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How to keep your picnic bug free

Abell Pest Control

Picnics are an enjoyable activity in late summer and early fall. It's wonderful to see the leaves change color while biting into a delicious sandwich. However, bugs are also fans of late summer and fall. They'll gladly disrupt your picnic to get a taste of whatever you've got. Follow these pest management tips to help keep your picnics bug-free.

Consider citrus
Citrus is a lesser-known way to repel bugs, Housekeeping.org noted. Ditch the citronella candles and grab some lemon or orange peels. Scatter the citrus around the edge of your blanket. The scent will deter bugs and prevent them from buzzing near your food. Don't have any lemons or oranges? Try grapefruit essential oil, which will have the same effect.

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Put some vinegar on it Vinegar is another handy substance for keeping gnats and flies at bay, Reader's Digest magazine suggested. Moisten a cloth with white vinegar and wipe down yourself or your picnic table. If you don't have any vinegar in your cabinets, reach for an onion, which can also help repel bugs.

Keep rosemary, garlic or mint nearby Unlike humans, bugs aren't fans of these three. Keep bugs away by planting any of these in a small pot nearby. Added bonus - you've got fresh herbs.

Be mindful of your location Bugs have a tendency to flock to any areas with water and no wind. Plan your picnic in environments without these things. Otherwise, you could end up itching while eating. Or, if your picnic is somewhere near water, try to bring a portable fan that you can use to lightly blow any bugs away from your food, without blowing your food over.

Cover your drinks If you know you'll be packing sweeter drinks, such as lemonade, make sure the top has a cover. Bugs are incredibly attracted to sugary drinks and will gravitate toward them. If your drink doesn't come with a cover, use cupcake wrappers and have them sit upside down on the cup with a straw poking through. No wrappers? Use some tin foil and poke a hole through with a straw.

Protect and serve Covering foods while keeping them on display is a great way to protect the food from bugs. There's nothing worse than small ants or fruit flies landing on food. Keep your food free from unwanted toppings by using a colander upside down. Placing it over food is a good way to protect against bugs without putting food away. If the holes in the colander are too big or you don't have one, look for nylon netting or other domed food covers.

These are just a few pest control tips that allow only you to enjoy your picnic. Try a few to find what works for you!


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Since 1924, Abell Pest Control has provided quality services, protecting our customers and their patrons from coast-to-coast. Our customers enjoy the expertise and resources of a national provider. Prouder yet, we are members of your community, ready to service your home or business 24/7.

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