. Many of these people never even knew they were allergic in the first place. There are more than 200,000 cases of anaphylaxis in the U.S. every year.
If you follow these tips we are sure your next tailgate party or cookout will be a success. We can’t guarantee your football team’s success, this season, but hopefully a great tailgate and food experience will help make any losses tolerable. Good luck to your team this season and may all your tailgates be memorable.