13 Tips and Tricks for a Pest-free Outdoor Party

summer party with friends

A lot of people enjoy outdoor parties, picnics, and gatherings in the summer; warm weather is perfect for having outdoor fun with family and friends. Unfortunately, warm weather is also perfect for the bugs and insects that return from their migration, hibernation, or that hatch.

However, there are a few different ways you can keep these party-crashers away, so that you can enjoy a pest-free outdoor party.

1. Host During the Day

Pesky mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, which means it might be best to plan your outdoor party during the day before night fall, before these bloodthirsty insects come out to enjoy their own dinner party.

2. Provide Insect Repellent

Of course, we know this it isn't always ideal to host a party during the day. A lot of outdoor parties continue well into the night. If you're a late night party host or hostess, make sure to have insect repellent nearby for you and your party guests. Whatever insect repellent you choose, make sure that it contains DEET and that application instructions are always followed carefully. You can use a spray bottle, but there are also insect repellent wipes that are perfect for using around food.

Or, DIY a natural insect repellent with basil, citronella oil, or mint.

3. Buy a Bug Lantern

First of all, there are two kinds of bug lanterns to consider: a repellent or a zapper.

A bug- repellent lantern uses a butane cartridge that heats an insect repellent mat, releasing the repellent into the air. Alternatively, a bug-zapper lantern doesn't repel bugs; it attracts them and kills them. Supposedly bug zappers aren't the best at killing mosquitoes, but instead help kill moths and beetles.

Although bug lanterns used to be ugly, there are a wide variety of styles to choose from nowadays, so whatever you choose won't be a total eyesore. Plus, they make for additional outdoor lighting!

4. Only Use Yellow Light Bulbs

Make sure to replace any outdoor light bulbs with yellow light bulbs. Yellow light bulbs are much less attractive to bugs.

5. Try a Few Tiki Torches

tiki torches for pest control

Lighting tiki torches is an excellent way to make sure your next outdoor party is pest-free. The smoke helps to repel mosquitoes and flies, and if you get one with citronella oil, it will help even more.

On top of that, tiki torches look really cool!

6. Burn Some Citronella Candles

Another great way to repel bugs and insects is to have a few citronella candles around at your outdoor party. Keep them away from your food, but put a few nearby to create a pest-free zone.

7. Keep Food Covered

There are a variety of food covers available for purchase. Some are shaped like a tent, others are a dome, and are typically made with a metal or nylon mesh. These covers are great for keeping bugs off of your food.

However, although food covers are great for keeping annoying bugs and insects off of your food, the scent can still attract them to where you're sitting. The best way to keep your food safe, and to keep the bugs away, is to put your food in containers that have airtight lids. That way the scent from food won't be able to escape and attract any unwanted guests.

8. Set up a Mosquito Net

One way to keep bugs away from your outdoor party guests is to put up a mosquito net around your gazebo. or sitting area. Mosquito nets are definitely a big help, but to make your bug-free zone even better add a bug repellent.

9. Freshly Mow Your Lawn

By keeping your grass trim and short, you will not only have a cleaner looking lawn, but you'll also help keep bugs away. A lot of bugs, including mosquitoes and bees, are drawn to tall grass and weeds for ground nests and quiet places.

10. Keep it Clean

leftover food from outside party

Throw out garbage, remove empty cans and bottles, and bring in dishes right after using. The scent from left over food or drinks left out will attract all kinds of bugs and insects.

Even garbage will attract all kinds of pests, so make sure to put your outdoor garbage can and recycling bins far away from where you're hanging out. Also make sure that your garbage can lids fit snugly. This will help keep flies and ants away.

11. Cover Your Drinks

Sugary drinks like pop and alcohol attract bugs like crazy, and cans and bottles are perfect for hiding in as they enjoy your sweet drink. To keep bugs out of your drinks try topping glasses with paper cupcake liners and then poke a hole through the middle for a straw.

12. Drain Standing Water

Standing water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Go around your yard and look for places that water gathers. Buckets, planters, kiddie pools, and gutters are all areas that water gathers and often gets left in. You should empty out anything that has standing water in it around your property regularly, but especially when you're throwing an outdoor party. Your guests will thank you.

13. Turn on Fans

Turning a fan on outside might seem weird, but even a fan set on low is powerful enough to keep mosquitoes away. Having a tabletop fan near the food is a great way to keep insects and bugs away.