Four Tips for Bug-Free Outdoor Entertaining

Whether it’s your first party in your new home, or you’re an everyday entertainer, throw the best bash on the block and fend off bug bites with four entertaining tips:

1. Set the scene. Create a tablescape with seasonal flowers, decorative napkins and colorful accents to match the color scheme and party theme. Set up yard games to keep guests entertained while you toss food on the grill, and add string lights to keep the party going after the sun sets.

2. Keep bugs away. Offer your guests an EPA-approved bug repellent to prevent ticks and mosquitoes. Encourage guests to reapply according to label directions throughout the party, too. According to Sonja Swiger from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, citronella candles don’t work unless you’re directly next to them, and even then, they aren’t a scientifically-proven method of prevention.

3. Stay cool and hydrated. Set up a drink station to keep your guests cool while they soak up the sun. Remember, sugary drinks and cocktails can attract bugs, so offer a way for guest to cover up their glasses. If you’re ready to put your DIY skills to the test, turn decorative cupcake liners upside down and punch a hole in the center for festive straws. This is just one way to make sure your party-goers’ cups stay bug-free.

4. Don’t forget to prepare. Take steps to prevent unwanted guests while you’re in the midst of planning your soiree. Ward off biters by mowing your lawn and surveying your entertaining space to make sure it’s free of standing water. Treat the perimeter of your yard with an EPA-approved product according to label directions, or bring in a professional to do it for you.

Here are a few questions you might want to ask when talking to a professional:

  • Are you a licensed and insured applicator?
  • What type of services do you provide, and what products do you use?
  • How do you communicate with customers?
  • Who can I contact if I have questions?
  • What’s included when I sign a contract?

Now start the grill and gather your friends. You have entertaining to do!

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