Eating outdoors is one of the great ways to enjoy a beautiful summer day for all it has to offer in terms of refreshing relaxation. Exposed to the sun and the shade, the breezes and the special smells and colors of the surrounding plant life, people seem to find extra flavor in the outdoors for whatever they’re eating.

But nature can be pesky as well as refreshing, especially in a variety of little ways — also known as bugs. When flies make their way from the garbage can to your food spread, or when mosquitoes treat you as the food, some attention to flying and creeping insects is worth a bit of time and effort to keep your outdoor meal and yourself free of contaminants and irritants.

Get the full 5 page booklet with 7 easy tips below to keep away the bugs from your outdoor dining

There’s even a screen story about  restaurant in Fresno, California that used PanoramaLite screens to keep out bugs while maintaining their view.

Keeping the Bugs Away

 

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Keeping the bugs away

Don’t let pesky insects spoil your food or your dining experience

Eating outdoors is one of the great ways to enjoy a beautiful summer day for all it has to offer in terms of refreshing relaxation. Exposed to the sun and the shade, the breezes and the special smells and colors of the surrounding plant life, people seem to find extra flavor in the outdoors for whatever they’re eating.

But nature can be pesky as well as refreshing, especially in a variety of little ways — also known as bugs. When flies make their way from the garbage can to your food spread, or when mosquitoes treat you as the food, some attention to flying and creeping insects is worth a bit of time and effort to keep your outdoor meal and yourself free of contaminants and irritants.

Here are few things to consider in keeping the bugs away.

Cover your food
There’s foil, plastic wrap and the like, but also think about using wire mesh colanders to cover plates or dishes of food. It is especially important to cover sweets like desserts, fruits and soda pop drinks. Use containers with lids and even lids for pop cans. This also means covering your garbage cans and keeping them some distance from your eating place.

Distraction strategy

Talking about sweets, another strategy is to create a place for fruits and sweets — just for bugs! The idea is to draw them away from the place where you are eating to a place where they can feast all by themselves.

Prep the landscape
Eliminate or regularly flush out places of standing water where pests such as mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Use circulating pumps for things like birdbaths or ponds. Also, certain plants and flowers, such marigolds, garlic, mints, and rosemary tend to be natural bug repellents. You can also use them as table settings (like marigolds) or in your food! Also check for nests of wasps, hornets and yellow jackets that like to form in nooks and crannies under decks or eaves or porch lights.

Prep the eating area
The rinds of citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons have strong and bitter oils that make them good, natural and safe bug repellents. Have your family enjoy some citrus beforehand and seal the rinds in a plastic bag and spread them around the picnic area when the time comes. Smoke also repels mosquitoes and flies — here’s where citronella candles and tiki torches come in. You can also use a fan. Bugs don’t want to fly where there is too much of a breeze.

Prep yourself
There’s always bug spray, but if you don’t like getting lathered up with chemicals there are some more “natural” alternatives you can use. You can begin, though, by first of all not making yourself a target. Fragrances you might like to wear, or which attach from shampoos and deodorants, can draw bugs, This even includes fragrances in your clothes from washing detergents, dryer sheets and fabric softeners.

What you eat can make a difference. Eating foods with high levels of salt and potassium will lead your body to produce higher levels of lactic acid, the scent of which draws mosquitoes and other bugs. On the other hand, munching on a clove of garlic for three days before a picnic will release an odor from your sweat glands, undetectable to humans, that repels many insects.

And even what you wear can be a factor, as insects are attracted to and feed on brightly colored flowers and might treat you the same way if you’re wearing brightly patterned clothing.

Foods used as repellents
Instead of bug spray, there are some “food solutions” that you can wipe down your skin with to repel bugs. These include the aforementioned citrus peels, but also onion slices, vinegar (daub on with a cloth or cotton ball), or a solution that mixes a tablespoon of vanilla with a cup of water. Mint is also a repellent – put some mouthwash in a spray bottle and squirt it on!

Nothing like a good screen
Of course, there is a comprehensive and easy solution that involves just having some good screens in place. That’s what the Pismos Coastal Grill restaurant in Fresno, Calif., does for its customers. The Pismos is renowned for its seafood. And it also likes to connect its diners with the outdoors through a number of big windows that it can open up when the weather is right. However, it is critically important for the restaurant to keep any kind of bugs away from its food. Accordingly, Pismos has installed PanoramaLite™ retractable screens from Stoett on seven of its large windows to bring more of the outside in without bringing the bugs along with it.

Stoett retractable screening is a great way to take the bugs out of your outdoor dining experience, and a number of concerns off your plate. It makes the outdoor livin’ easy!

Sources:
Parttimenanny.org
Rdasia.com
Pestworld.org

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