When the weather is
nice, there is nothing quite as refreshing as taking a meal outdoors. Whether
you run a restaurant with garden-side patio space or merely take your homemade
dinner out to your deck, you can relax and enjoy the fresh air by dining outside.
It’s just you, gorgeous scenery - and dozens of irritating and dangerous pests.
It’s nice to eat outside, but it’s not nice to eat when you
are surrounded by hordes of bugs, birds, rodents and other pests. If you want
to protect your outdoor dining space and enjoy your meal in peace, read this
guide for eliminating pests in your area.
Table of Contents
Keep Everything Immaculate
Nothing attracts creepy-crawlies faster than a food mess. You
better believe that food (and food-covered anything) left unattended will be
covered with pests in a matter of minutes, so you should be especially focused
on cleaning up ASAP.
As soon as everyone is done serving from a dish, that dish
should be relocated indoors. The same is true with tableware and flatware that
people are finished using. If there are any spills, you should clean them up
quickly, replacing linens if necessary. Even the smallest grease speck can
bring forth roaches, so you should be sure to scrub the cracks and crevices of
your outdoor dining sets, too.
Remove Waste Bins
Trash cans are hardly safe from pests. In fact, critters
like racoons and possums know they can find leftover goodies inside your bins,
so you need to be diligent about locating your trash away from where you dine
outdoors and emptying your trash into dumpsters when the meal is through. Additionally,
investing in covered waste bins will reduce the flies and other insects buzzing
around your outside space, which makes the experience more pleasant for diners.
Care for Your Lawn
A patchy, dead-looking lawn doesn’t make for good scenery
during an outdoor dining event, but more than that, an unloved lawn is a haven
for pests. All sorts of creepy-crawlies take up residence in poorly maintained
grass, to include flies, moths, mosquitoes and similar exceedingly irksome
pests. If you don’t have time (or know-how) to care for your lawn properly, you
should invest in professional lawn services, to
include lawn pest control. Then, you won’t have to worry about
lawn-related pests, and you’ll have something stunning for your guests to look
at while they eat.
Drain Standing Water
Mosquitoes can only breed in still water, but in many yards,
there is plenty of this to go around. Water can collect in the unlikeliest
places, giving mosquitoes the chance to raise a whole new generation of
blood-sucking, outdoor-event-ruining pests. Thus, it is well worth your time to
search your yard for standing water at least once per month - or more if you
live in a particularly rainy area. Things like buckets and pots filled with
water should be upended to drain into the soil; if you have a larger pool of
water, like a pond, bird bath or ditch, you can treat it with larvicide, add
mosquito-eating fish or circulate the water with a cheap bubbler.
Bugs that aren’t
attracted to your meal might still pester your guests by flocking to your lighting.
One solution for this is to invest in sodium-vapor or warm-yellow LED lights,
both of which fail to replicate cool-toned UV light, which is what experts
believe attracts insects. LED lights in particular draw less energy
and function for more than a decade, making them a sound economical investment
as well. Another option is to reposition your lighting away from your outdoor
dining areas or scheduling your outdoor meals for the daytime, when artificial
lights aren’t necessary.
Use Additional Pest Repellants
Just as humans don’t want to dine where there are too many
pests, pests don’t like to visit spaces that are abhorrent to them. Thus, you
should strive to make your yard unappealing to pests through your landscaping
and decorating strategy. First, you can plant fragrant herbs, like basil,
lavender, rosemary and marigold. Not only can you use these in your cooking -
wowing your guests with your home-grown seasonings - but you will keep away
pests that don’t like the smell. The same principle works with scented candles;
invest in citronella, lemongrass, eucalyptus and mint to add ambiance to your
dinner while keeping pests at bay. Finally, you can install fans to literally
blow away pests. Birds and flying bugs don’t like to take flight when winds are
high, so fans that disturb the still air will dissuade them from interrupting
When it’s nice enough to enjoy a meal outside, it is nice
enough for pests to begin their plague. However, by preparing against invasion
with some of the above strategies, you can dine in style without disruption.