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10 Ways to Keep Bugs Out of Your Picnic Food

Posted on by admin | in Housekeeping

With warm weather comes the opportunity to move life outdoors. This, of course, includes meal times. Picnics provide a welcome break in the day and a great chance to enjoy the weather. They allow you to take in nature as you dine, and they make for a more exciting feast for the children. Eating is a not a boring chore when placed in front of a new backdrop, especially if it is one that promises fun and games after the last bite.

All that being said, nothing can ruin an outdoor meal quite like insects. Finding creepy-crawlies in food and beverages can quickly destroy an appetite. And buzzing in the ears and bites on the skin will deter most people from the fun of dining outside, too. Thankfully, you can reduce the numbers of bugs you encounter on your next picnic and, more importantly, you can also keep them away from your food. Here are some easy tips to make your next picnic experience bug-free.

  • Go Under Cover – There are dome shaped covers made of lightweight netting that you can purchase to keep over food that is not currently being eaten. As a thrifty alternative, you can use new shower caps or aluminum foil instead. When it comes to drinks, use cups that have lids and straws to keep the bugs out. You can also opt to cover your entire picnic by dining under a screened tent!
  • Spring for Citrus – Everyone knows that using citronella candles repels bugs, but did you know that you can also use real citrus fruit to do the same thing? Surround your picnic with orange and lemon peels to deter unwanted pests. Grapefruit essential oil also works very well.
  • Stay Away From Water – While a picnic near a pond or lake sounds like a visually appealing choice, the water is a huge draw for mosquitoes, horseflies and other bugs. Moving your outing further inland will reduce the amount of insects you encounter, especially those that like to bite.
  • Create Barriers – There are some things ants just won’t cross. One of those things is water. Put the legs of your picnic table in containers such as cans, pie tins, or upside down Frisbees and fill them with water. The ants will be unable to cross the water, rendering it impossible for them to climb up to the table. Just make sure that the water is fresh, because stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Another item they will not cross is cornstarch. Make a boundary around your dining site with it and ants will not dare to enter your domain!
  • Dress for Success – Bright colors attract all sorts of insects, especially bees. Dress in plain, neutral attire when heading out to eat al fresco. Don’t forget to ensure that your picnic blanket and tablecloth adhere to this dress code as well!
  • Try the Hanging Bag of Water Trick – This is claimed to be a saving grace at many an outdoor barbecue and picnic. Fill large, resealable freezer bags with water and put some pennies in the bottom. Hang these around your picnic site and watch how the flies stay away. It is said that the reflection created by the water is too confusing to the flies due to how their eyes work, so they stay away from these areas.
  • Get Minty Fresh with Mouthwash – Mint is an herb that insects detest. Since you would not want to spray a harmful chemical around the area you will be eating in, spray some minty mouthwash instead. You’ll enjoy the smell while the bugs run from it!
  • Plant Marigolds – Cheerful and lovely, marigolds are a wonderful way to dress up your outdoor meal. Not only will they serve to decorate, but marigolds also repel insects and animals.
  • Make Fly Traps – Mix up a batch of molasses and cornmeal in an old pie tin and place it a good distance from where you are dining. The flies will be attracted to this and then will get stuck in there, leaving your picnic in peace. If you wish to be more humane, you can just put out sugary water to attract insects. They won’t get stuck, but they will be kept busy for a while as you eat.
  • Install Fans – Consider bringing some battery operated fans to your picnic to not only keep yourselves cool, but also to keep the insects at bay. Bugs don’t bother people much when it’s windy. You might think this is because the fans blow the insects away but, in fact, the fans work because the breeze disperses all the smells that attract them to you and your picnic. Whatever the reason, it works quite well!
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