How To Have A Pest-Free Summer Barbecue

Below are 5 important summer pest precautions to keep in mind, as well as 9 simple steps you can take to have a pest-free barbecue all month long in Pittsburgh — the most important of which (obviously) is calling us, your local trusted for regular, ongoing pest management. , the tried and true pest control company! (412) 252-5200

Although no one can say for sure, it is believed that the word barbecue comes from the French and is a combination of barbe à queue, which means from beard to tail, and refers to the roasting of a whole pig.

But whatever the meat and origin, the barbecue is a joyous summer event where friends and families gather for an al fresco meal, but often accompanied by unwanted and unwelcome guests armed with stingers.

While collisions between humans and unwanted insects may be inevitable to a certain extent, a little care, thought and advice can go a long way in reducing the number of close encounters with the creepy crawly and flying critter variety.

Summer insects that love barbecue

Summer can be a glorious time, often sweetened by family gatherings and delicious meals cooked on a smoking grill.

Understanding what attracts these pesky offspring of Mother Nature’s whimsical design is the first step to knowing how to prevent them from ruining your day and biting friends, relatives, and pets.

The most prominent pests found in Pittsburgh barbecue are: mosquitoes; hornets; Ticks, flies and ants. More about each follows below.

the mosquito

Mosquitoes sense human breath and move towards it, especially when the sun is setting for the day. However, they do not like the aroma of charcoal grills and you can repel them by placing a few sprigs of fresh rosemary on the grill. The smoke it creates prevents them from getting too close.


Hornets are attracted to discarded soda and beer and can deliver a painful sting. But they don’t like the acid qualities found in cucumbers. Place a few slices around the barbecue area.


Ticks don’t usually come to mind as picnic pests, but they can spread disease and pose a risk to children and pets playing in the yard. Most tick species are potential vectors of serious diseases, some of which may last a lifetime.

They are probably barbecue invaders if the surrounding landscape is overrun and unreasonable.

If found on any Pittsburgh property, any homeowner should consider monitoring the situation with regular, ongoing cost-effective solutions from our pest control experts.


These insects have ruined many barbecues and they can’t resist the smell of food cooking on the grill. They can be repelled by a citronella candle that carries a strong lemon scent, which they hate.

the ant

Grilling on the deck often attracts carpenter ants. Although they like to burrow in wood, their real appetite is for sweets and meat.

These insects can very quickly pick up the scent of food, especially sweet things like punch and plates of pies and other goodies.

Always keep food in sealed containers and transfer sweetened beverages to closed containers. If food is left unattended on the table, ants have been known to attack in large numbers and ruin many barbecues.

9 tips to help keep pests away from your BBQ

Select the barbecue area strategically

The designated site should be relatively pest free and landscaped. Mowing nearby grass, trimming edges and removing weeds and overgrown shrubs will reduce the number of insects attracted to the festival.

Always keep your grill clean

An unfortunate rule of barbecue thumb is that if the grill is dirty, insects, especially wasps, will surround it while using it because they are attracted to the smell of meat or rotting food.

Keeping the grill clean is also important as it makes it safer to use. Bacteria can build up on it and old food doesn’t enhance the flavor of new meat.

Make sure to wear insect repellent

This will especially help with mosquitoes, as they can be really problematic for an evening barbecue.

Make sure that the insect repellent covers your body well so that you avoid any harmful bites. You should provide enough deterrents for all barbecue guests to move around.

Place your grill in a sunny location

This is a smart move because the added direct heat from the sun prevents bugs from congregating in the area. Never place the grill near trees or tall grass. Not only will this attract bugs, but it can also create a serious fire hazard.

Remove any standing water

Backyards with stagnant water are like a welcome mat for mosquitoes. Homeowners should drain birdbaths and small pools that are not aerated.

Early afternoon is the best time for a barbecue

Barbecues should be held in the early afternoon for the simple reason that mosquitoes and other bugs are more common in the morning or evening.

If later in the day is more convenient, Pittsburgh homeowners should provide bug lamps or torches to ward off insects.

Serve your BBQ at home

By serving food inside and then eating outside, insects may linger longer, but they won’t be as attracted to the area as they would be if all food was prepared and served outside.

They don’t even get a chance to crawl into the food if they don’t sit outside.

Delete the trash as soon as possible

All garbage should be thrown away immediately and not left to build up. Each garbage can should be placed indoors or in a yard enclosure.

If it can’t be thrown away immediately, cover it securely until you do. It’s not done often because most people don’t think about covering something that no one wants to eat, but it’s important.

When food is in the trash, it becomes more attractive to insects as it begins to rot.

Hire professional help to protect your Pittsburgh yard

This is probably the most important tip of all. The services we offer are the most cost-effective available anywhere, and they will ensure that your yard and home are protected from most pests.

They are therapeutic, eco-friendly and will make year-round family gatherings more enjoyable at this glorious time

Call our team at Pestco today; Tomorrow for a pest-free barbecue! Happy summer!

Photo credit: Pixabay and Pestco

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