How to Have a Great Picnic and Avoid Bugs

08 April 2024 · 2 min read

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Nothing beats a picnic on a warm, sunny day. Enjoying a leisurely meal outdoors, surrounded by beautiful scenery, fresh air, and good company, can be extremely beneficial to the mind, body, and spirit. Ah, the simple pleasures of alfresco dining!

Unfortunately, our favorite picnic tradition frequently includes some uninvited guests: insects! Pesky flies buzzing around the salad, hungry mosquitoes feasting on our exposed skin, and ants sneaking into baskets to steal crumbs. These pesky insects can quickly ruin an otherwise picture-perfect picnic outing.

However, don’t let the bugs keep you from enjoying one of summer’s greatest pleasures! With some careful planning and pest-proofing techniques, you can keep those pests at bay and enjoy a stress-free outdoor meal. The Greenhouse Termite and Pest Control pros are here with top tips to keep your picnic bug-free.

Pick the Perfect Picnic Spot

Where you place picnic blankets has a significant impact on insect deterrence. Bugs thrive in standing water sources such as ponds, puddles, and densely wooded areas with abundant vegetation, orchards, and gardens. Avoid these popular pest hangouts at all costs. Instead, seek out a well-kept open space with short grass, such as a meadow or a manicured park lawn. Bonus points if there is a light breeze, as most bugs struggle to fly in the wind.

Invest in the Right Blanket

What about those flat blankets or bed sheets you might be using? They essentially put out a welcome mat for crawling critters like ants, beetles, and pill bugs to mosey right onto your spread. To avoid these unwelcome pests, consider investing in a picnic blanket made of tightly woven fabric with raised or elastic edges on all sides. This forms an effective barrier that bugs can’t easily cross. Some versions even feature leak-proof backing to provide protection against moisture and pests.

Apply Insect Repellent

What’s worse than having to smash bugs in between bites of brie and baguette? Not much! Before going outside, generously coat exposed skin and clothing with an EPA-registered insect repellent containing active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, or the oil of lemon eucalyptus. Remember to follow the product instructions and apply it after sunscreen, and make sure you wash it off once you’re back home.

Safeguard Your Spreads

We’ve all seen how flies love to bask and feed on any open-air buffet. Discarding a slew of plates and bowls is just asking for these buzzing freeloaders. Instead, keep all perishable picnic foods, airtight coolers, or in lidded plastic containers until serving time. Keep them sealed to prevent flies, yellow jackets, and other bugs from ruining the menu. Also, promptly cover any leftovers.

Clean Up Quickly & Completely 

After you’ve wined, dined, and fully indulged, don’t spend too long lounging at your picnic location. Insects are extremely sensitive to residual crumbs, spills, and dropped food bites; it’s like a “pests welcome” sign. Clean up thoroughly by removing all trash, food remnants, and debris from your picnic area before making a stealthy exit. Leaving no trace gives bugs no reason to linger.

With this bug-proofing plan, you can concentrate on enjoying the sunshine, scenic beauty, and creating magical summer memories with your picnicking companions. No swatting, itching, or annoying pests are permitted! So, pack the cooler, grab your favorite blanket and lawn games, and bask in the glory of fresh air. Happy picnicking!


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