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Keeping Flies Away From Your BBQ Grill

Jun 17, 2024

Nothing spoils a backyard barbecue faster than a swarm of flies buzzing around your grill and food. These pesky insects can be more than just an annoyance; they can also pose health risks by contaminating your food. Fortunately, there are several effective strategies to keep flies at bay and ensure your BBQ remains an enjoyable event. Here’s a detailed guide to help you maintain a fly-free zone around your grill.

Understanding Why Flies are Attracted to Your BBQ

Flies are drawn to food odors, particularly those from meats and sugary drinks. The combination of warmth, moisture, and the smell of grilling meat creates an irresistible attraction for these insects. By understanding what attracts flies, you can take targeted steps to minimize their presence. Additionally, flies are more active during warm weather, making summer barbecues a prime target for these pests. By being aware of their habits, you can better prepare to keep them away.

Pre-BBQ Preparations

Cleanliness is Key: 

Ensure your grill and surrounding area are thoroughly cleaned before your BBQ. Remove any old food particles and grease from previous grilling sessions. Flies are attracted to the lingering scents of food and grease. Also, consider giving your patio or deck a good sweep to remove any debris that might harbor fly eggs or larvae. A clean environment is your first line of defense against flies.

Set Up Away from Waste:

Position your grill and seating area away from trash bins and compost heaps. Flies are naturally drawn to garbage, so keeping these areas distant will reduce the likelihood of them invading your BBQ space. If possible, use trash cans with tight-fitting lids and empty them frequently to avoid overflow. Relocating your garbage area temporarily can make a big difference in fly control.

During the BBQ

Cover Food and Drinks:

Use food covers, mesh tents, or aluminum foil to keep food protected when it’s not being served. Drinks should also be covered with lids or drink umbrellas to prevent flies from landing and contaminating them. Setting up a designated area for food serving can help contain any mess and make it easier to keep everything covered. This not only deters flies but also helps keep your food fresh and safe.

Fan Them Away:

Set up fans around the grilling area. Flies are weak fliers and will avoid strong air currents. This simple solution can significantly reduce the number of flies around your BBQ. For a more aesthetic solution, you could install ceiling fans on your patio or use decorative standing fans that blend with your outdoor decor. Fans provide a dual benefit of keeping your guests and food cool while repelling flies.

Strategic Placement of Food:

Keep raw and cooked food separate, and store them in coolers or sealed containers until they are ready to be cooked or served. This minimizes the food aromas that attract flies. Organize your food prep area to ensure that uncooked items are handled far from the grilling station to prevent cross-contamination. By planning your layout, you can make your BBQ more efficient and hygienic.

Natural and DIY Fly Repellents

Herbal Solutions:

Flies dislike certain herbs and plants, such as basil, mint, and lavender. Placing pots of these plants around your BBQ area can deter flies naturally. You can also crush a few leaves to release more of their natural oils, increasing their repellent effect. Incorporating these plants into your garden or patio decor adds beauty and functionality to your outdoor space.

Vinegar and Soap Traps:

Create a simple trap using a bowl filled with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. The vinegar attracts flies, and the soap reduces the surface tension, causing them to drown. Place several of these traps around your BBQ area for maximum effectiveness. These traps are inexpensive and easy to make, providing a practical solution for fly control.

Essential Oils:

Spraying essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, or peppermint diluted in water around the area can keep flies away. These oils act as natural repellents. Mix the oils in a spray bottle and mist the area lightly, reapplying as needed throughout the event. Essential oils not only repel flies but also add a pleasant aroma to your outdoor setting.

Post-BBQ Clean-Up

Immediate Clean-Up:

After the BBQ, promptly clean up all food remnants, spills, and garbage. Leftover food and dirty dishes are prime attractions for flies. Make sure to wipe down all surfaces, including tables and countertops, to remove any food residues. Quick and thorough cleaning prevents flies from finding a reason to stick around.

Store Leftovers Properly:

Store any leftovers in sealed containers and place them inside your home or refrigerator. Avoid leaving them outside where flies can get to them. Label your containers with dates to keep track of freshness and ensure timely consumption or disposal. Proper storage not only deters flies but also helps reduce food waste.

Clean the Grill:

Scrape off any food particles and grease from the grill once it has cooled down. Consider using a grill cover when it’s not in use to keep it clean and reduce odors. Regular maintenance of your grill extends its lifespan and ensures it’s always ready for your next BBQ. Keeping your equipment in top shape is an essential part of effective fly control.

Professional Pest Control Solutions

While these tips can significantly reduce the presence of flies, sometimes a professional touch is needed to keep your outdoor spaces entirely pest-free. At West Termites & Pest, we specialize in comprehensive pest control services across Arkansas and Oklahoma. Our expert team provides pest control, termite control, and lawn care & treatment to ensure your home and yard remain pest-free. We also offer free consultations to assess your specific needs and develop a tailored plan to keep your BBQs and outdoor activities fly-free.

Whether you’re dealing with flies, mosquitoes, or other outdoor pests, we have the expertise to help you maintain a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor space. Don’t let the flies ruin your next barbecue. Contact West Termites & Pest today for professional assistance and enjoy a pleasant, fly-free grilling experience!

Call your local West Termite location or fill out the form
on our contact page to schedule your inspection today!

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