It’s that time again; time for parades, flags, cookouts and fireworks as we celebrate the Fourth of July and our country’s 243rd birthday.
As we gather with family and friends for a backyard cookout, fireworks, a trip to the beach or the baseball stadium, we should be thankful to be citizens of this great nation and enjoy the freedoms upon which it was founded.
As you make plans for your holiday celebrations keep in mind there are a group of insect revelers who want to join in on the fun.
Pests at picnics and outdoor barbecues
The pest experts at Western Exterminator have identified the top four Fourth of July pests that may try to crash your party:
|Flies – house flies, phorid flies, blow flies, bottle flies, and fruit flies – appear whenever someone yells, “it’s time to eat.” Flies will go straight from landing on your garbage to landing on your hot dog. Sanitation is the key to reducing flies, as well as identifying breeding sites. You will have fruit flies everywhere there are sweet smelling snacks left out in the open, so keep food covered during your picnic. Use tight-fitting closures for garbage cans and make sure to empty the trash soon after the party. Cleaning up will help curb flies’ attraction to your property.
|Stinging Insects – Yellowjackets love any sugary or high-carb foods that are included on your cookout menu or in your picnic basket. Yellowjackets build their nests in the ground, in shrubs, trees, buildings, garages, attics, and sheds. When you go looking for the extra lawn chairs or dining tent in the garage or run barefoot during the whiffle ball game, keep an eye out for these pests and their nests. Additionally, refrain from wearing heavily fragranced perfumes and lotions outside, as they attract many stinging pests.
|Mosquitoes – Adult mosquitoes are active from dusk to dawn in search of a tasty blood meal. A Fourth of July fireworks display with plenty of unsuspecting victims is like a mosquito buffet. To get a jumpstart with your backyard mosquito control, remove any standing water in your backyard. Additionally, using an over the counter bug spray and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants will help prevent mosquito bites. Western Exterminator mosquito treatments can protect your backyard and those that inhabit it from these blood-sucking pests.
|Ants – Ants have a sweet tooth and will gladly feed on many of the foods we enjoy on the Fourth of July. Anything including oil, protein, sugar, or fat is fair game. If not cautious, you’ll quickly have hundreds of tiny ants invading your party. Keep foods covered and clean up spills and food particles following the picnic to eliminate the temptation for these expert food foragers.
Food safety tips
Pests are a food safety hazard because they are vectors of dangerous food-borne illnesses. It is key to prevent foodborne illnesses before packing the picnic basket or firing up the grill. Remember, you can’t see, smell, or taste harmful bacteria that may cause illness, so keep the following tips in mind:
- Clean — Wash hands and surfaces often.
- Separate — Do not cross-contaminate foods – keep raw meats and fish separate from other foods.
- Cook — Cook food to the proper temperatures.
- Chill — Refrigerate leftovers promptly or discard them.
If you are currently having difficulty controlling any of these pests, call Western Exterminator at 888-444-6138. Have a pest free day and enjoy your Fourth of July holiday weekend!